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College Basketball: Louisville Stays on Top, While North Carolina Takes a Nosedive

It was another week of triumph and sorriness in the world of Men’s College Basketball. The Ohio State Buckeye men’s basketball team — likely feeling the heat from the school’s football team — notched a big win over North Carolina that sent them up to #3 in the polls, while dropping the Tar Heels ten spots all the way down to #17. Baylor also finds themselves inching up the polls, as wins over ‘Nova and Arizona propelled them from #18 to #11. Other big losers last week were Seton Hall, which fell from #16 to #22 with their loss to Iowa State, and Michigan State, who fell from #11 to #16 following a 12-point loss to Duke.

Here’s a look ahead at this week’s notable games on Sling TV.

Tuesday, December 10
Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-3) vs #1 Louisville Cardinals (9-0)
7pm ET on ESPN
The Red Raiders have dropped three straight since starting the season 5-0, falling most recently last Wednesday to DePaul, despite 24 points and 8 rebounds from Terrence Shannon Jr. The Cardinals beat Pitt 64-46 on Friday, as Jordan Nwora led all scorers with 19 points and had 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block.

#4 Maryland Terrapins (10-0) vs Penn State Nittany Lions (7-2)
7pm ET on ESPN2
The Terps overcame a 15-point deficit in the second half to squeak past Illinois 59-58 on Saturday, thanks in large part to Jalen Smith’s 14 points and 13 rebounds. Penn State paid a visit to the woodshed on Saturday, losing to Ohio State 106-74.

Wednesday, December 11
Omaha Mavericks (5-6) vs #15 Arizona Wildcats (9-1)
8pm ET on PAC12
The Mavs’ Matt Pile scored 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting and pulled down 13 rebounds, but his team still lost Sunday 73-65 to Northern Arizona. The Wildcats shot just 26.9% from the floor, including a brutal 2-for-18 from 3-point land, as they suffered their first loss of the season to Baylor on Saturday.

Thursday, December 12
Iowa Hawkeyes (7-3) vs Iowa State Cyclones (6-3)
8pm ET on ESPN2
Luke Garza went 21-10 Monday night to lead the Hawkeyes to a 72-52 win against the Minnesota Gophers. Tyrese Haliburton posted a 17-6-5 line as the Cyclones beat Seton Hall 76-66. Iowa leads this cross-state rivalry, which dates back to 1909, 45-27.

Saturday, December 14
Eastern Kentucky Colonels (3-6) vs #1 Louisville Cardinals (9-0)
Noon ET on ACCN
The Colonels’ D was ineffective Sunday night against Northern Kentucky, allowing their foes to make 20 of 26 shots (76.9%) from inside the arc en route to a 76-57 loss. All but two of Louisville’s win this season have been by double digits and their defense is allowing the fifth-lowest shooting percentage in the nation at 35.3%.

#13 Memphis Tigers (8-1) vs #19 Tennessee Volunteers (7-1)
3pm ET on ESPN
Precious Achiuwa led the Tigers in scoring and rebounds, with 14-11, in the team’s 65-57 win over UAB on Saturday. Following their 72-43 victory over winless FAMU — in which Olivier Nkamhoua came off the bench to go 11-13 — the Vols were so winded that they needed a week and a half off.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-3) vs #8 Kentucky Wildcats (7-1)
5pm ET on ESPN
How did the Yellow Jackets lose 97-63 to Syracuse on Saturday? Well, they shot 35-38-39, while the Orangemen shot 51-42-83. Kentucky beat Fairleigh Dickinson 83-52 last Saturday, as EJ Montgomery had 25 points on 12-of-16 shooting and grabbed 9 rebounds.

#6 Gonzaga Bulldogs (10-1) vs #15 Arizona Wildcats (9-1)
10pm ET on ESPN2
The ‘Zags beat the Washington Huskies 83-76 on Sunday, as all five starters scored in double digits and played 30+ minutes. Arizona is 9th in the country in points per game at 84.2 — unfortunately, Gonzaga is 4th at 85.9 ppg. This one should be fun.

Sunday, December 15
Wofford Terriers (5-4) vs #17 North Carolina Tar Heels (6-3)
4pm ET on ACCN
The Terriers earned their third straight win Saturday, outlasting Gardner-Webb 81-77 thanks to the Messiah Jones, who came off the bench to lead his team with 18 points and 7 boards. The Tar Heels opened the season with 5 straight wins, but have gone 1-3 since then, losing back-to-back to #6 Ohio State and #5 Virginia, as they failed to reach 50 points in either game.

Stats through Monday, December 9, courtesy SRCBB