College basketball preview: Jan. 25

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Sports,College,Kevin Dunleavy,George Washington University

Top five games

5 No. 15 New Mexico at San Diego State » Except for New Mexico (17-2, 4-0), every team in the balanced Mountain West has at least two losses. Lobos coach Steve Alford got the best of Steve Fisher last year, handing the Aztecs their only conference loss at home and beating them in the Mountain West final. With two losses in their last three games, this one means more to the Aztecs. (Saturday, 4 p.m., NBC Sports Network)

4 No. 2 Michigan at Illinois » With No. 1 Duke losing, Michigan is vying with Syracuse and Kansas for the top spot and Trey Burke has zoomed past Mason Plumlee in the national player of the year race. After reaching No. 10 for the first time since 2006, Illinois has lost five of eight games. Saturday is a chance for John Groce's team to recapture some lost luster. (Sunday, 6 p.m., Big Ten Network)

3 Florida State at No. 25 Miami » Miami harassed Duke guards Quinn Cook, Seth Curry and Tyler Thornton into 1-for-29 shooting Wednesday night in toppling the No. 1 Blue Devils. Now coach Jim Larranaga's Hurricanes (14-3, 5-0), the only ACC team without at least two conference losses, become a target. How will they react against in-state rival Florida State? (Sunday, 6 p.m., ESPNU)

2 No. 3 Syracuse at Villanova » It's an early wake-up call for Syracuse as it tries to avoid the same fate as No. 5 Louisville suffered Tuesday in Philadelphia. That was Villanova's first win in 15 games against a ranked team. The Wildcats' last such victory had come at Syracuse two years ago, when the Orange occupied the same No. 3 slot they hold now. (Saturday, 11 a.m., ESPNU)

1 No. 13 Michigan State at No. 7 Indiana » On the first Sunday in five months without the NFL (the Pro Bowl doesn't count), this Big Ten matchup eases the withdrawal. Michigan State (17-3, 6-1) is the only team in the conference that is undefeated in January. The Spartans had to grind out a 49-47 win Tuesday at Wisconsin. Indiana will be an uptempo challenge. (Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS)

Local games

Boston College at Virginia

When » Saturday, 1 p.m.

Where » John Paul Jones Arena,

Charlottesville, Va.

TV » CSN

After playing Thursday night at rival Virginia Tech, this is a tough turnaround for Virginia, facing a Boston College team that is rested after losing Tuesday night at Maryland 64-59. The perimeter-oriented Eagles (9-9, 1-4) play four guards around 6-foot-8 sophomore Ryan Anderson, the team's top scorer (16.5 ppg) and rebounder (9.4 rpg). Virginia entered Thursday's game ranked second in the nation in scoring defense (50.6 points per game).

Charlotte at George Washington

When » Saturday, 2 p.m.

Where » Smith Center

TV » CSN+

Coming off back-to-back road wins, GW (9-9, 3-2) is making noise in the Atlantic 10 behind freshman point guard Joe McDonald, who had 16 points and 10 assists in a win at Massachusetts and hit the game winning shot Wednesday at Rhode Island. Coming off a losing season, Charlotte (16-3, 4-1) has quietly become a contender in the A-10. This is a homecoming for 6-9 Chris Braswell (11.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg), a former DeMatha player who teams inside with 6-8 Willie Clayton (8.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg).

American at Army

When » Saturday, 3 p.m.

Where » Christl Arena,

West Point, N.Y.

Radio » 1050 AM

American (7-12, 2-2) got eight 3-pointers -- one short of the school record -- and a career-high 27 points from W.T. Woodson graduate John Schoof in a 72-49 romp Wednesday over Navy. The Eagles will continue to look for Schoof to hit from the outside and open things up in the middle for 6-8 Stephen Lumpkins (14.8 ppg, 9.6 rpg) and 6-10 Tony Wroblicky (7.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg). Slumping Army (8-11, 1-3) has lost five of its last six despite the play of 6-6 senior Ella Ellis (16.8 ppg).

Colgate at Navy

When » Saturday, 7 p.m.

Where » Alumni Hall, Annapolis

Both Colgate (7-13, 1-3) and Navy (7-13, 1-3) got their lone Patriot League victory this week, beating Army in different ways. In a 59-50 win Sunday at Army, the Midshipmen hit 11 of 23 shots from beyond the arc. In a 93-90 victory Wednesday at Colgate, the Raiders got 35 points and the game-winning 3-pointer with 17 seconds left in overtime from 6-7 Murphy Burnatowski. This is a chance for the Mids to escape a three-way tie for last place in the league.

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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