Holiday Hoops? Relatively Quiet.

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The NBA and NFL will be playing games on Christmas Day, but when it comes college basketball, the games will be scarce after tonight. That means no games on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day and just two inter-conference games on December 26.

But, you won’t have to look further than December 27 to see the first of the “between the holidays” marquee matchups. On Monday, #4 UConn travels to #6 Pittsburgh to get the Big East season started. These teams are just two of the five Big East Conference teams in the Top 10, pointing to the dominance of the conference. UConn is unbeaten, while PItt is still recovering from a recent loss to Tennessee.

Though many of the top teams in the nation will be playing between Christmas and New Year’s Day, most of those games will be played against less challenging teams.

On New Year’s Eve, there will be a pair of can’t miss games including a Big Ten tilt pitting #16 Minnesota on the road against #12 Michigan State. The other match up is for state of Kentucky bragging rights as #14 Kentucky visits #25 Louisville. The Wildcats have lost twice this season, falling to UConn and North Carolina. Louisville has fallen just once, but that loss was to Colonial Athletic Association power Drexel at home.

Generally, major conference play doesn’t begin until after the first of the year, but as the start of the season continues to move forward on the calendar, so-called “pre-season” games are often out of the way by Christmas. What better opportunity to attract a national television audience than to arrange a game between a pair of top teams including the first of the big conference games of the season?

If you’re lucky, you’ll find a pair of basketball tickets under the tree when you unwrap your gifts on Christmas morning. Merry Christmas!

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