College Basketball Week Preview: Friday Night Road Tilts Highlight Week's Play

Boston University and Harvard hook up with conference foes at the top of their respective standings, while UMass looks to stay undefeated at home against a top-flight foe. Check out why Northeastern's most important game of the week is their first and why UConn is happy to be hooking up with a team that just knocked off the number one team in the country.

Jan 23, 2012 - There's bound to be plenty of drama and interesting matchups with four of the seven local teams sitting in the top three of their conference standings and UConn looking to right the ship against Notre Dame. Here's our look at all the game's this week, including a guide to which games you can't miss:

Monday January 23

Northeastern (9-9, 5-3 CAA) @ Old Dominion (11-9, 6-2 CAA) 7 p.m. (All times EDT) ESPN3

Northeastern is red-hot all of sudden and have a chance to earn some revenge for an earlier 69-59 loss to the Monarchs at Matthews Arena. The Huskies have won four of five but have yet to beat a tough conference foe on the road; a win tonight and they'll prove themselves contenders in the CAA, a loss and they'll fall back into the middle of the pack. Significance: 4 of 5, Quality: 3 of 5 Overall: 7 of 10

Tuesday January 24

UMBC (3-16, 2-5 AE) @ Boston University (10-11, 6-1 AE) 7 p.m.

The Terriers have won six straight games in the America East Conference and get to host the lowly Retrievers to finish out the first half of their conference schedule. Although UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County) did manage to upset the Terriers last season, the only drama in this one will be how many points Darryl Partin scores in the second half (he's averaging 16.4ppg in the past five second halves). Significance: 2 of 5, Quality: 2 of 5 Overall: 4 of 10

Wednesday January 25

Holy Cross (8-11, 2-3 Patriot League) @ Army (2-3, 9-11 Patriot) 7 p.m.

After winning their first two conference games, the Crusaders have lost three in a row by double-digits to the top teams in the Patriot League. If Holy Cross is going to compete for a top-three spot this season, they'll have to turn it around against a middling Army squad. But can Holy Cross do it on the road? They're just 1-9 away from the Hart Center this year. Significance: 3 of 5, Quality: 2 of 5 Overall: 5 of 10

Delaware (8-10, 4-4 CAA) @ Northeastern (9-9, 5-3 CAA) 7 p.m.

If Northeastern wins Monday, this game obviously means a lot more as the Huskies look to make a run at the conference title. Otherwise you have two 5-4 teams (Delaware plays 0-20 Towson tonight) competing for seeding spots and for some bragging rights for next year. Let's hope the Huskies win, the Blue Hens are just 2-7 on the road this year. Significance: 3 of 5, Quality: 3 of 5 Overall: 6 of 10

Thursday January 26

Boston College (7-12, 2-3 ACC) @ Virginia (15-3, 2-2 ACC) 9 p.m. ESPNU

Steve Donahue's group fell back to earth last week in losses to N.C. State and Wake Forest and now have to take on one of the better teams in the conference on the road. The Cavaliers did lose to Virginia Tech (a team Boston College beat) this weekend at home, but that was a rivalry game and the very young Eagles are 0-3 in true road games this year. Significance: 1 of 5, Quality: 3 of 5 Overall: 4 of 10

Friday January 27

Harvard (2-0, 16-2 Ivy League) @ Yale (12-4, 2-0 Ivy League) 7 p.m.

This is the third best game of the weekend, as it pits the two teams currently sitting atop the Ivy League standings. While Harvard has been unbeatable at home (6-0) they do have two road slip ups and Yale has a pretty strong resume with three of their four losses coming against quality BCS opponents. Yale even played two close games with the Crimson last year, handing Harvard one of its two Ivy League regular season losses. The big matchup to watch will be between Harvard'sKeith Wright and Kyle Casey against Yale senior forward Chris Managano, the leading scorer and rebounder in the Ivy League. The game gets bumped down because I think Princeton will end up being Harvard's bigger competition. Significance: 4 of 5, Quality: 4 of 5 Overall: 8 of 10

GAME OF THE WEEK: Boston University (10-11, 6-1 AE) @ Stony Brook (11-7, 6-1 AE) 9 p.m. ESPNU

In a matchup of last season's America East Championship Game, the top teams in the America East Conference standings will square off on national television. Boston University already has grabbed a 61-55 win over Stony Brook at home and would become the favorites to win the conference with a win. It won't be easy in front of a sold-out raucuous Pritchard Gym that is holding a Red-out for the game. These two teams have been among the top two teams in the America East for the past three years and Stony Brook is looking to finally prove they can overcome the Terriers, the team that's ended their title hopes the past two seasons. Significance: 5 of 5, Quality: 4 of 5, Overall: 9 of 10

Saturday January 28

St. Louis (15-4, 3-2 Atlantic 10) @ UMass (15-5, 4-2) 2 p.m. CSN New England

Another top flight contest, with two of the top teams in a very competitive Atlantic 10. UMass earned their best road win of the year Saturday against Richmond and will look to build off that momentum against an even better Billikens squad coach by Rick Majerus. It will be a matchup of clashing styles with the Minutemen owning the conference's best offense (76.9ppg) and St. Louis holding the best defense (55.6ppg allowed). Significance: 4 of 5, Quality: 5 of 5, Overall 9 of 10

Hofstra (7-13, 1-7 CAA) @ Northeastern (9-9, 5-3 CAA) Noon CSN New England

The Huskies stay busy when they take on lowly Hofstra in a rematch of a January 11 game that Northeastern won 64-62 on the road. This should be a fairly easy game for the Huskies who will face a Pride team that has lost six of seven and is just 1-6 on the road this season. Significance: 2 of 5, Quality: 2 of 5, Overall: 4 of 10

Harvard (2-0, 16-2 Ivy League) @ Brown (5-13, 0-2 Ivy League) 6 p.m.

Harvard will finish off their three game Ivy League road trip against the lowly Brown Bears who have dropped six in a row after starting the season 4-4. Brown should be a pushover for the Crimson, but the Crimson can ill afford to overlook the Bears, with the entire conference trying to knock Harvard off every time they take the court. Significance: 3 of 5, Quality: 2 of 5, Overall: 5 of 10

Colgate (6-13, 1-4 Patriot League) @ Holy Cross (8-11, 2-3 Patriot League) 5 p.m. CBS Sports Network

If the Crusaders can knock off Army, they'll have a chance to build some momentum against Colgate before their next big test. Calling Colgate a bad team is being kind, as they Raiders have struggled to overcome horrible teams all season long (see their 65-64 OT win at home against 3-16 Navy). Holy Cross should win going away making for what could be a very good Saturday in the Boston Area. Significance: 2 of 10, Quality: 1 of 10, Overall: 3 of 10

Sunday January 29

Notre Dame (12-8, 4-3 Big East) @ UConn (14-5, 4-3 Big East) Noon

A week off may be just what the Huskies needed after they fell 60-57 at Tennessee Saturday to earn their second two-game losing streak in the month of January. The reeling Huskies have lost four of six and are without talented freshmen Ryan Boatright for the second time this season because of suspension. A visit from Notre Dame is a great chance to turn it around as the Huskies already own an impressive 67-53 win in South Bend. Three weeks ago this would have been the game of the week, instead it's stands as an entertaining game between teams in the middle of the pack in the Big East. Significance: 3 of 10, Quality: 5 of 10, Overall: 8 of 10

Miami (10-7, 1-3 ACC) @ Boston College (7-12, 2-3 ACC) 1 p.m. TV38

Boston College's second to last great chance at a victory in the ACC arrives Sunday when the Hurricanes make their way to the Conte Forum. The Eagles already have grabbed two surprising conference wins at home and Miami could easily be the third, as the Hurricanes have just one road win on the year (1-6). Freshmen center Dennis Clifford will have his work cut out against Miami'sKenny Kadji and Reggie Johnson. Significance: 2 of 5, Quality: 3 of 5, Overall: 5 of 10

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