In a college basketball season that is filled with twists and turns, B5Q breaks down the top games to monitor over the course of the week of January 30 to February 5.
**Please note that team records are reflective as of Thursday 1/30/20 in the morning**
Thursday, January 30
Minnesota Golden Gophers (11-9) at No. 19 Illinois Fighting Illini (15-5) at 6:30 p.m. CST on FS1
Tied atop the conference standings, Illinois welcomes the Gophers to town Thursday night. With a chance to continue to add to their already strong resume, the Fighting Illini are a heavy favorite, can Minnesota play spoiler?
No. 18 Iowa Hawkeyes (15-5) at No. 15 Maryland Terrapins (16-4) at 7:30 p.m. CST on BTN
A heavyweight conference tilt, this game has all the makings of a great match up. Both squads have been riding winning streaks, and are tied within the conference standings. Luka Garza versus Jalen Smith inside should be fun.
Friday, January 31
We at B5Q highly recommend that you take a night off from basketball. There is very little of value on the television Friday night in terms of college basketball.
Kofi Cockburn of @IlliniMBB collected #B1GMBBall Freshman of the Week for the seventh time after posting his eighth double-double vs. Purdue and helping @IlliniMBB grab two road wins. pic.twitter.com/bFBsaTT38p— Big Ten Men's Hoops (@B1GMBBall) January 27, 2020
Saturday, February 1
Indiana Hoosiers (15-5) at Ohio State Buckeyes (13-7) at 11 a.m. CST on ESPN
Can Ohio State finally get back to winning? The Buckeyes have absolutely hit a wall in conference play. With a home game against Indiana on the docket, this is a big opportunity for them to climb back into relevancy.
Other morning games of note: Creighton Bluejays at No. 8 Villanova Wildcats at 11 a.m. CST on FS1, Xavier Musketeers at No. 10 Seton Hall Pirates at 10 a.m. CST on FOX.
No. 14 Michigan State Spartans (15-5) at Wisconsin Badgers (12-9) at 12 p.m. CST on FOX
Coming off a rough stretch in which the Badgers have lost three of their last four games, Greg Gard’s crew is back on the hardwood against Michigan State. The game represents a huge opportunity to bolster their tournament resume with a win. Michigan State is hanging on to conference title hopes, can the Badgers shake things up?
Do you need tickets for the game? StubHub has you covered, as always.
Other afternoon games of note:
- No. 6 Louisville Cardinals at NC State Wolfpack at 1 p.m. CST on ESPN
- Texas Tech Red Raiders at No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks at 3 p.m. CST on ESPN
- No. 25 Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Michigan Wolverines at 3:30 p.m. CST on BTN
Let's STRIPE OUT the Kohl Center❗️❕— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) January 28, 2020
Dress accordingly ❗️❕
Joining us on Saturday for our game vs. #14 Michigan State?
Is your section RED or WHITE⁉️
INFO/CHART https://t.co/KM0RNBREYw pic.twitter.com/QSdFn2ylEV
No. 13 Kentucky Wildcats (15-4) at No. 17 Auburn Tigers (18-2) at 5 p.m. CST on ESPN
Two of the better teams in the SEC square off in this Saturday evening game. Kentucky is loaded with talent, while Auburn has played extremely well with only two losses. Both teams have a chance to close the gap on conference leading LSU in what should be a great game.
No. 9 Duke Blue Devils (17-3) at Syracuse Orange (13-8) at 7 p.m. CST on ESPN
Duke has proved to be mortal this season after stunningly losing to Stephen F. Austin in non-conference play and Clemson in the ACC. Syracuse is a team on the bubble, and a signature win over Duke would go a long way in securing their spot. Duke on the other hand is trying to keep pace with Louisville atop the conference standings.
Sunday, February 2
No. 19 Illinois Fighting Illini (15-5) at No. 18 Iowa Hawkeyes (15-5) at 12 p.m. CST on FS1
On the heels of a tough match up at Maryland, Iowa brings Illinois to town for a conference showdown. Both teams have been playing extremely well as of late, as Illinois looks to stay at the top of the Big Ten. Iowa has been tough at home, can Illinois change that?
Iowa has six Quad 1 wins, tying Butler and Baylor for third most in the country behind Kansas (8) and Seton Hall (7). #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/fLWXq9ZVF0— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) January 29, 2020
Monday, February 3
North Carolina Tar Heels (10-10) at No. 5 Florida State Seminoles (17-3) at 6 p.m. CST on ESPN
The Tar Heels have been a bit of a mess this season since getting the blue blood bump in the preseason rankings. Top prospect Cole Anthony’s absence has been tough on the team as he nurses a knee injury. Florida State is on the other end of the spectrum. The Seminoles have been one of the best teams in the ACC this season, and are firmly in the discussion for one of the top seeds in the NCAA Tournament.
Texas Longhorns (12-7) at No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks (17-3) at 8 p.m. CST on ESPN
Part of fairly tame Monday night lineup, Texas will take the show on the road against Kansas. The Jayhawks are one of the most talented teams in the nation, lead by Devon Dotson. Texas will have their hands full on the road, can they spring an upset?
Tuesday, February 4
No. 25 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (16-5) at No. 15 Maryland Terrapins (16-4) at 6 p.m. CST on FS1
Another intriguing match up in the Big Ten for the week, the two newest conference members face off hoping to stay within striking distance of Michigan State and Illinois. Rutgers has had a nice bounce-back season, while Maryland is living up to their preseason expectations.
No. 24 Penn State Nittany Lions (14-5) at No. 14 Michigan State Spartans (15-5) at 7 p.m. CST on BTN
Penn State has won two straight after struggling out the gates in Big Ten play. Michigan State has been one of the more consistent teams in the conference. Can the Nittany Lions keep the good times rolling, or will Michigan State do some steam rolling of their own at home?
Other games of note:
- Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Wolverines at 6 p.m. CST
- No. 17 Auburn Tigers at Arkansas Razorbacks at 6 p.m. CST on SECN
- Mississippi State Bulldogs at No. 13 Kentucky Wildcats at 8 p.m. CST on ESPN.
Thursday's ranked matchup in college hoops!— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) January 29, 2020
No. 18 @IowaHoops at No. 15 @TerrapinHoops
⌚️ 8:30 PM ET
BTN and the FOX Sports App
STREAMING » https://t.co/LFGdv97NCk pic.twitter.com/vEVEwjKv31
Wednesday, February 5
No. 8 Villanova Wildcats (17-3) at No. 16 Butler Bulldogs (17-4) at 5:30 p.m. CST on FS1
Villanova won the first iteration of this game just a few weeks ago at home. Butler will be out for revenge, this time on their home court. Both teams are in a great position for postseason success, but wins over Top-25 teams don’t just grow on trees, so this is a big opportunity for each team.
No. 18 Iowa Hawkeyes (15-5) at Purdue Boilermakers (11-10) at 6 p.m. CST on BTN
Purdue has been a different team at home this season (just ask Wisconsin). The Boilermakers are looking to continue to improve their record, and a big win at home could do just that. Iowa has their third game that shows up on this list, as they are entering an absolute gauntlet.
Wisconsin Badgers (12-9) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (11-9) at 8 p.m. CST on BTN
Wisconsin still has a home-and-home remaining with the rival Gophers. The first game is in the Twin Cities, and it is crucial for Wisconsin to win some of their remaining away games to make the NCAA Tournament. This contest represents one of their best shots at doing so, can they make it happen?
Bracketology Report: Badgers are trending downward, but the Big Ten continues to dominate https://t.co/oBoVzx2mYd pic.twitter.com/pRoy3y6BFr— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) January 29, 2020