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Best of the Rest Rundown: Marquette-Providence Encore on Tap

It is another week of Houston residing at the top of the national rankings. No. 6 Gonzaga and No. 8 Xavier give teams outside the Power-5 conferences three top-10 teams.

Xavier is just one of four Big East squads in the Top 25, and the matchup between conference rivals Providence and Marquette will be interesting after the teams played an action-packed overtime affair earlier this season.

Al Durham #1 of the Providence Friars
Al Durham #1 of the Providence Friars - Quinn Harris/Getty Images/afp

Gonzaga moved up two spots to No. 6 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll while Xavier rose four positions to No. 8. UConn’s recent struggles resulted in a nine-spot drop.

According to the college basketball playoff odds, Houston (+650) has the best odds to win the national title while UConn (+1600) comes in fifth and Gonzaga (+2000) is eighth.

Here’s a look at the upcoming games for the ranked teams for the programs outside of the Power-5 conferences.

Let’s check the latest NCAAB picks, stats, injury reports, and NCAAB predictions. We’ve plenty of NCAAB expert picks for you to consider.

Game of the Week

Providence  vs Marquette

  • Date, time (TV): Wednesday, Jan. 18, 9 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

There might not be a more entertaining conference race than the Big East.

Two of the four ranked teams in the conference will be squaring off. Both teams are looking to stay within striking range of the Musketeers.

Kentucky transfer Bryce Hopkins has gone over 20 points in four of the last seven games for Providence (14-4, 6-1 Big East). He had a game with 29 points and 23 rebounds against Marquette earlier in the season for the Friars.

Kam Jones has scored in double digits in seven games in a row for Marquette (14-5, 6-2). He finished with 24 points in the first matchup against Providence.

Other Games to Watch

Houston vs Tulane

  • Date, time (TV): Tuesday, Jan. 17, 7 p.m. (ESPN+)

This could be a tricky matchup for the No. 1 team in the country as Tulane is 8-1 at home.

Each of the last four games in January for the Cougars will be against teams with winning records.

Marcus Sasser’s 31 points helped the Cougars fight off a challenge from South Florida the last time out.

Jaylen Forbes and Jalen Cook combined for 48 points as Tulane topped UCF on Saturday.

Xavier vs DePaul

  • Date, time (TV): Wednesday, Jan. 18, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)

This is the calm before the storm with games against DePaul (8-10) and Georgetown (5-14) before things figure to get more challenging with road games against UConn and Creighton to wrap up the January schedule for a 15-3 Xavier team that lead the Big East standings by one game with a 7-0 conference record.

UTEP transfer Souley Boum has made an immediate impact as he is averaging 17.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists. Boum has scored at least 20 points in four of the last nine contests.

 Dre Davis #14 of the Seton Hall Pirates
Dre Davis #14 of the Seton Hall Pirates – Rich Schultz/Getty Images/afp

UConn vs Seton Hall

  • Date, time (TV): Wednesday, Jan. 18, 6:30 p.m. ET (FS1)

UConn (15-4, 4-4 Big East) has dropped four of its last five games and hopes a road game against Seton Hall will help the Huskies regain their footing.

Adama Sanogo has finished with fewer than 10 field goal attempts in four of his last six games, with the Huskies going 1-3 in those games.

Freshman Donovan Clingan is struggling with his consistency as he posted double-doubles against Providence and Marquette, but in the next game, he had a combined total of four points and eight rebounds.

Loyola vs Gonzaga

  • Date, time (TV): Thursday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m. (ESPN+)

After winning three games by a combined total of eight points, the Bulldogs finally got their transition going and put up 115 points in a 40-point win over Portland.

Malachi Smith had seven 3-pointers and a season-high 27 points in the victory and if he continues to shoot like that, Gonzaga will become even harder to beat.

College of Charleston vs Monmouth

  • Date, time: Thursday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m.

Charleston goes after its 19th win in a row against a one-win Monmouth team.

After a narrow escape on the road against UNC Wilmington, the Cougars have topped Elon and William & Mary by an average of 23 points thanks to a balanced offense that has four players averaging more than 10 points per game.

Florida Atlantic vs UTSA

  • Date, time (TV): Thursday, Jan. 19, 8 p.m. (ESPN+)

FAU had a recent test from second-place North Texas in Conference USA as it was part of a 16-game winning streak that put the Owls into the Top 25.

Leading scorer Alijah Martin’s return has had something to do with the surge by FAU.

The Owls have the best mark against the Las Vegas odds this season, going 12-3-1 against the spread.

Saint Mary’s vs Pepperdine

  • Date, time (TV): Thursday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m. (ESPN+)

The Gaels have won seven games in a row since falling to Colorado State. Freshman Aidan Mahaney has back-to-back 20-point games and he has scored in double digits in 15 contests in a row.

After the game against a 7-12 Pepperdine team, there are some challenging tests against Santa Clara and BYU before an early February showdown with Gonzaga. Something to consider for those who bet online: Saint Mary’s has covered in 13 of its 19 games this season.

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