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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Around the Country: Feb. 10

Some of this weekend’s top college basketball matchups won’t be found in the Power 5 ranks.
The Battalion
Fans during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

Toledo at Appalachian State

Saturday, Feb. 10 — Holmes Convocation Center — Boone, North Carolina

12 p.m. on ESPN+

After James Madison captured the hearts of the nation — at least those outside of Michigan — with a season-opening upset of Michigan State, the thought of an at-large bid for the Sun Belt suddenly became realistic.

But things change. It’s February, and now it’s the Appalachian State Mountaineers who lead the Sun Belt conference standings — and they boast a season sweep of the Dukes as well as a home win over Auburn.

In this late-season non-conference challenge, App State won’t be the only team looking for a boost. Toledo comes in sitting second place in the MAC, and would love an opportunity to build momentum for a charge against Akron for a regular season conference title.

Both teams have won four of their last five, but the biggest factor is that this game is in Holmes. If Auburn couldn’t get a win in Boone, Toledo won’t be able to either.

Prediction: App State 82, Toledo 74

Boise State at No. 22 Utah State

Saturday, Feb. 10 — Dee Glen Smith Spectrum — Logan, Utah

9 p.m. on Fox Sports 1

The Mountain West features the best basketball that not enough people are talking about. The conference is picking up the slack for the Pac-12 around the West Coast, with ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently projecting five programs to reach the NCAA Tournament. Utah State and Boise State find themselves squarely in that discussion, with the Aggies coming in as a 6-seed and the Broncos as a 9-seed.

They’ll need to get back in the win column to maintain that, though. Utah State is coming off losses to San Diego State and Nevada, while Boise State fell to Colorado State this week. Those are all good teams, but the Broncos in particular don’t have much room to slip in the standings, especially with Nevada in contention for the Big Dance.

Do yourself a favor and stay up late to watch the Mountain West’s No. 2 offense in Utah State go at the conference’s second-best defense in Boise State. Keep these teams in mind when filling out your bracket come March.

Prediction: Utah State 72, Boise State 68

No. 13 Baylor at No. 4 Kansas

Saturday, Feb. 10 — Allen Fieldhouse — Lawrence, Kansas

5 p.m. on ESPN

The battle of the No. 2 and No. 4 in the Big 12 kicks off at Allen Fieldhouse as Kansas looks to cement its status as the conference’s powerhouse while also silencing viewers who are not confident in this shaky Jayhawks squad.

This season, the Jayhawks have been knocked down in the standings due to losses to UCF, West Virginia, Iowa State and, most recently, unranked Kansas State.

While Kansas still looks like a solid tournament bid, the first four teams in the Big 12 are all within one game of each other, and all have to play one another at some point in the following month.

While the Bears have posted big-time wins in February over Iowa State and Texas Tech, both were in Waco in the comfort of their new facility.

Kansas has remained one of the toughest teams to take down at home, having not lost a game in Lawrence so far this season. It is hard to imagine the Jayhawks losing this matchup, which will ultimately determine who comes out as the No. 1 team in the Big 12.

Prediction: Kansas 77, Baylor 68

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About the Contributors
Ian Curtis
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter
Ian Curtis is a journalism freshman from College Station, Texas. Ian has written about football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, hockey, gymnastics, volleyball and more for The Battalion. Ian's work has also appeared in The Bryan-College Station Eagle and over the airwaves on WTAW and 
Luke White
Luke White, Sports Editor
Luke White is a junior telecommunication media studies major and sport management minor from Round Rock, Texas. He has served as head sports editor since May 2023.
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