As usual at this point in a college basketball season, there are a lot of compelling matchups this week.

None of them, however, present quite the intrigue of the one that will be played in East Lansing, MI, on Tuesday night and in Stillwater, OK, on Wednesday evening.

Tuesday night the top-ranked Indiana Hoosiers visit East Lansing to face No. 3 Michigan State in a Big Ten contest that will have both conference and national (re: NCAA Tournament seeding) implications.

And the same could be said of the Wednesday night clash in Stillwater between visiting and No. 10 Kansas and No. 12 Oklahoma State.

It’s the second meetings between the programs, with the Hoosiers prevailing by five points over the Spartans the first time around in Bloomington and the Cowboys stunning the Jayhawks in Lawrence.

Other sweet matchups this week include: Monday – Notre Dame at Pittsburgh; Tuesday – Virginia at Miami; Florida at Missouri; Virginia Commonwealth at Saint Louis; Wednesday – Providence at Syracuse; Colorado State at UNLV; Thursday – Cal at Oregon; Cincinnati at Connecticut; BYU at Saint Mary’s; Friday – Saint Louis at Butler; Stephen F. Austin at Long Beach State; Saturday – Arkansas at Florida; Georgetown at Syracuse; New Mexico at Colorado State; Marquette at Villanova; Southern Mississippi at Memphis; Sunday – Michigan State at Ohio State; Illinois at Michigan; Cincinnati at Notre Dame.

Rank (Last Week)
1. Indiana (1)

Since losing at home to Wisconsin at Jan. 15, the Hoosiers have looked every bit the part of the best team in college hoops.

2. Gonzaga (2)
There is certainly nothing “bad” about the Bulldogs’ two losses (to Illinois and Butler).
3. Michigan State (5)
The Spartans are 11-1 in 2013. You don’t need bother asking who the single defeat was courtesy of.
4. Miami (6)
OK, anyone out there who thought the Canes would be 12-0 in the ACC? Wow.
5. Florida (8)
The Gators have taken bites out of their past three opponents to the tune of an 24.3 points per game margin.
6. Duke (3)
Unless the Blue Devils get a healthy Ryan Kelly soon, a Final Four run seems unlikely.
7. Michigan (7)
An eight-point home victory over a winless team in the Big Ten (Penn State) Sunday was anything but overwhelming.
8. Syracuse (4)
The Orange is just .500 over its past six Big East games.
9. Louisville (8)
The Cardinals recovered nicely last week after that five-OT nightmare in South Bend.
10.Kansas (11)
Apparently the sky isn’t quite ready to fall on the heads of the Jayhawks.
11. Butler (10)
With the return of center Andrew Smith, the Bulldogs are relatively healthy for the first time in a while.
12. Oklahoma State (NR)
The Wednesday game vs. Kansas will be the biggest game in Stillwater since . . . when?
13. Kansas State (14)
The Wildcats bounced back nicely from the 21-point loss in Lawrence with a 20-point victory over Baylor.
14. Georgetown (NR)
Will (likely) take eight-game winning streak with it into Syracuse on Saturday.
15. Memphis (NR)

It’s 16 (wins in a row) and counting for Josh Pastner’s crew.

16. Illinois (NR)
The Illini currently the hottest Big Ten squad that doesn’t make its home in Bloomington or East Lansing.

On the cusp (listed alphabetically): Akron 21-4, Arizona 21-4, Colorado State 21-4, Connecticut 17-7, Creighton 21-6, Louisiana Tech 23-3, Marquette 18-6, Maryland 18-7, New Mexico 22-4, North Carolina 17-8, North Carolina State 18-7, Notre Dame 20-6, Ohio State 18-7, Oklahoma 16-8, Oregon 21-5, Pittsburgh 20-6, San Diego State 18-7, Saint Louis 19-5, Saint Mary’s, UNLV 19-7, Virginia 18-8, Virginia Commonwealth 21-5, Wichita State 22-5 and Wisconsin 18-8.



Cal: Won home games against UCLA and USC (rallying from 15 down in the second of the latter) to keep the Golden Bears’ NCAA Tournament at-large hopes intact.

Maryland: Held on to knock off visiting Duke – in what could be the final regular-season game between the programs, since the Terps are Big Ten-bound – and also strength at-large NCAA Tournament aspirations.

Miami: Won a couple of road games (against Florida State and Clemson) to remain unbeaten in the ACC after 12 contests.

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys extended their Big 12 winning streak to seven with wins over Texas Tech and Oklahoma.

Tennessee: Improved to .500 in the SEC with wins at Vanderbilt and at home (by a 30-point margin) over Kentucky.


Vincent Council (Providence). The senior point guard scored only 18 points in the Friars’ Big East wins over South Florida and Notre Dame but added 12 rebounds, 19 assists and five steals and committed just two turnovers.

Allen Crabbe (Cal). The junior guard likely established himself as the frontrunner for Pac 12 Player of the Year honors while scoring 39 points to go with 15 rebounds, six assists and eight steals in wins over UCLA and USC in Berkeley.

Trae Golden (Tennessee). The junior guard combined for 36 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists during the Volunteers’ wins over Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga). The possible first-team All-American had 43 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots as the Bulldogs improved to 12-zip in the WCC with two road victories.

Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State). He continued to strengthen his Player of the Year hopes – (not only in the Big 12 but nationally as well) with a 28-point, seven-rebound and four-assist performances in the Cowboys’ come-from-behind, overtime victory over Oklahoma Saturday.

Frank Burlison has been covering hoops for 30+ years for a variety of publications.

Follow Frank on twitter @FrankieBur. Also make sure to follow his website at College coaching staffs interested in Burlison’s scouting service should contact him at [email protected]


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