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What to watch this weekend

Temple's Khalif Wyatt celebrates during the last seconds

Temple's Khalif Wyatt celebrates during the last seconds of the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Duke. (Jan. 4, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

No, the Super Bowl is next weekend. With that being the case, there are several intriguing matchups in college basketball to look forward to this weekend.

St. Joseph’s (13-8, 3-3 Atlantic 10) @ Temple (14-5, 3-2): St. Joe’s clearly needs this win more than Temple does. The Hawks looked for real in December, but have since faded. Their January record (3-4) has been shaky thus far. But they did get back on the winning track with a 77-63 win over a pretty good Dayton team on Wednesday. Ronald Roberts scored 22 of his 27 in the second half in that one.

Kansas (17-3, 7-0 Big 12) @ Iowa State (14-6, 4-3): This won’t be an easy one for the Jayhawks. Iowa State is 10-2 at home and lost a close one to the Jayhawks on the road just two weeks ago. Although his scoring is down since the first month of the season, Iowa State big man Royce White is the key to victory. Stop him and down goes the Cyclones.

Louisville (16-5, 4-4 Big East) @ Seton Hall (15-5, 4-4): Seton Hall went from a NCAA lock to almost a Big East also ran in about two weeks. The Hall has dropped three in a row, including awful consecutive losses to South Florida and Villanova. The third loss, 55-42, featured a complete offensive flameout. Herb Pope and Jordan Theodore need to rally the troops fast.

Cincinnati (15-6, 5-3 Big East) @ Rutgers (11-10, 3-5): It’s time for Rutgers to win one of these important games again. Since beating Connecticut on Jan 7, the Scarlet Knights lost to Notre Dame and No.10 Georgetown. If Rutgers wants to keep alive its NCAA hopes, a win over Cincinnati would definitely help.

Mississippi State (17-4, 4-1 SEC) @ Florida (16-4, 4-1): Is Mississippi State for real? No one really knows. Their wins over Texas A&M and Arizona get less impressive as each day passes. The Bulldogs lost a close game to Baylor in December and were handled by state rival Mississippi on January 18. But a win at Vanderbilt last Saturday followed by a five-point home win over LSU may be enough proof that the Bulldogs are legit.

LOCAL MATCHUPS TO WATCH

St. John’s (9-11) @ Duke (17-3): We’ve seen St. John’s put on some great shows over the years against Duke. We’re not sure this time around if the Red Storm have the manpower or experience to pull it off. Duke is a well-disciplined team, which could spell doom for the Red Storm. That said, Mo Harkless is capable of putting up big numbers on any team. He could be the difference in this one.

Hofstra (7-15, 1-9 CAA) @ Northeastern (10-10, 6-4): The Pride hasn’t had much luck lately as six of their last eight losses have come by eight points or less. Don’t be surprised to see a big offense output against the Huskies, though. Hofstra couldn’t have been happy about its offense in Wednesday’s 55-50 loss to George Mason. Things were worse the game before that as the Pride suffered through a 4-for-20 shooting performance in the second half of its 61-49 loss at VCU. We can’t see Hofstra shooting that badly in three straight games.

LIU (14-7, 7-1 NEC) @ St. Francis Pa (15-5, 4-5): The Blackbirds still have control of the NEC, but they will certainly be looking to avenge Thursday’s 75-66 loss at Robert Morris. It stopped LIU’s winning streak at nine and it was also the team’s lowest output since scoring 62 in a loss at Norfolk State.
 

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