Ring in 2022 with a smorgasbord of New Year’s Day college basketball
New Year’s Day has long been owned by college football. Bowl games always culminated with the biggest games of the season – the Cotton Bowl, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and Orange Bowl were always mainstays on the sports calendar.
Well, with the college football national semifinals being played on December 31 this year, that leaves the sports fan looking for something to watch on New Year’s Day. Sure, the granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl and a slew of other college football games will be played, but there is also a great day of New Year’s Day basketball for the college fan to dive into.
We had a lot of memorable days in 2021, but April 5 is in a league of its own 🤩
— Baylor Men’s Basketball (@BaylorMBB) December 30, 2021
Top 10 New Year’s Day Basketball Matchups
10. Memphis at Wichita State, Noon, CBS
You can argue that there hasn’t been a more disappointing team this season than Memphis. They have already dropped their AAC opener at Tulane without freshman stars Jaren Duran and Emoni Bates. The Tigers need to start winning to play meaningful games in March and what better way to start the new year than with a win at one of their league rivals in Wichita State.
9. Virginia at Syracuse, 6 pm, ACC Network
Highlights from the 2021 finale pic.twitter.com/ETFvBGffl2
— Syracuse Men’s Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) December 30, 2021
Virginia has only won seven games to start the season, but one of them was over Providence. They will need another effort like that to win over the Fighting Boeheim’s in Syracuse.
8. Kansas State at Oklahoma, 8 pm, ESPNU
It’s the Big 12 opener for both teams, who have combined to lose only five games so far this season. Oklahoma has wins over Florida and Arkansas, while Kansas State has beaten Nebraska and Wichita State.
7. West Virginia at Texas, Noon, ESPNU
— WVU Men’s Basketball (@WVUhoops) December 31, 2021
The Mountaineers and Longhorns are a combined 23-3 and will start Big 12 play against each other. The three losses are to Gonzaga, Seton Hall, and Marquette. Someone gets a nice start to the New Year with a win.
6. Creighton at Marquette, Noon, FS1
Speaking of Marquette, they have lost their last three games, but all to quality opponents – UCLA, Xavier, and UConn. Creighton has split its last four games beating BYU and Villanova while losing to Iowa State and Arizona State.
5. San Francisco at Saint Mary’s, 8 pm
Twelve different Dons scored in tonight’s 33-point victory!
📰Full Recap: https://t.co/aQQFAhYrgc
📽️Postgame w/ Coach Golden: https://t.co/xsr7vaTQFB
📽️Postgame w/ Patrick Tapé: https://t.co/Fa7Dw0i4iX#USFDons | #WCChoops pic.twitter.com/PAeYv83fyY
— USF Men’s Basketball (@USFDonsMBB) December 29, 2021
Who has the best overall record in the WCC? It’s not Gonzaga, BYU, or Saint Mary’s. It’s San Francisco, whose 13 wins are the most in the country, and may be one of the best stories of the non-conference season. A win at Saint Mary’s will only solidify their start.
4. Providence at DePaul, 3 pm, FOX
— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) December 30, 2021
Ed Cooley’s Friars are of the same ilk as San Francisco, a team that has gotten off to a great start and has their faithful excited. They get to bring in 2022 in the Windy City hoping to win their 13th game of the season.
3. Michigan State at Northwestern, 2 pm, BTN (Jan. 2)
We snuck this game in even though it’s being played on Sunday, January 2. The two teams are a combined 19-4 and have won their first three league games. Northwestern’s best win came at Maryland to open Big 10 play. This one would go a long way come March.
2. Villanova at Seton Hall, 2 pm, CBS
No one has played a better schedule than Villanova, who continues their tough slate with a trip to Seton Hall. The Pirates are coming off a pause and loss at Providence. Both teams are in need of a big win to gain some more momentum and fight for the top of the Big East.
1. Baylor at Iowa State, 2 pm, ESPNU
𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘆 𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀? 𝗡𝗼. 𝟴 𝗖𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘀 𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗡𝗼. 𝟭 𝗕𝗮𝘆𝗹𝗼𝗿 𝗢𝗻 𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗬𝗲𝗮𝗿’𝘀 𝗗𝗮𝘆
— Iowa State Men’s Basketball (@CycloneMBB) December 29, 2021
The number one team in the country against the team no one thought would still be undefeated. Iowa State has won its first 12 games and has wins over Xavier, Memphis, and Iowa. Baylor has beaten Oregon and Villanova. One team will stay undefeated and atop the Big 12 standings.