MBB Watch Guide 12-1: The national title game we should've seen last year

Photo by John Hamilton

- Saint John’s at No. 17 Texas Tech on Dec. 3

All times are Central Time.

Wednesday, December 2

Tarleton State at Texas A&M at 6 p.m.
SEC Network

Billy Gillespie’s return to College Station…that’s about all there is of course in terms of Tarleton. A&M’s looked the part of an efficient machine against New Orleans in its second season under Buzz Williams. A&M should be in firm control of its early-season schedule.  

Houston Baptist at SMU at 7 p.m.

Texas A&M-CC at UTRGV at 7 p.m.

UTRGV had a very impressive opening-night 81-64 win over UTSA in which the Vaqueros converted 16 points off 17 Roadrunner turnovers. The Islanders are looking for their first win against a Division I opponent after getting blitzed on the boards and in transition vs SMU.

UT-Arlington at Arkansas at 8 p.m.
SEC Network

No. 5 Illinois vs No. 2 Baylor Bears at 9 p.m.

This game might not surpass 50 and I'm not kidding, but it'll be some of the best defensive basketball we'll see all season. Illinois' packline defense against Baylor no-middle will likely have both teams shooting around 30 percent from the field, but will give one of these teams a huge leg up on the early season slate. The thing I've been impressed with early on this season from Baylor has been the fluidity of their offense. Jared Butler and MaCio Teague look to be in mid-season form already with guys like Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer already stepping up to the moment.


Thursday, December 3

LeTourneau at Rice at 2 p.m.

Northwestern State at TCU at 7 p.m.

Arizona Christian at UTEP at 8 p.m.

Texas Southern at Saint Mart’s at 9 p.m.


Friday, December 4

UT-Arlington at Tulsa

Sul Ross at UTSA at 6 p.m.

Our Lady of the Lake at UTRGV at 6 p.m.

Arlington Baptist at Texas A&M-CC at 7 p.m.


Saturday, December 5

No. 1 Gonzaga at No. 2 Baylor at Noon
A beautiful clash of styles and the matchup we probably should’ve gotten last season in the national title game. The Zags already have an impressive 12-point win over Kansas and look to be in mid-season form already with Texas-native Drew Timme emerging as the latest star under Mark Few. Baylor’s suffocating defense got off to a shaky start in the season-opener but was back on track against Washington. In addition to the returning starters, transfer Adam Flagler looks to already be a great addition with 12 and 17 off the bench in two games.

SMU at Dayton at 1 p.m.

Lamar at Air Force at 2 p.m.

UIW at Texas State at 2 p.m.

Alcorn State at SFA at 4:30 p.m.

Prairie View A&M at Grand Canyon at 7 p.m.

South Carolina at No. 10 Houston at 7 p.m.
Long story short, Houston looks fantastic so far. The guard play was already expected to be great but Tramon Mark’s early emergence and his play with Caleb Mills off the bench has been unfair when the Coogs already have Quentin Grimes and Marcus Sasser developing as dynamic scorers.

Rice at Houston Baptist at 7 p.m.

Tarleton State at Abilene Christian at 7 p.m.


Sunday, December 6

No. 12 Villanova at No. 17 Texas at Noon

Texas got an early scare against Davidson, but Nova presents a different animal. The Wildcats are there for the taking after a disappointing loss to Virginia Tech. If this is Shaka Smart’s best team a win over a good Villanova would be a great way to prove it early in the year.

Grambling at No. 17 Texas Tech at 1 p.m.

UTRGV at Texas A&M at 3 p.m.
SEC Network

OU at TCU at 3 p.m.


Tuesday, December 8

Nicholls at No. 2 Baylor

Vanderbilt at SMU at 7 p.m.

Tarleton State at No. 1 Gonzaga at 8 p.m.
Root Sports

UTEP at Saint Mary’s at 9 p.m.

Share or Save for Later

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Save to Favorites