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Friday, December 4, 2009
Three games to keep an eye on

By Jay Bilas

We'll all be watching the UNC-Kentucky grudge match, but here are three more games I'm looking forward to this weekend:

St. John’s at Duke: This might be the most important game of the weekend. The Blue Devils need to bounce back at home after a loss to Wisconsin and St. John’s needs a win to keep its postseason train rolling down the tracks. The Johnnies have won their first six games, but have yet to play a team comparable to Duke or in an atmosphere comparable to Cameron Indoor Stadium. A win on Saturday would go a long way toward getting St. John’s back above the fold.

Iowa State at California: It's a near-desperation game in Berkeley on Saturday night. Big things were expected of the Cyclones and Golden Bears this season, but both have taken body shots early. Iowa State dropped games to Northwestern and Northern Iowa and Cal has dropped games to Syracuse, Ohio State and New Mexico. Both teams need this game for résumé and mental health reasons.

South Carolina at Clemson: Perhaps no team in the country needs a win this weekend more than Clemson. The Tigers host their banged-up rivals from Columbia at Littlejohn Coliseum on Sunday. After losing a 23-point lead to Illinois and failing to let Trevor Booker touch the ball in the second half, Oliver Purnell and his team need a win to feel better about themselves.