What to watch: College basketball’s final week before tournaments

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Sophomore forward Dean Wade jumps for the tipoff at the game against Iowa State on Feb. 15, 2017 at Bramlage Coliseum. (File Photo by Kelly Pham | The Collegian)

No. 24 Iowa State at No. 10 West Virginia

A Big 12 matchup between No. 24 Iowa State and No. 10 West Virginia. Both teams are sitting at 11-5 within the conference. Although Kansas has already clinched the Big 12 Conference, it is a matter of momentum as we draw closer to March Madness.

Iowa State plays Oklahoma State before their meeting with the Mountaineers. The Cyclones have been red-hot toward the end of the season, winning six of their last seven. Not to mention they took down top-ranked Kansas and Baylor. One thing Iowa State has going for them is experience. Their top four scorers, each averaging double-digit points, are all seniors, led by Monte Morris with 16.3 points per game.

West Virginia still has to face No. 11 Baylor before playing Iowa State. West Virginia has looked good all season long, but had a very shaky performance against TCU Saturday, only winning by one point. The Mountaineers traditionally play very well at home, only losing three games all season while in WVU Coliseum.

Tune in for tip off at 6 p.m. Friday on ESPN 2.

No. 19 Notre Dame at No. 8 Louisville

The ACC race is very tight. There are three teams only a couple of games behind first-place North Carolina, two of which are Notre Dame and Louisville.

Despite a four-game losing streak in the middle of the season, Notre Dame has regrouped to win their last five games. Notre Dame was victorious in their first matchup with Louisville, winning 77-70. The Fighting Irish rally behind junior forward Bonzie Colson, who is averaging a double-double with 16.8 points and 10.6 boards a game.

Louisville, sitting with an overall record of 23-6, has lost all six of their games to ranked opponents. The Cardinals have relied heavily on their young talent, sophomore Donovan Mitchell, who has been carrying his team with over 16 points per game. Louisville will also look to improve from outside the arc, shooting just shy of 26 percent from the three-point line in their first match up with Notre Dame.

Catch the ACC action at 1 p.m. Saturday on CBS.

No. 17 Duke at No. 5 North Carolina

North Carolina succumbed to Duke 86-78 earlier this season in one of college basketball’s biggest rivalries. However, the Blue Devils now have to head to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for their last game of the season.

Duke has one game before North Carolina, against No. 15 Florida State. The struggles don’t stop there for the Blue Devils, as they look to snap a two game losing streak to unranked opponents. Despite these problems, beating two ranked teams within the ACC could put them in a great position heading into the ACC tournament, along with March Madness.

North Carolina has been all business since losing to Duke, winning the four games since then by large margins. North Carolina is sitting at the top of the conference with a record of 13-3. The Tar Heels lead the NCAA in rebounds, 44.2, and are third in assists, 18.1. They also have a tough matchup before Duke, traveling to take on No. 23 Virginia.

Duke and North Carolina are set to tip off at 7:15 p.m. Tune in for a thriller Saturday on ESPN.

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