Heading into Week 3 of the men’s college basketball season, early-season tournaments are in full swing. There were a handful of tournaments last weekend and several top teams will participate in tournaments this weekend. It is impossible to gauge who might play in the later games of those tournaments so for this top-five, it will only be games we know from today through the end of the weekend. Lucky for us, we have several top-25 matchups as well as featuring a team that will try to bounce back from a terrible loss. Here are the top five matchups heading into this week.
Penn State at No. 13 Texas A&M
The first matchup on our list will be between two undefeated teams who are part of Power Five conferences. The Big Ten’s Penn State is the unranked side in this matchup, but they are still undefeated and have yet to win a game by less than nine points. They will be the road team as well which puts added pressure. Texas A&M rose from No. 15 to No. 13 just one week in after beating Ohio State, another Big Ten team. Despite the ranking, this could be another big opportunity for Wade Taylor and company to prove themselves.
No. 10 Florida Atlantic at Butler
Florida Atlantic lost a tough game earlier this week to Bryant. Not only was it a nine-point loss, but it was at home as well. This team made a huge run in the NCAA Tournament last year and brought back the majority of its team, the reason for its high ranking. However, it will now have to build a resume again after it has fallen in the rankings. They will get a one-loss Butler team tonight who gave No. 18 Michigan State a run for their money in the first half before fizzling out. They could be a sneaky talented opponent tonight.
No. 2 Purdue at No. 11 Gonzaga
This is our first top-25 matchup of the week, and it is happening tonight. Zach Edey and the No. 2 ranked Purdue will head on the road to take on Braden Huff and No. 11 Gonzaga tonight. The matchup between Edey and Huff, two talented big men, will be the biggest thing to watch. Zach Edey is averaging 20.7 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. On the other side, Huff and Graham Ike, the Wyoming transfer, are averaging 20 points and seven rebounds per game on average.
No. 5 UConn vs. No. 19 Texas
In the second, top-25 matchup of the week and the night tonight, No. 5 UConn will take on No. 19 Texas in the championship game of the Empire Classic in New York City. UConn has a laundry list of names that you might not know but have been competing at a high level. Donovan Clingan is averaging 13.0 points and 7.3 rebounds while Tristen Newton is averaging 17.3 points, 83. rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game. They will take on the power trio of Max Abmas, Kadin Sherick, and Ithiel Horton. Abmas is averaging 14.5 points with 3.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
No. 3 Arizona at No. 18 Michigan State
In the No. 1 matchup of the week, I have No. 3 Arizona taking on No. 18 Michigan State. This will be the Spartans’ third matchup of the season against a currently ranked Top-25 opponent. They have currently lost both of those games, getting beat by James Madison and Duke. This will be another opportunity for them to showcase that they deserve a higher ranking. Arizona has risen up after they played and took down Duke. Kylan Boswell and UNC transfer Caleb Love might be the best backcourt in the nation.
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