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Men's College Basketball: Games to watch

The College Basketball season is in full swing and there are plenty of exciting matchups between major programs happening this week.

Some of the top teams in the nation are taking the court, and there are several instances of two top-25 teams facing each other.

Let’s take a look at the 5 most exciting games for next week and the details on each matchup.

No. 10 Baylor vs. No. 21 Duke

WhereMadison Square Garden, New York
When7 PM ET, Wednesday, December 20
How to watchESPN

Baylor has been one of the most dominant college basketball teams in the country so far this season.

The Bears are ranked 10th in the nation with a 9-1 record after losing 88-64 in a recent matchup against Michigan State.

The primary source of Baylor’s success this season has been its offense, which averages 88.4 points per game - the eighth most in college basketball. The trio of RayJ Dennis, Ja'Kobe Walter, and Jalen Bridges has been exceptional through 10 games, and four of the Bears' top five scorers shoot better than 40 percent from three.

The Blue Devils were ranked 2nd in the preseason rankings, but it’s been a poor first few weeks for Duke. Heading into this matchup, the Blue Devils are 7-3 and have slipped to #21 in the rankings.

A bad loss to Baylor could knock Duke out of the top-25 rankings all together, so the pressure will be on at Madison Square Garden. 

No. 11 UNC vs. No. 7 Oklahoma

WhereSpectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
When9 PM ET, Wednesday, December 20
How to watchESPN

Oklahoma has been the surprise of the season thus far. The Sooners were not ranked in the preseason top-25, but now in Week 6 they have a perfect 10-0 record and are ranked seventh in the country.

The Sooners, led by head coach Porter Moser, have a great balance between an above-average offense and an elite defense, and that has led to a +23.1 point differential through 10 games - the sixth best in college basketball.

The Tar Heels have had one of the hardest first few weeks of any team. UNC has already had to play No. 12 Tennessee, No. 5 UConn, No. 14 Kentucky, and soon No. 7 Oklahoma on Wednesday.

The biggest issue with UNC this season has been their defense which ranks 273rd in the nation in opponent points per game, so if the Tar Heels want a shot at moving up in the rankings, that needs to quickly improve.

No. 14 Florida Atlantic vs. No. 4 Arizona

WhereT-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
When3 PM ET, Saturday, December 23
How to watchFOX

Two of the best teams in college basketball face off on Friday in Las Vegas.

Florida Atlantic has had a solid start to the season with an 8-2 record through 10 games, but two bad loses to Bryant and Illinois early in the season have the Owls down to #14 in the country.

The FAU offense has been the secret to success as they average over 85 points per game and have a point differential over 15, so when the Owls beat a team, it’s usually by a wide margin.

On the other side, Arizona’s offense is off to a historical start as they average 92.9 points per game through nine games (second in the nation) and own a +25 average point differential (third in the nation).

The Wildcats lost their No. 1 rank this week with a 92-84 loss to new No. 1 Purdue, so Tommy Loyd's team will want to bounce back with a statement win.

No. 5 Connecticut vs. Seton Hall

WherePrudential Center, Newark, NJ
When7 PM ET, Wednesday, December 20
How to watchCBS Sports

As expected, the Huskies have been great. UConn had a fabulous run last season and returned its core players, along with a few elite transfers.

Through 10 games, UConn is 9-1 and average over 87 points per game. The only loss on the Huskies’ record is a 65-62 defeat to Kansas, a program that is expected to compete with the Huskies for the NCAA Championship this season.

It’s not a bad loss by any means, but the Huskies can’t lose focus against teams that aren’t top-25 - especially scrappy Big East teams like Seton Hall.

Defense is the name of the game for the Pirates. Seton Hall is 6-4 through 10 games and have been struggling mightily on offense, but it has been their defense that has kept them in so many games.

UConn should win this game, but in-conference matchups are difficult.

Villanova vs. No. 12 Creighton

WhereCHI Health Center Omaha, NE
When9 PM ET, Wednesday, December 20
How to watchFOX Sports 1

Although this is a matchup between a ranked team and a non-ranked team, this should still be an excellent game.

Villanova was ranked early in the season, but losses to Saint Joseph’s, Drexel, and Kansas State have the Wildcats on the outside looking in.

Nova beat UNC in the Battle for Atlantis, so their issue is consistency. If the Cats can pick up a few big wins including here against Creighton, they could find themselves back in the rankings.

Creighton is ranked 12th and has been better than Villanova to start the season, but they have suffered a 21-point loss to Colorado State and a 15-point loss to UNLV.

A stellar offense, led by Baylor Scheierman, has Creighton averaging nearly 85 points per game this season.

Excellent perimeter shooting has been the story behind Creighton’s success, and if they have another solid shooting night from downtown, it will be hard for Villanova to keep up.

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