February 2nd, 2011: Today's Top College Basketball Games To Watch

James BowersContributor IFebruary 2, 2011

February 2nd, 2011: Today's Top College Basketball Games To Watch

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    UConn's Kemba WalkerJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

    This 2nd day of February 2011 promises a plethora of conference hoops action; however, there are few games on free TV.  Fewer that are worth watching, in comparison to yesterday's red hot slate of Top 25 contests.

    As far as the most compelling round ball romps that will take place on this wild Wednesday, three games come to mind.

    On CBS College Sports, ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll No. 6 San Diego State heads into Fort Collins to take on a severely underrated Colorado State team that ranks sixth in the nation in field goal percentage.

    On ESPN, it's a Big East battle between a Syracuse squad bitter over Saturday's loss to Marquette and the No. 7 ranked UConn Huskies.

    Flipping over to ESPNU, we see that same Marquette team come into Philly and take on the No. 12 Villanova Wildcats.

    These three matchups will be analyzed in the following slides. 

No. 17 Syracuse Orange @ No. 7 Connecticut Huskies

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    Syracuse's Coach will have his hands full in East Hartford tonightJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Time 7:00 PM EST

    TV Network:ESPN

    Despite what coach Jim Boeheim called "an improvement," in regards to their pitiful recent shooting, the Syracuse Orange basketball team fell hard in a home contest against Marquette on Saturday, continuing a losing streak that now stands two games short of the program record.

    Ending that streak will not be an easy task, tonight SU faces a team they have not beaten on the road since 1999, the No. 7 UConn Huskies, still heartbroken over a double-overtime loss to Louisville last Saturday.

    Connecticut blew a nine-point lead in the second half and made 12-of-19 free throws in the 78-79 loss. Syracuse must bring their scoring up from the 57.1 percent it saw Saturday and curtail UConn's junior guard Kemba Walker, who will look to improve on a mediocre outing against UL that saw him go 7-of-23 from the field.

    Otherwise, Walker is playing magnificent basketball. He is tied for second in the nation with 24.2 PPG and is the  leading the Huskies' in assists with a 4.3 average.

    UConn must handle SU's junior forward and leading scorer, Kris Joseph, if they wish to rebound from Saturday's loss.

    It's Jim vs. Jim, Calhoun vs. Boeheim, on ESPN tonight.

No. 6 San Diego State @ Colorado State

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    Can CSU handle San Diego State's Chase Tapley?Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Time: 9:00 PM EST

    TV Network: CBS College Sports


    San Diego State enjoyed the most magnificent run in the history of its hoops program to begin the 2010-11 campaign. And then Jimmer Fredette and his BYU teammates ended the Aztecs' undefeated reign Wednesday night.

    SDSU simply kept their heads up and took out their frustration on Wyoming, and hit a school-record 17 three-pointers in a 96-57 home rout on Saturday.

    However, tonight will see Steve Fisher's ball club face a Colorado State team led by senior forward Andy Ogide, who is coming off of a career-best 28-point performance against Utah. SDSU sophomore guard Chase Tapley is also coming off of a career-high performance—24 against Wyoming.

    Other players to watch are Aztec guard Kawhai Leonard, the leading scorer for San Diego State and Malcom Thomas, arguably the Aztecs best defensive player.

    CSU brings leading rebounder Dorian Green, a sophomore guard, to the table. The Aztecs have won the past two matchups against the CSU Rams, including a thrilling victory in the conference quarterfinal last year.

    They have only come out on top seven times at Fort Collins' Moby Arena, a stat that Colorado State would like to remain in place after tonight.

Marquette @ No. 12 Villanova

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    Jae CrowderJamie Squire/Getty Images

    Time: 7:00 PM EST

    TV Network: ESPNU


    Villanova plays host to a Big East battle against Marquette, victors against Syracuse, and Villanova, a team that narrowly lost to Georgetown on Saturday.

    Villanova hopes to overcome a scoring slump and take down the Golden Eagles and their leading scorer Darius Johnson-Odom. The Wildcats need to improve on their 40.7 percent shooting performance in the GU game and take advantage of rebounding opportunities.

    MU's Jae Crowder has been enormous in the rebounding department; however, this is a task that the rebounding leader on VU's side, senior forward Antonio Pena, is capable of handling.

    Villanova hopes to put an end to a two-game losing streak tonight. To do so, it must shoot a lot better than its three-game average of 36.1 percent.

    Villanova is led by Pena, as well as leading scorer Corey Fisher.