By Mike Bachini, CBS Connecticut
Connecticut (CBS) – The calendar has officially turned to February. There is one more football game to be played and the NBA All-Star game is only a few weeks away. All of this also means that College Basketball is in full swing and there is a little light at the end of the tunnel that signals March Madness is approaching and will be here before we know it. So let’s fully indulge in the remainder of the regular season, as there are lots of great storylines developing and great games to be played.
Tonight Baylor visits Kansas at 9pm on ESPN2. Kansas is coming off one of its biggest wins of the season, winning at Kentucky 79-73 with a dominant 2nd half. This was after Kansas lost at West Virginia by 16 the game before, so it was a nice bounce-back effort from the Jayhawks. Still, Kansas was ranked #2 last week and fell a spot. This week’s #2 team? Baylor. Baylor rose up from #5 and still only have one loss on the season at the aforementioned Mountaineers by 19 points. Baylor has beaten Oregon, VCU, Michigan State, Louisville, Xavier and Kansas State so far this season. Those are great wins that match up with the wins that Kansas has as well.
Northwestern is playing it’s first game as a ranked team since December 30th, 2009. The #25 Wildcats pay a visit to the #23 Purdue Boilermakers tonight at 8:30pm on the Big Ten Network. Unfortunately, Northwestern’s leading scorer Scottie Lindsey (15.4 PPG) will not play in the game due to an illness which is rumored to be mono. That would be a tough blow for the Wildcats. Still, it will be interesting to see how Northwestern plays against Caleb Swanigan’s Boilermakers.
Florida State travels to Coral Gables, FL to take on in-state rival Miami at 8pm. Florida State has lost 2 in a row on the road by 22 and 10 points and fell from #6 in the polls to #15 in the process. Miami beat North Carolina at home on Saturday and is looking to get on a nice little run right about now. Freshman guard, and Massachusetts native, Bruce Brown is coming in to his own in conference play, averaging 14.5 points per game and 6 rebounds while shooting 55% from the field. The Hurricanes have a relatively easy schedule (by ACC standards) coming up, so winning this game would be big.
Staying in the ACC and also with the in-state rival theme, Virginia Tech heads to Charlottesville, VA to take on the Cavaliers. Virginia returns the favor in just 11 days. Virginia Tech has won 3 out of their last 4 and are 16-5 on the season, while Virginia is coming off a 2 point loss in Philadelphia to the reigning National Champion Villanova Wildcats on Sunday. A win by the Hokies would really shake up the ACC standings and send a message to the rest of the league in the process.
VCU and Richmond meet up in not only an in-state rivalry game, but an in-city game as well as the Spiders make the 6 mile trip to Virginia Commonwealth to take on the Rams at 7pm on CBS Sports Network. Richmond is currently 7-2 in conference and VCU is coming off of a big win at home against Dayton last Friday. These games are almost always special.
In the American Conference, 14-7 UCF travels to 15-7 Houston in what is a big game for both teams. UCF has lost 3 in a row to some of the better teams in the conference while Houston has gotten over their own 3 game losing streak earlier in the season (which included a loss at UCF 77-70 on 1/14) by winning their past 2 games.
Around New England
– Massachusetts (12-10) looks to end a 3 game losing streak at LaSalle (11-8). (7pm)
– Umass-Lowell (9-14) travels to Albany (13-10). (7pm)
– Vermont (18-5) takes on Maine (5-18). (7pm)
– New Hampshire (14-8) tests themselves at Stony Brook (11-10). (7pm)
– Holy Cross (11-12) plays host to Colgate (7-16). (7pm)
– Providence (14-9) hosts #4 Villanova (20-2) (7pm, Fox Sports1)
Follow Mike Bachini on Twitter, @MikeBachini