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Sport Starting Five: Duke-Louisville headlines college basketball weekend

16:53  17 january  2020
16:53  17 january  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

There's no safe bet to win the NCAA Tournament thanks to this crazy college basketball season

  There's no safe bet to win the NCAA Tournament thanks to this crazy college basketball season The 2019-20 college basketball season has seen only two teams reach the new year with undefeated records, and only nine more that have lost just once.There’s not a single team with better than 8-to-1 odds to win the NCAA championship, according to BetOnline. The team that carries the burden of favorite, such as it is, is the Kansas Jayhawks, who are 10-2 and rank third in the current Associated Press Rankings.

ESPN.com's college basketball experts weighed in on that and other top games. Seth Greenberg and Dan Dakich tip off the podcast by discussing why the playing field is so level in college basketball , why there's never been better time to be a college basketball player, the current state of Louisville .

Starting Five : Duke -Syracuse, other conference races highlight college basketball weekend . Here are the top college basketball games to watch this weekend as we inch closer to March Madness. The Orange are coming off another smothering performance against Louisville .

Remember last March, when some college hoops pundits were lamenting the lack of upsets in the early rounds of the Big Dance? Well fear not, fans of chaos. There are plenty of indications the Madness will return in force in a couple of months.

a group of people playing a game of basketball: Duke guard Cassius Stanley shoots over Wake Forest  forward Isaiah Mucius during the second half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. © Rob Kinnan, USA TODAY Sports Duke guard Cassius Stanley shoots over Wake Forest forward Isaiah Mucius during the second half at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

With conference play in full swing, teams are looking for consistency. Yet this week has already featured losses by three top-five squads. With lots of pretty good but few — perhaps no — elite teams across the sport’s landscape, this trend figures to continue. On the plus side, that should make for lots of quality viewing options in the 2020 part of the calendar. Here are a few worthy of attention in this weekend’s Starting Five.

Carey scores 24 to lead No. 2 Duke past Miami 95-62

  Carey scores 24 to lead No. 2 Duke past Miami 95-62 Vernon Carey Jr. scored 24 points in 25 minutes playing against his hometown team for the first time, and No. 2 Duke shot a season-high 60% to beat the Miami Hurricanes 95-62 Saturday night. It was Miami's most lopsided home loss in Jim Larranaga's nine seasons as coach.. Carey shot 11 for 14, and every basket drew cheers from a substantial portion of the less-than-capacity crowd. The Blue Devils freshman starred in high school in nearby Broward County, and his father played football for the Hurricanes.Duke (13-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its seventh game in a row.

Sports Illustrated's David Gardner and Ted Keith discuss if the Big 12 is the toughest conference in college basketball .

The Duke Blue Devils beat the Louisville Cardinals 82-56 in ACC college basketball play.

No. 10 Louisville at No. 3 Duke

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

Saturday, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Blue Devils were among the upset victims mentioned above, dropping a road contest at Clemson just as it appeared they were rounding into postseason form. They’ll likely be a bit salty for this visit from the Cardinals, who have won three in a row but could use another top-tier victory. Duke is hard to beat when Tre Jones is putting up points in addition to facilitating the offense. If Louisville is to keep up, a reliable secondary scoring option will need to emerge to take the pressure off Jordan Nwora.

No. 4 Auburn at Florida

Saturday, 1:30 p.m. ET, CBS

The Tigers are also coming off a loss, their first of the season, and it was particularly painful since it came at the hands of Alabama. But unlike the Blue Devils, Auburn doesn’t have the luxury of a home opportunity to bounce back. Instead, the Tigers face a Florida squad that is just as much in need of a win. Things haven’t gone well for the Gators since opening the season in the top 10, so they must take advantage of this home-court chance to start climbing back toward the postseason. Florida has struggled in half-court sets much of the year, ranking near the bottom of Division I in assists with just 11.6 a game as a group. Auburn wasn’t exactly sharp in that department, either, Wednesday night with 21 turnovers in Tuscaloosa as the Crimson Tide led wire-to-wire.

Louisville coach Chris Mack: Death threat against Jordan Nwora reported 'to authorities'

  Louisville coach Chris Mack: Death threat against Jordan Nwora reported 'to authorities' Jordan Nwora laughed off an alleged death threat against him, but the Louisville basketball program is taking it seriously.Nwora spoke Tuesday evening following the Cardinals' win at home over Miami. When asked about the reaction he'd faced from fans following his disappointing performance in late December against rival Kentucky, Nwora said someone had threatened him in the aftermath of that game.

Starting 5 . Bench 1. No. 11 Louisville ESPN College GameDay. – – – Cameron Indoor Stadium Durham, NC. 2019–20 Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball season. Duke Blue Devils men's basketball seasons.

The NCAA.com Starting Five honors a starting lineup of players from around the country who recorded Durr opened the season on Nov. 6 by scoring the first 11 points for Louisville as the Cards started Indiana Hoosiers guard Grace Berger leads this week 's college basketball Starting Five .

LOOKING AHEAD: Five burning questions for the college basketball season

No. 12 Kentucky at Arkansas

Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

Elsewhere in the tightly bunched SEC, the Wildcats will again be in hostile environs as the Razorbacks and first-year coach Eric Musselman seek a signature win. Kentucky has as much talent as any team in the country but again couldn’t put away an opponent Wednesday night. South Carolina took advantage with a late buzzer beater, and the Wildcats’ vocal fans are now wondering aloud if this group has what it takes to make a deep March run. Arkansas’s schedule hasn’t made an impression to this point, but the back-court duo of Mason Jones and Isaiah Joe will now look to help the team garner more attention.

No. 8 Oregon at Washington

Saturday, 3:45 p.m. ET, CBS

The Ducks conclude their swing through the Evergreen State in Seattle, where the up-and-down Huskies could nevertheless be a tough out on their home floor. Washington’s road trip to the Bay Area last week didn’t go well despite a respectable showing on the defensive end. The Huskies need to develop more chemistry on offense, however. Oregon’s veteran point man Payton Pritchard has plenty of experience working against Washington’s match-up zone.

5 upsets that will happen in college hoops this weekend

  5 upsets that will happen in college hoops this weekend NCAA basketball is an upset-filled sport. Texas has been criminally underrated this year . While they are only 2-2 in their conference, they are 8-1 at home, where they will play on Saturday. While the Jayhawks have Devon Dotson averaging 18 points and carrying the majority of the load, the Longhorns have a wider array of more consistent scorers, who can each give the team 10-to-15 points a game. With their 25th-ranked defense in the country focusing on Dotson, look for Texas lock down the Jayhawks' top players while having a myriad of scorers leading their team to victory.

Duke jumped one spot from last week 's rankings. The Blue Devils improved to 4-0 this week with Louisville received eight first-place votes, while Michigan State received four and Virginia received The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' college basketball poll, with first-place votes noted in

The top two showcase series in college basketball are unquestioned, but when you get to No. 3, everyone seems to have a different opinion. Share All sharing options for: After Duke -UNC and Kentucky- Louisville , what's the best rivalry in college basketball ?

No. 20 Michigan at No. 24 Iowa

Friday, 9 p.m. ET, FS1

Road victories are difficult to come by in any league, but that appears to be especially true of the Big Ten this season. The Hawkeyes, who have found a good rhythm with an attack built around big man Luka Garza, will try to avenge a Dec. 6 loss to the Wolverines, who were in the top five a month ago but have come back to earth. It hasn’t helped Michigan’s cause that key forward Isaiah Livers has been sidelined with a groin injury. His availability in Iowa City remains in doubt.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Starting Five: Duke-Louisville headlines college basketball weekend

Related slideshow: Best of college basketball season (Provided by imagn)

a basketball player with a football ball: Memphis Tigers guard Tyler Harris (1) and Cincinnati Bearcats forward Tre Scott (13) reach for a loose ball at FedExForum on January 16, 2020. 

No. 6 Louisville rallies, then survives Georgia Tech 68-64 .
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Malik Williams had 13 points and grabbed two late rebounds leading to three free throws in the final 23 seconds, helping No. 6 Louisville hold off Georgia Tech 68-64 on Wednesday night. Steven Enoch also had 13 points while Jordan Nwora and David Johnson each scored 10 for Louisville (16-3, 7-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), which won its fifth in a row. The Cardinals held Tech (8-11, 3-6) to 33% shooting in the second half after the Yellow Jackets made 62% before halftime.

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