Jon Rothstein's Games To Watch: Feb. 18, 2022


It's going to be a great weekend for college basketball!

Check our list below for five games to watch over the next few days.

Texas Tech at Texas

Round 2 between these in-state rivals should be fascinating theater, especially if Texas Tech brings a significant amount of fans from Lubbock to Austin. The Red Raiders aren't just playing like one of the best teams in the Big 12 --- they're playing like one of the best teams in the country. It will be interesting to see how Chris Beard gets his team to respond after Texas fell to Beard's former team a few weeks ago in Lubbock.

Xavier at UConn

The second meeting between these two programs in the last eight days will take place on Saturday in Storrs. Xavier's Jack Nunge dismantled the Huskies when these two teams played last week at the Cintas Center, finishing with 22 points and nine rebounds all while making several key plays down the stretch. Travis Steele will again need him to be a difference maker. Xavier is coming off a 13-point home loss on Wednesday to St. John's and faces a brutal closing stretch to the regular season. After Saturday's tilt at UConn, the Musketeers will next travel to Providence on Wednesday.

Illinois at Michigan State

I would have paid top dollar to watch Tom Izzo in Michigan State's practice on Wednesday after the Spartans lost at Penn State on Tuesday. I would have done the same to watch Brad Underwood on Thursday after Illinois was drilled by Rutgers on Wednesday. What does it all mean? Two desperate teams will take the court on Saturday in East Lansing. Remember: Neither Kofi Cockburn or Andre Curbelo played when Illinois beat Michigan State, 56-55, on Jan. 25th in Champaign.

Alabama at Kentucky

It's hard to see this Kentucky team losing two games in a row and that's bad news for Alabama. The Wildcats were dominated from tip to finish on Tuesday night at Tennessee and are primed to bounce back. Keep an eye on Kentucky freshman Daimion Collins, who came off the bench to score 10 points and grab six rebounds in just nine minutes when Kentucky beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa a few weeks ago.

Tennessee at Arkansas

The SEC has turned into a league of elite coaches and this game is a prime example. Rick Barnes led Texas to a Final Four in 2003 and has been a model of consistency throughout his career. Eric Musselman meanwhile, took Nevada to the Sweet 16 in 2018 and took Arkansas all the way to the Elite Eight last season. He also coached both the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings before beginning a career in college basketball. Bud Walton Arena should be on fire for this game, which will likely be played at a breakneck pace.

Jon Rothstein has been a college basketball insider for CBS Sports since 2010 and a contributor to the CBS Broadcast Network since 2016. He is also the host of the College Hoops Today Podcast via Compass Media Networks. Rothstein is also an in-studio correspondent for both WFAN and CBS Sports Radio.

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