Best Games of the Weekend

1. No. 10 Ohio State @ No. 17 Marquette, Saturday at 1 p.m. ET on Fox
Photo: Greg Bartram/US Presswire
Photo: Greg Bartram/US Presswire

Ohio State and Marquette headline the weekend as the only battle between two top-25 teams. Both clubs enter at 2-0, but neither has really been tested. The Buckeyes blew out Morgan State and then struggled in a victory over Ohio, which returned only one starter from last season. Marquette held off Southern for a seven point win and then torched Grambling, 114-71, earlier this week.

Lenzelle Smith, Sam Thompson, and Shannon Scott have done a good job of replacing Deshaun Thomas’ scoring from last season so far, but junior LaQuinton Ross has struggled so far at 33.3% from the field. Ross has tended to be more productive when the spotlight is on, so Saturday could be a chance for him to get his November on a better track.

 

2. No. 7 Michigan @ Iowa State, Sunday at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2

A healthy Iowa State team is definitely capable of taking down Michigan, but the Cyclones will probably be without star forward Melvin Ejim, who injured his knee. If Ejim recovers in time and plays, things could get very interesting in Ames on Sunday. Michigan is without preseason All-American forward Mitch McGary, so even without Ejim the Cyclones can still compete up front.

 

3. Towson @ Villanova, Sunday at 5 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1

Towson is coming off a nice win against Temple for its first 3-0 start in more than 40 years, but the coming week will be huge for the Tigers. They face Villanova on Sunday, and then Kansas next Friday.

Villanova is a possible title contender in the Big East, but Towson has the pieces to pull off the upset. Senior forward Jerrelle Benimon is an absolute beast inside.

 

4. Creighton @ St. Joseph’s, Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on SNY/The Comcast Network

Creighton had no trouble disposing of Alcorn State and UMKC to start the season, but St. Joseph’s will be a much more challenging matchup. The Hawks have a trio of playmakers in Langston Galloway, Ronald Roberts Jr., and Halil Kanacevic, who have already them to wins over Vermont and Marist.

Creighton’s Doug McDermott is doing what he does best, averaging 28.5 points on 57.9% field-goal shooting so far. The Bluejays offense has been completely in sync with 52 assists and only 10 turnovers through two games.

 

5. Indiana State @ No. 21 Notre Dame, Sunday at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN3

Indiana State is coming off a tough, close loss at Belmont on Thursday night, but it has the pieces to compete with an ACC team. Senior Jake Odum is one of the best point guards at the mid-major level, and Dawon Cummings has been an improved offensive weapon early in the season.

That being said, Notre Dame has one of the best lineups in the country, led by star point guards Jerian Grant and Eric Atkins.

 

6. No. 20 Wisconsin @ Green Bay, Saturday at 8 p.m. ET

Green Bay is one of the best mid-majors in Division I this season, so going there will not be easy for No. 20 Wisconsin. The Badgers already have two good wins against St. John’s and Florida, but Green Bay has two of the best players in the Horizon League in Alec Brown and Keifer Sykes.

 

7. Boston U @ No. 19 Connecticut, Sunday at 12 p.m. ET on ESPNU

Boston is a big favorite in the Patriot League, and the Terriers have performed well with wins in their first two games. However, Connecticut will be a whole other animal.

UConn point guard Shabazz Napier is off to an unbelievable start, averaging 14 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 8.3 assists through three games. He is also shooting 56.5% from the field.

 

8. High Point @ Eastern Kentucky, Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on OVC Digital Network

This matchup pits the Ohio Valley favorite against one of the favorites from the Big South.

Eastern Kentucky returns four starters from last year’s 25-win team, including star guard Glenn Cosey. Through four games, Cosey is averaging 17.5 points, 6.5 assists, and 2.5 steals while shooting 40% from beyond the arc.

High Point has a ton of firepower in its frontcourt with John Brown (22.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and Allan Chaney (19.0 ppg, 13.5 rpg).

 

9. Robert Morris @ No. 1 Kentucky, Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2

Robert Morris defeated Kentucky in the NIT last season, but the Colonials, though still one of the better teams in the NEC won’t have a chance against this year’s Wildcats. Still, it serves as an intriguing rematch, and it will be interesting to see how this young Kentucky teams responds to its first loss of the season against No. 2 Michigan State on Tuesday.

 

10. Wagner @ St. John’s, Friday at 6 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 2

St. John’s has high hopes for this season, but it got off on the wrong foot with an 11-point, season-opening loss to Wisconsin. The Red Storm’s home opener is against Wagner, which played Penn State tough last week. The Seahawks have a great backcourt with Kenneth Ortiz and Latif Rivers, making them the favorite in the NEC.

 

5 other games to keep an eye on:

Youngstown State @ Massachusetts, Sunday at 1 p.m. ET

Stanford @ Denver, Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on Root Sports

Belmont @ No. 12 North Carolina, Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU

Louisiana-Lafayette @ No. 23 Baylor, Sunday at 5 p.m. ET on Fox Sports Southwest

George Washington @ Manhattan, Saturday at 7 p.m. ET

Author: Jesse Kramer

Jesse Kramer is the founder of The Catch and Shoot. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He has had work featured on SI.com, College Insider, The Comeback/Awful Announcing, and 247Sports.

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