College Basketball's Great December Matchups You Don't Want To Miss

Jim FolsomContributorNovember 19, 2010

College Basketball's Great December Matchups You Don't Want To Miss

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    The holidays are upon us. When we think holidays, we think football. There is nothing better than holiday football. The end-of-the-season rivalries, the bowl games, the conference championships.

    Wait, what? A bunch of games between 6-6 teams before Christmas won't get you excited?

    Well lucky for you, we have college hoops. December offers us some really good games you'll want to watch while the wife and kids are out shopping.

Michigan State at Duke: December 1st

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    The Cameron Crazies will be out in force for this No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup between Michigan State and Duke.

    Both teams are coming off trips to the Final Four and both are favorites to go back in 2011.

    Watch for Duke super-freshman Kyrie Irving.

Kentucky at North Carolina: December 4th

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    Oh yes, this should be a good one.

    Coach Cal takes his team of super recruits to Tobacco Road to meet Roy Smith's highly-ranked Heels.

    Watch for Brandon Knight of Kentucky and Harrison Barnes of UNC in this one. The Heels lost this game a year ago and will be looking for some payback.

Butler at Duke: December 4th

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    Last year's surprise-finalist Butler goes to Cameron to take on the team that beat it in the NCAA title game.

    Butler is still ranked in the top 20 despite losing star player Gordon Heyward to the NBA. Look for Butler to scrap hard looking for payback in this one.

Virginia at Virginia Tech: December 5th

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    Why are we playing conference games this early? I don't know, but I'm not complaining.

    Two bitter rivals with state bragging rights and an early lead in the ACC riding on this one. Should be fun.

Memphis Vs Kansas: December 7th

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    Madison Square Garden will be rocking for this matchup between two teams that met in the NCAA title game just three years ago.

    Kansas is one of the nation's elite programs, but it is coming off a disappointing finish to 2010 in the NCAA tournament.

    Memphis slipped a bit last year and is looking to regain its Conference USA dominance.

Michigan State Vs Syracuse: December 7th

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    If that wasn't enough, the Garden brings us another clash of titans later in the evening when Michigan State takes on Syracuse.

    Syracuse loves playing in the Garden. After all, it is considered the Orange's home away from home.

Tennessee at Pittsburgh: December 11th

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    Embattled coach Bruce Pearl brings his Volunteers to the Steel City to take on the Panthers in this SEC-Big East Showdown.

    The Vols have a talented, athletic squad led by Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson.

    Pitt counters with a good team led by Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wannamaker.

Gonzaga Vs Baylor: December 18th

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    Gonzaga has gotten off to a slow start, but don't count Mark Few's team out. They are always tough.

    Baylor is trying to wrestle the spotlight away from the women's team. The Bears are led by LaceDarius Dunn.

Kansas State Vs Florida: December 18th

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    Kansas State battles Florida down in Miami in this Big 12-SEC showdown.

    Kansas State is favored to win the Big 12 while the Gators are picked to win the SEC.

    Florida needs a big bounce-back win after a spanking from Ohio State.

Illinois Vs Missouri: December 22nd

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    A border war with two top 20 teams? Three days before Christmas too?

    A nice early gift for dad. And the rest of the basketball loving family too.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!