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NCAAB Week Ahead: Tough Tests Await Purdue

The new year began with No. 20 Texas taking care of business against UT Arlington. There are 11 ranked teams in action on Tuesday with eight of them having conference games.

When looking at the college basketball betting lines, the most competitive game could be the one between visiting North Carolina and Pittsburgh.

NCAA Week Ahead: Tough Tests Await Purdue
Camden Heide #23 of the Purdue Boilermakers | Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

Purdue received 49 of the 63 first-place votes in the latest Associated Press poll. No. 2 Kansas has five No. 1 votes while Houston had 20 fewer points than Kansas despite receiving four more first-place votes.

The Boilermakers are still listed by the college basketball futures odds with the best odds of +850 of winning the national title. Arizona and Houston are the closest challengers at +1000.

Road Tests Await Top Teams

Purdue’s recent track record when it comes to playing at Maryland leaves much to be desired.

The Boilermakers have lost four consecutive road games against Maryland. That four-game stretch included a pair of double-digit losses. In the most recent matchup, Maryland rolled to a 68-54 win on Feb. 16, 2023, on the strength of a strong second-half showing.

Purdue is listed as a 6½-point favorite and that is the second-highest spread for Purdue’s games at Maryland since the Terrapins joined the Big Ten.

North Carolina is the only other ranked team to play on the road on Tuesday as the Tar Heels head to face Pittsburgh.

It might be a surprise to some to realize that Pittsburgh has won three in a row against North Carolina and five of the last six. This is the fifth game in a row between the Tar Heels and Panthers that our sportsbook lists North Carolina as the favorite.

No. 16 Clemson will play on the road against a Miami team that recently dropped out of the national polls after being blown out by unranked Colorado.

A Look At the Polls

There wasn’t any change at the top of the latest Associated Press poll with Purdue, Kansas and Houston remaining the top three teams.

UConn and Tennessee both moved up a spot as the Huskies are fourth and the Volunteers fifth. That movement was aided by Arizona’s 100-82 loss at unranked Stanford as the Wildcats tumbled from fourth to 10th.

That was not the largest drop of the week.

Gonzaga nearly fell out of the top 25 after losing 84-74 at home to San Diego State. The Bulldogs went from 13th to 24th in the AP Poll.

Florida Atlantic fell from seventh to 17th following a road loss to Florida Gulf Coast.

Memphis had the biggest jump, moving from 19th to 15th as the Tigers built on their win over Virginia by beating Vanderbilt and Austin Peay.

Game of the Week

Illinois Fighting Illini at Purdue Boilermakers

  • Friday, Jan. 5, 8:30 p.m. ET (FS1)

Along with the Clemson-North Carolina matchup, it is one of two games this week between a pair of teams in the top 25 in the Associated Press poll.

The suspension of Illinois top scorer Terrance Shannon Jr. after he was arrested on a rape charge is the biggest news in the college basketball world right now.

While Purdue has the matchup at Maryland, Illinois has a tough test on Tuesday at home versus Northwestern. The college basketball odds have Purdue as a 6½-point favorite.

Player of the Week

Kanaan Carlyle, Stanford

The freshman guard came into the matchup with 25 points in the first three games of his collegiate career. He topped that with a brilliant 28-point effort off the bench as the Cardinal sent Arizona home on the wrong end of a 100-82 score.

Carlyle was 6-of-8 from 3-point range and made all eight of his foul shots as Stanford won its second consecutive home game against the Wildcats.

Nationally Televised Top 10 Games

DePaul at No. 4 UConn (-24), Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. ET FS1

Norfolk State at No. 5 Tennessee (-24), Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET (SEC Network)

No. 8 North Carolina (-4½) at Pittsburgh, Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Northwestern at No. 9 Illinois (-5 ½), Tuesday, 9 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)

Colorado at No. 10 Arizona, Thursday, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

No. 4 UConn at Butler, Friday, 6:30 p.m. ET (FS1)

No. 9 Illinois at No. 1 Purdue, Friday, 8:30 p.m. ET (FS1)

No. 7 Marquette at Seton Hall, Saturday, noon ET (CBS Sports Network)

No. 8 North Carolina at No. 16 Clemson, Saturday, noon ET (ESPN2)

No. 6 Kentucky at Florida, Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

TCU at No. 2 Kansas, Saturday, 2 p.m. ET (CBS)

No. 22 Ole Miss at Tennessee, Saturday, 6 p.m. ET (SEC Network)



Questions Of The Day

Which college basketball bet holds the most promise this week?

Northwestern already owns a win over Purdue and now the Wildcats are the underdogs against an Illinois team playing without its top scorer.

Which player do the experts think will score the most points this Week?

Don’t be surprised to see Purdue’s Zach Edey have a big game against Maryland since none of Maryland’s three players taller than 6-10 average at least 10 minutes per game.

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