The best upcoming college hoops games
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
With Selection Sunday is nearly three weeks away, the NCAA tournament picture is becoming clearer and the on-the-bubble teams are growing more and more nervous.
March is right around the corner, but first there is one more Saturday in February to gear us up for the Big Dance. Here’s this weekend’s game slate:
No. 11 Georgetown at No. 8 Syracuse | Saturday, 4 p.m., CBS
About the Hoyas (20-4, 9-3 Big East): Georgetown has rattled off eight consecutive victories in Big East play after losing to last-place South Florida on Jan. 19. The Hoyas are in a three-way tie with Syracuse and Marquette in a heated conference race. Otto Porter Jr. (15.1 points, 7.7 rebounds a game) leads the way for Georgetown offensively, while Markel Starks (12.4 points a game) is surging, scoring a combined 33 points in recent wins against Cincinnati and Marquette.
About the Orange (22-4, 9-3): Syracuse has lost three of its last seven after starting 6-0 in the Big East. James Southerland’s ineligibility mixed with an injury bug didn’t make things easy, but the Orange seem to be finding a rhythm, toppling Providence by 25 points earlier this week. Brandon Triche has shown the ability to take over games, scoring 29 points in Syracuse’s recent victory vs. Seton Hall. Southerland’s impact has been felt; the senior scored in double figures in the three games since returning.
The matchup: Syracuse hasn’t been at full strength, so playing at the Carrier Dome before a record crowd (35,000) is helpful, especially given a 38-game home-court winning streak that is the nation’s longest. Georgetown has hit its late-season stride, making it a challenge to halt the the Orange’s momentum. This could be the last meeting between the two teams with Georgetown bolting the Big East and Syracuse moving to the ACC.
Our pick: Georgetown
No. 16 New Mexico at … [For more on Top 5: The best upcoming college hoops games, click here.]