College Basketball on Sling: New #1 Nova Meets La Salle, Florida-Florida State Rivalry Hits the Hardwood, Duke-UNLV 25 Years Later
Last week saw former the #1 Kentucky Wildcats lose for the first time this season, getting up-ended by the UCLA Bruins, who vaulted all the way from #11 to #2, while last season’s #1, Villanova, resumed their perch atop the college basketball world. This week you can catch 7 of the top 8 teams in the land on Sling.
#18 Purdue (6-2) vs Arizona State (5-3)
7pm ET on ESPN
#1 Villanova (8-0) vs La Salle (4-2)
7pm ET on ESPN2
The defending national champion Villanova Wildcats climbed back to the top of the rankings this week, thanks to a Kentucky loss, and a pair of decisive wins. On Wednesday the ‘Cats beat Penn State 82-57, with all five starters in double figures, led by a 22-point effort from senior forward Kris Jenkins, as the team shot an impressive 55.1% from the floor while controlling the boards 34-18. On Saturday they hammered St. Joe’s 88-75, with Jenkins again leading all scorers, this time with 20, but Josh Hart was the star of the show with a triple-double, as he posted 16-11-10.
La Salle also went 2-0 last week, beating Lehigh 89-81, and Bucknell 83-73. B.J. Johnson, who joined the team as a transfer from Syracuse after his mandatory year off, has breathed new life into the team, leading the way with 18.7 ppg, as well as a team-high 5.7 rpg. After last season’s 9-22 showing, there’s reason for hope on the Philly campus.
UMKC (6-3) vs #3 Kansas (7-1)
8pm ET on ESPN3
#21 Florida (7-1) vs #5 Duke (8-1)
9pm ET on ESPN
Fort Wayne (7-2) vs #23 Notre Dame (8-0)
9pm ET on ESPNU
UC Irvine (4-4) vs #20 Arizona (6-2)
10pm ET on Pac-12 Network
#16 Butler (8-0) vs Indiana State (4-4)
7pm ET on ESPN3
Valparaiso (7-1) vs #6 Kentucky (7-1)
8pm ET on SEC Network
Idaho State (1-7) vs #17 Wisconsin (7-2)
8pm ET on ESPN3
Davidson (5-2) vs #7 North Carolina (8-1)
9pm ET on ESPN2
The Tar Heels suffered their first loss of the season Wednesday against the then #13 Indiana Hoosiers, falling 76-67. The Hoosiers scored the first bucket of the game 17 seconds into play and never trailed, going up by as much as 17 midway through the first half. The Heels battled back, and got to within 61-57 on a Joel Berry jumper, but a 6-point run by Indiana less than 2 minutes later laid the issue to rest. That clutch jumper aside, it was a rough night for Berry, who made just 3 of 13 for 8 points, with 4 rebounds and 8 assists. UNC would rebound on Sunday, beating Radford 95-50. At 14.8 ppg, Berry trails Justin Jackson by .4 for the team lead in scoring, while Kennedy Meeks is averaging a double-double with 13.2 ppg and 10.2 rpg.
Davidson lost Sunday, blowing an 11-point second-half lead to the College of Charleston, getting outscored 40-14 down the stretch en route to a 76-61 win. Davidson, who got 23 points from Jack Gibbs and 21 from Peyton Aldridge, shot just 34% from the floor, 23% from 3-point land, also killed themselves by losing the turnover battle 13-5.
#13 Xavier (7-1) vs Colorado (6-2)
9pm ET on Pac-12 Network
Washington (4-3) vs #8 Gonzaga (8-0)
11pm ET on ESPN2
#25 Iowa State (5-2) vs Iowa (3-5)
8pm ET on ESPN2
Longwood (2-4) vs #10 Creighton (8-0)
7:30pm ET on FS1
Cleveland State (2-5) vs #18 Purdue (6-2)
Noon ET on ESPN3
#20 Arizona (6-2) vs Missouri (4-3)
Noon ET on ESPN2
#17 Wisconsin (7-2) vs Marquette (6-2)
2pm ET on FS1
Nebraska (5-3) vs #3 Kansas (7-1)
3:15pm ET on ESPN
Cincinnati (7-1) vs #16 Butler (8-0)
4:30pm ET on FS1
#5 Duke (8-1) vs UNLV (5-3)
5:15pm ET on ESPN
Twenty-five years on, it’s a rematch of one of college basketball’s greatest games. The Duke Blue Devils have won 6 in a row since falling to Kansas, most recently swallowing Maine whole by a score of 94-55 behind another huge night from Luke Kennard, who dropped 35 points on 11-of-16 shooting, and grabbed 8 rebounds. Kennard is leading the team in scoring with 19.4 ppg, to go along with 6.8 rpg and 3.1 asg, as he’s carried a heavier than expected load due to all the injuries Duke has had to contend with. Fifth-year senior Amile Jefferson is enjoying his final lap around the arena, scoring 14.7 ppg, with 9.8 rpg, and 2 blocks a night.
While the glory days of the towel-sucking Tark the Shark are well behind us, the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, under first-year coach Marvin Menzies, are off to a respectable start. Or, rather, they were until they got trounced Saturday 97-73 by the Arizona State Sun Devils. Jalen Poyser led the Rebs with 20, while Tyrell Green scored 18 with 9 rebounds, but they were simply outgunned by the Sun Devils, who hit on 18 of 36 from downton, a display of firepower you can’t do much about.
Utah (5-1) vs #13 Xavier (7-1)
5:30pm ET on FOX
Michigan (6-2) vs #2 UCLA (9-0)
8pm ET on ESPN2
Hofstra (6-3) vs #6 Kentucky (7-1)
3pm ET on ESPN
The upstart Kentucky Wildcats got their first taste of failure this season, falling Saturday 97-92 to the then #11 UCLA Bruins – it was Kentucky’s first home loss since February 2014. UCLA had all five starters in double digits, led by Isaac Hamilton’s 19, and TJ Leaf’s 17-13-5. Kentucky’s Malik Monk was the only Wildcat to bring it, scoring a game-high 24 on 10-of-19 shooting, while the rest of the team shot a combined 37.7% from the floor, including 25% from 3-point land. One shouldn’t give up on Kentucky’s title hopes yet, as their freshman troika of Monk, De’Aaron Fox and Edrice Adebayo are the real deal. While Hofstra, led by Lithuanian Rokas Gustys (8.1 ppg, 14 rpg) and freshman Eli Pemberton (15.3 ppg, 51.2% from 3), is off to a nice start this season, they’ve only once beaten a team with a winning record – they should be little more than a palate cleanser for Kentucky.
#21 Florida (7-1) vs Florida State (7-1)
4pm ET on ESPNU
A week after defeating Florida 31-13 in their regular season football finale, the the Florida State Seminoles host the Gators for a game of basketball. The Gators are coming off a 91-60 beatdown of the North Florida Ospreys, in which they outshot their opponent 59% to 38%, while the Seminoles on Sunday beat George Washington 67-48 led by 11 points apiece from Xavier Rathan-Mayes and C.J. Walker, despite not scoring over the last 6 minutes of play.
Tennessee (3-3) vs #7 North Carolina (8-1)
5pm ET on ESPN
Alabama (4-3) vs #24 Oregon (7-2)
6pm ET on ESPNU
Watch College Basketball on ESPN and ESPN2 by subscribing to Sling Orange, on ESPN3 and ESPNU by subscribing to Sling Orange + Sports E, on FOX and FS1 by subscribing to Sling Blue, and on the Pac-12 Network by subscribing to Sling + Sports E.