TEXAS (Sporting Alert) — Six of the top 10 teams will be in action in NCAA college men’s basketball top 25 fixtures on Saturday, Jan. 10.
Leading the way is the undefeated Kentucky, who again were unanimously voted as the No. 1 program in the country in the latest AP poll.
The Wildcats (14-0, 1-0 SEC) survived their strongest test thus far against Ole Miss, when they managed to squeeze out an overtime 89-86 victory.
It was the first time this season Kentucky gave up more than 70 points in a game, while it was also their first overtime contest on the term as well.
“It was definitely a wake-up call for all of us, I think,” forward Trey Lyles said about the close encounter. “They’re going to come out and play that much harder against us.
“It’s SEC play now, very physical. I’d say it was the most physical game we played so far this year and we’re going to get every team’s best shot so we just have to be prepared for it.”
On Saturday the defending champions travel to College Station, Texas, to play its second SEC game against the 9-4 Texas A&M, which dropped its season opening league game against Alabama on Tuesday night.
No. 3 Virginia (14-0), who are silently going about their business sitting right behind Kentucky and the Duke Blue Devils, plays at No. 13 Notre Dame (15-1), which is on a long winning streak at the moment.
“This for me will be the game of the week,” a Virginia female student supporter said. “Something will have to give this weekend.
“Either we lose our undefeated record or their winning streak ends.”
Since losing to Providence on Nov. 23, the Fighting Irish have picked up 11 straight wins, including the close 71-70 victory over No. 18 North Carolina to improved to 3-0 in ACC play on Monday night.
Another tough date like the Tar Heels battle awaits them at Purcell Pavilion
The Cavaliers, who are 2-0 in ACC league play, meanwhile, are ranked 2nd in points allowed per game and 8th in defensive rebounds per game.
Defensive plays were the main focus in the travelers’ sessions ahead of Saturday’s, as they face a Notre Dame team that is ranked No. 1 in field goal percentage at 54.8 percent, as well as 3rd in points per game, at 85.0.
No. 5 Louisville (14-1, 2-0 ACC) and North Carolina will feature in another top contest on Saturday.
The Cardinals, who have only dropped one game this season — against Kentucky — resisted the challenges of Clemson in the 58-52 win the last time out, but know that they must focus more against the Tar Heels, who will be determined to make up for the last game.
Top 25 Match-ups – Saturday, Jan. 10
12:00 PM (22) Ohio State at Indiana ESPN/WatchESPN
1:00 PM (1) Kentucky at Texas A&M CBS
2:00 PM (5) Louisville at (18) North Carolina ESPN/ WatchESPN
2:00 PM Saint Joseph’s at (20) Virginia Commonwealth CBS Sports Network
2:15 PM (19) Seton Hall at Creighton FOX Sports 1
2:30 PM (11) Maryland at Purdue Big Ten Network
3:00 PM Texas Tech at (12) Kansas WatchESPN
4:00 PM DePaul at (8) Villanova CBS Sports Network
4:00 PM (21) Baylor at TCU ESPN 2/WatchESPN
4:30 PM Vanderbilt at (23) Arkansas SEC Network/WatchESPN
5:30 PM (25) Old Dominion at Western Kentucky
5:00 PM (10) Texas at Oklahoma State WatchESPN
6:00 PM (3) Virginia at (13) Notre Dame ESPN 2/WatchESPN
7:00 PM Kansas St at (16) Oklahoma WatchESPN
8:00 PM Santa Clara at (6) Gonzaga
8:00 PM (17) Iowa State at (14) West Virginia ESPN 2/WatchESPN