The best upcoming college hoops games
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
All times Eastern
USA TODAY Sports’ Scott Gleeson takes a weekly look at the best college basketball matchups. Here are the top five games for March 7 to 13. Records though Monday’s games.
No. 16 Syracuse
at No. 5 Georgetown
Saturday, noon, ESPN
About the Orange (22-7, 10-6): Three consecutive losses dropped Syracuse out of contention for the Big East regular-season title after starting league play 6-0. The Orange don’t have much momentum, and there’s nothing like a rivalry game to bring some life into a deflated team. Some of Syracuse’s woes have come because of injury, while leading scorer Brandon Triche has fallen into a slump, averaging 10 points his last four games after averaging more than 15 in the Orange’s first 12.
About the Hoyas (23-4, 13-3): Eleven consecutive victories have propelled Georgetown to the top of the Big East standings. Much of the team’s success can be credited to the blossoming of sophomore Otto Porter, who suddenly has emerged as a national player of the year candidate. Porter, averaging 16.6 points and 7.6 rebounds a game, scored a career-high 33 points in his last outing against the Orange. His hot streak has continued, as he had 28 points in the Hoyas’ recent win against Rutgers.
The matchup: This might be the end of a rivalry. With Syracuse going to the Atlantic Coast Conference and Georgetown among the seven departing Catholic schools in the Big East, the nostalgia of the best Big East rivalry will surely be present. After this season’s first meeting, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said Porter dominated the game. That can’t happen again for the Orange.
Our pick: Syracuse
No. 9 Florida
Saturday, noon, CBS
About the Gators (23-5, 13-3): Florida didn’t have much of a challenge in the Southeastern Conference this season, but the Gators proved vulnerable — losing to Arkansas in early February before falling to Tennessee and Missouri later in the month. Wins at the end of the season still hold great meaning, particularly when Florida is trying to position itself for a No.1 seed in the NCAA tournament. That will be hard to do without a strong finish and perhaps an … [For more on Top 5: The best upcoming college hoops games, click here.]