Kansas and Iowa are among the NCAA basketball teams on upset alert this week.
There was major NCAA basketball news this week in the form of the NCAA Tournament getting moved to Indianapolis, but we still have a long ways to go to get there. With over two months left until Selection Sunday a lot can happen in the world of college basketball.
Avoiding upsets is key for the cream of the crop, who are hoping to enhance their resumes in order to boost seeding for a new-look March Madness. Let’s take a look at five teams that have to be on their toes this week, beginning with the Kansas Jayhawks.
Kansas needs to be on upset alert against TCU
The Jayhawks are definitely angry after getting demolished at home by Texas but they can’t let that defeat turn into a Big 12 losing streak. The first chance for Kansas to get back on track is in a tricky road matchup against TCU, which has won five straight games to improve to 9-2 on the year. The Horned Frogs are in need of a statement victory to bolster their resume so they will be up for this game, making it imperative for Kansas to bring their A-game to leave with a win.
Virginia Tech needs to be on upset alert at Louisville
The middle class of the ACC is a proving ground for a lot of teams like Virginia Tech, which checks into the polls this week at no. 19. The Hokies have quietly taken care of business, going 8-1 on the year and 2-0 in ACC play, but enter this game on a one-week layoff after their matchup with Virginia over the weekend got postponed due to a positive test from a Cavaliers’ staffer.
That could lead to some rust in a tough road matchup against Louisville, which has looked sharp for most of the season. Going to the KFC Yum! center is never easy for an established team so an untested Virginia Tech squad will need to be careful to avoid falling into a trap on the road.
Iowa needs to be careful going to Maryland
The Hawkeyes are one of the Big Ten’s top teams but we’ve learned that going through the conference will be a war this season. Rutgers gave Iowa everything they could handle over the weekend at the RAC before the Hawkeyes escaped with a two-point win, setting the stage for a potential trap game at Maryland on Thursday.
Iowa could be looking ahead to a home date with a ranked Minnesota team on Sunday, which would be a mistake since Maryland has shown they can compete by winning at Wisconsin earlier this season. Sleeping on the Terrapins could lead to disaster for Luka Garza and company.
Illinois needs to be on upset alert at Northwestern
We’ll stick with the Big Ten theme here with a look at Illinois, which has recovered from a rough patch to win three straight games. Expectations are high for the Fighting Illini but they need to be very careful this week when they have to hit the road to take on Northwestern.
Few expected the Wildcats to compete in the Big Ten this season but Northwestern has already racked up three league wins, including a pair of home victories over ranked Michigan State and Ohio State teams. That is a trend that Illinois needs to be fully aware of before they take the floor for a very dangerous matchup.
Oregon needs to be on upset alert at Colorado
The Pac-12 has been pretty quiet this season but one thing we’ve seen so far is that Oregon is one of the league’s top teams. The Ducks have ripped off eight straight wins after dropping their opener to Missouri, including a perfect 3-0 mark in conference play.
This week sees Oregon hit the road for a matchup against a solid Colorado team that is back home after a tough three-game trip to Arizona and the Southern California schools. The Buffaloes went 1-2 on that trip and nearly made it a sweep in SoCal over the weekend so they will be fired up for the chance to take down a ranked Oregon team at home. The Ducks will need to be on top of their game in order to avoid getting upset in one of the toughest road setups they will encounter this season.
For more NCAA basketball news, analysis, opinion and features, check out more from the FanSided college basketball section to stay on top of the latest action.