Danny’s can’t-miss games of the week: Tennessee-Kentucky highlight big weekend of college basketball

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TCU forward Kouat Noi, center, drives to the basket past Iowa State forward Michael Jacobson, left, and guard Tyrese Haliburton, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Ames. (AP Photo/Matthew Putney)

Another week, another group of games that you won’t want to miss out on. There is no NBA action this week unless you call the All-Star game action. I’m all for the dunk contest and skills challenge and all that good stuff, but when it comes to the game itself, it is just boring.

There is no defense, and nobody actually cares about the game. The players just try to make the most ridiculous dunks or throw alley oops to their friends. As a result, you get scores like 192-182 being put up two years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the teams cracks 200 this year, if not both.

If you’re into parody games and you want to see how many wide open 3’s James Harden and Steph Curry can hit in a row, then this game is for you. If not, I have a list of games that actually will have a competitive nature to them.

NCAAM: #23 Iowa State Cyclones vs. #18 Kansas State Wildcats

Saturday Feb. 16, 4 p.m. on ESPN2

The Kansas State Wildcats have been one of the biggest surprises in college basketball this year, and they just recently became ranked after beating four ranked opponents in a row, including the perennial Big 12 champion Kansas Jayhawks. They are now in first place in the Big 12 with a 9-2 conference record.

They will be taking on a very good Iowa State team that also beat Kansas, but have struggled a bit in conference play, only posting a 7-4 record thus far.

When these two teams played each other on Jan. 12, it was an unbelievable game, in which the unranked Wildcats won 58-57 on a last second layup by Barry Brown. I expect this rematch to go down to the wire as well.

Kansas State has won nine of their last 10 games and four straight, while the Cyclones were winners of four straight until their loss to unranked TCU on Tuesday.

These two teams are both in a position to dethrone Kansas from their yearly Big 12 regular season championship, so it will be interesting to see them battle it out this Saturday.

NCAAM: #1 Tennessee Volunteers vs. #5 Kentucky Wildcats

Saturday Feb. 16, 8 p.m. on ESPN

The Tennessee Volunteers have been nearly infallible this year, posting a perfect 10-0 conference record and a 22-1 record overall. Their lone loss came against Kansas way back in November. After that, they just continued to win and win. Finally, last month they found themselves ranked at No. 1 and they have yet to relinquish that position.However, if there is any team that can take down the No. 1 team in the country, it’s John Calipari’s Kentucky team. The Wildcats will definitely have some extra motivation since they just lost to LSU on a controversial last-second tip in. They will look to put that loss behind them with a much sweeter victory against the best team in the country.

This is the first matchup between what many believe to be the top two teams in the SEC (LSU may have something to say about that though), and there is a great possibility that we will see these two teams playing for an automatic bid to March Madness in the SEC title game next month.

Look for Grant Williams to have a big game for the Volunteers. The 6’7 junior is averaging almost 20 points and over seven rebounds per game.

For the Wildcats, PJ Washington has been hot lately, putting up at least 20 points in six of the last seven games.

NCAAW: #6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. #12 NC State Wolfpack

Monday Feb. 18, 7 p.m. on ESPN2

This should definitely be an intriguing matchup, as NC State has just two losses all season, but they have come in the past two games. Similarly, Notre Dame has seen two of their three losses all season come in the last five games.

Without a doubt, these are two of the best teams in college women’s basketball, and that is why it’s weird to see them losing multiple games recently.

I think both of these teams are going to come out playing their best basketball on Monday night, because both teams will want to break out of their current funk. That is good news for us viewers because we are going to see a great game.

Kiara Leslie has been the Wolfpack’s best player this season averaging 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. She also leads her team in steals and blocks.

On the Notre Dame side, Arike Ogumbowale is averaging 21 points and four assist per game in her senior season.

This is the only time that these teams play each other in the regular season, but they could definitely meet up in the ACC Tournament or in March Madness.

NHL: Boston Bruins vs. San Jose Sharks

Monday Feb. 18, 10 p.m. on NBC Sports Network

The Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks will face off late on Monday night in a potential Stanley Cup matchup. The Sharks hold the second best record in the Western Conference while the Bruins are ranked fifth in the East.

The Bruins recently found out that they will be without their leading scorer David Pastrnak for a couple of weeks, and they responded by destroying the Chicago Blackhawks 6-3 to extend their winning streak to three games. In his absence, they will have to rely on veterans like Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron to step up and play better.

The Sharks are riding a real hot streak at six wins in a row, dating back to before the all-star break. They will be led by veterans as well in Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns. Pavelski leads the team in goals with 30 while Burns leads the team in points with 63, fueled by a ridiculous 52 assists.


Danny Barletta is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at daniel.barletta@uconn.edu.

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