College Basketball, Baylor basketball

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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

By skirck2

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