Monday night scouting report
Villanova and Louisville stage a rematch from last season's nail-biter
Oklahoma looks to get its disappointing season on track against rival OSU
Belmont and Lipscomb are two former NAIA rivals who are just miles apart
Giving you a rundown on the top three games on tonight's college basketball slate:
1. No. 4 Villanova (14-1, 3-0 Big East) at Louisville (12-4, 3-0), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Louisville has turned things around after a mid-December swoon, winning seven of eight with the loss being a competitive game at Kentucky. Now the Cardinals have a chance to record their best win of the season and first against a team ranked in the RPI top 40. Villanova has survived two last-possession games against Marquette and had an easy win over DePaul to get to 3-0 in the league. Villanova's Scottie Reynolds is enjoying his finest season in a fine four-year career, averaging 19.7 points in Big East play. Last season, Louisville won at Villanova 61-60 when the Wildcats missed two free throws and two shots in the lane in the game's final five seconds. Tonight's rematch should be as spirited.
2. Oklahoma State (13-2, 1-0 Big 12) at Oklahoma (9-6, 0-1), 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
The only Bedlam going on in this one is the state of Oklahoma's season. OU was picked third in the Big 12 behind Final Four candidates Kansas and Texas in the preseason, but the Sooners have piled up a bushel of ugly losses as they have struggled without Blake and Taylor Griffin. VCU (2-3 in the CAA), San Diego, Houston and UTEP all picked up nonconference wins against the Sooners, and then Baylor embarrassed OU 91-60 on Saturday to open Big 12 play. Guard Willie Warren has failed to live up to preseason expectations and the Sooners are languishing with an RPI of 115. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, comes in with momentum after James Anderson led the Cowboys to a rout of Texas Tech. Anderson leads the Big 12 in scoring at 21.9 and will be looked upon to lead OSU again in what will be a hostile environment.
3. Belmont (9-6, 4-1 Atlantic Sun) at Lipscomb (7-7, 4-1), 9 p.m. ET
This one doesn't register much outside of Nashville, but it is serious business in Music City. The two schools are just a few miles apart and were intense NAIA rivals for years before both made the move up to Division I. Both have enjoyed success in the Atlantic Sun, and this year is no different with the two teams part of a four-way tie for first place. Belmont features a balanced attack and has just one senior among its top 10 scorers. Lipscomb looks to Bosnian big man Adnan Hodzic, who is ninth in the nation in scoring (21.3 ppg) and had 34 points and 13 rebounds in a one-point loss at Arizona.
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