The tops of the polls hold steady this week, with no changes among the top 6 teams in either the Associated Press or the USA Today Coaches Poll. But don’t expect that stability to last another week, as 7 of the top 8 teams in this week’s AP poll face big road tests between today and Sunday. The lone exception is #4 Wichita State, who will attempt to improve to 27-0 by beating Northern Illinois at home tomorrow and Evansville on the road Sunday. Here is a day-by-day rundown of those key games for the top teams in the country:
#7 Kansas at Kansas State
The Jayhawks won the first meeting by 26, but K State has already beaten Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas at home and just got a 34-point performance from freshman Marcus Foster in that big win over Texas Saturday.
#5 San Diego State at Wyoming
San Diego State has won 20 straight games after suffering their lone loss of the season against Arizona in mid-November. All 5 of Wyoming’s conference losses are by 5 points or less, including a pair of overtime losses to New Mexico, and the Cowboys beat a ranked SDSU squad last year in Laramie.
#1 Syracuse at #25 Pittsburgh
#8 Duke at North Carolina
Duke-UNC is the best rivalry in college sports, but SU-Pitt is the new duel on the ACC block and the more compelling match-up at this point in the season.
#2 Arizona at Arizona State
The Wildcats won by 23 a month ago, but they’ve struggled to adjust to life without Brandon Ashley. The Sun Devils have won 5 of their last 6 and are beginning to stake their claim as the 2nd best team in the Pac-12.
#3 Florida at #14 Kentucky
The Gators face a tricky undercard at Tennessee on Tuesday, but these are the two best teams in the SEC by a significant margin. They play again to end the regular season, but they’re each other’s only remaining chance to capture marquee wins between now and Selection Sunday.
#6 Villanova at #18 Creighton
Creighton embarrassed Nova on the Wildcats’ home floor a few weeks ago, and just like Florida and Kentucky, these are by far and away the two best teams in their conference (the new Big East). That makes this Doug McDermott’s last big opportunity to augment his player of the year campaign against an elite opponent.