Five top games to watch this season

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Here are the top five regular-season college basketball games to watch:

Kentucky vs. Duke, Nov. 9

What a way to start the college basketball season, with these two blue bloods meeting at Madison Square Garden to kick off the final year of Mike Krzyzewski’s legendary career. Both schools missed last season’s NCAA Tournament — the first time Duke and Kentucky both failed to reach the Dance in the same year since 1976 — and feature remade rosters that on paper are Final Four-caliber.

Texas at Gonzaga, Nov. 13

Chris Beard and his impact transfers will get an early opportunity to show they are title contenders in Spokane, Wash.

It will also be the first test in a series of them for the Zags — who also face Duke, UCLA, Alabama, Washington and Texas Tech in their challenging non-conference schedule.

Mike Krzyzewski and John Calipari
Mike Krzyzewski and John Calipari
AP; Getty Images

UCLA vs. Gonzaga, Nov. 23

A rematch of the classic Final Four game that Gonzaga won at the overtime buzzer on Jalen Suggs’ heave could very well be a national championship game preview. Las Vegas will host this clash of preseason favorites that will include a heavyweight battle in the paint between Gonzaga’s National Player of the Year candidate, Drew Timme, and UCLA duo Cody Riley and Myles Johnson, a Rutgers transfer.

Villanova at Baylor, Dec. 12

Two of the past three national champions meet in the premier game of the Big East-Big 12 Battle, which also happens to be a rematch of Baylor’s win in the Sweet 16 last March. The point guard matchup will be fascinating, as Associated Press preseason All-American Collin Gillespie goes up against one-time Georgetown floor general James Akinjo.

North Carolina at Duke, March 5

Coach K’s regular-season swan song will, of course, come against bitter rival North Carolina at Cameron Indoor Stadium. It figures to be emotional and intense, and will undoubtedly feature a who’s who of immortal Blue Devils. The secondary ticket market for this event — calling it a game would be underplaying it — is going to be off the charts.

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