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Barstool College Hoops Roundup: Injured Stars, Previews, Top 25 Rankings

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Here we are again. Another Tuesday in the trenches of college basketball life. One of the last weeks of nonconference play and we actually have a decent slate on the table today to ignore you from that terrible college football bowl season.

Before we get into tonight’s schedule, we have to talk about how bad yesterday panned out. First we had the favorite for national Player of the Year in Denzel Valentine undergo knee surgery and expected to miss 2-3 weeks. You’re talking the start of Big 10 play and a minimum 4-5 games. Oh, not to mention the polls have Sparty as the No. 1 team in the country.

Then, Marcus Paige who is finally back on the court and looking like a lot of people expected him to missed the second half of Carolina’s blowout win because of an injury. The good news with Paige is both him and Ol Roy said he’s fine and it was just a precautionary measure to let him stick. College basketball needs their stars to be healthy and so far it’s going the opposite way with Valentine, Paige and Kris Dunn having to miss a couple games.

I’ll be heading to the Florida Atlantic-Hofstra game today, so tweet @barstoolreags to let me know what’s going on live in the world of college hoops tonight.

Iowa State (+5) at Cincinnati

A rare true road game for Iowa State as they travel to 5/3 Arena and take on Cincinnati. These two teams couldn’t be more different. Iowa State is thought of as a finesse, uptempo, no defense type of team. While the Bearcats are thought of as trying to ugly games up, slow them down and beat you with physical play and low scoring. Cyclones coming off that loss to Northern Iowa desperately need another quality win before Big 12 play, while Cincinnati has been up and down all year. Butler proved you can go into 5/3 and get the win.

The Pick: Iowa State

Xavier (-7) at Wake Forest

Wake Forest is sneaky one of the most improved and impressive teams so far this year. Out in Maui they racked up wins against UCLA and Indiana and their only losses are to Richmond and Vanderbilt. There’s a ton of ties between these programs with Skip Prosser leaving Xavier for Wake and current Xavier head coach Chris Mack being a former assistant under Prosser. When the Wake head coaching job was open many thought Mack would be the lead candidate and possible hire because of his time there. Xavier though has turned into one of the best teams in the country so far this year thanks to the change offensively between Jalen Reynolds and Matt Stainbrook. The Muskies have won every game by double digits except the season opener.

The Pick: Xavier

Vanderbilt (+7.5) at Purdue

Two teams that are very similar in the sense that they are both big and can rebound. The difference? Vanderbilt can shoot, even without Luke Kornet. This is a pretty large spread, especially with Purdue coming off the loss to Butler. If Damian Jones can stay out of foul trouble going against AJ Hammons, Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan, I like Vanderbilt in this game. More importantly I think Riley LaChance shoots well.

The Pick: Vanderbilt

Other notable games: Cal at Virginia (line at 15, too big to pick), Stephen F. Austin at Arizona State

Barstool Reags Top 25

1. Oklahoma

2. Xavier

3. Kansas

4. Maryland

5. Michigan State

6. North Carolina

7. Butler

8. Arizona

9. Virginia

10. Iowa State

11. Purdue

12. Kentucky

13. Providence

14. Duke

15. SMU

16. Villanova

17. Texas A&M

18. Cincinnati

19. George Washington

20. Louisville

21. West Virginia

22. Cincinnati

23. Utah

24. South Carolina

25. Baylor

Player of the Year Rankings

1. Buddy Hield (Oklahoma)

2. Kris Dunn (Providence)

3. Denzel Valentine (Michigan State)

4. Melo Trimble (Maryland)

5. Kellen Dunham (Butler)