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College basketball games to watch for Week 12, January 22-28

We take a look at which games college basketball fans should tune into this week.

NCAA Basketball: Central Florida at Houston Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

As the last full week of January begins, the college basketball stakes begin heating up. Conference play is in full swing, and teams are being made and broken in this middle stretch. With so many teams across so many conferences, it can be hard to keep track of it all as we inch toward March Madness.

Here are the top college basketball matchups to watch for Week 12 from Jan. 22-28.

Tuesday

No. 4 Houston @ No. 21 BYU, 9:00 p.m. ET

Houston has been put through the Big 12 wringer over the last few weeks as they attempt to hang onto their top five ranking. They grabbed wins over Texas Tech and UCF, but fell to TCU and Iowa State by a combined total of five points over two games. They meet yet another challenge in this up-and-coming BYU team. The Cougars have been a fun surprise in the Big XII this season, and host Houston in Provo in this matchup as they look to crack the top 20.

Wednesday

No. 8 Auburn @ Alabama, 7:30 p.m. ET

Bruce Pearl’s Auburn Tigers are dominating in the SEC this season and have put together a 5-0 start to conference play. As they head to Tuscaloosa this week, the Tigers will face one of their biggest road tests yet. Their recent wins have come over Texas A&M, LSU, and Ole Miss. Alabama is fresh off a big loss to Tennessee that broke a six-game winning streak for the Tide.

Kansas State @ No. 23 Iowa State, 9:00 p.m. ET

The Big 12 makes plenty of appearances on this list and is the conference to watch this season. Iowa State will host the Kansas State Wildcats. The Cyclones have grabbed recent wins over No. 4 Houston, Oklahoma State, and TCU, and have fallen to BYU and Oklahoma. K-State kept No. 20 Texas Tech within one point and beat No. 15 Baylor.

Friday

Michigan State @ No. 13 Wisconsin, 8:00 p.m. ET

MSU got off to a slow start after a much-hyped offseason, but the Spartans are climbing back up the ranks and currently sit at 18th in the KenPom standings. The two teams already faced off this season — back in December, the Badgers won 70-57. In the time since, though, MSU has grabbed wins over Maryland and Penn State, and kept No. 10 Illinois within three. This rematch should be a fun one to watch.

Saturday

No. 7 Kansas @ No. 23 Iowa State. 1:30 p.m. ET

Iowa State takes on yet another tough challenger this week in their brutal conference stretch. The seventh-ranked Jayhawks will head to Ames for this matchup, and Kansas is fragile at the moment. They lost to West Virginia on the road and beat Cincinnati by just five points at home. The Cyclones will have a chance to make a big statement here.

No. 20 Texas Tech @ No. 11 Oklahoma, 2:00 p.m. ET

Texas Tech has fared well in conference play and grabbed a big win over No. 21 BYU in their most recent game after losing to Houston. The Sooners, meanwhile, recently pulled off a tight road win over Cincinnati, extending their winning streak to two games after losses to TCU and Kansas. The battle for the top of the Big 12 is still wide open right now, and both of these teams have their sights set on that title.