Five games on tap for the weekend

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Those funny bowl games are about to ramp back up and college basketball will fade into the back of some fans mind for a month again soon, but this weekend the roundball still rules campuses - at least the ones that are still in session. In Chicago hope is in the air as the new year comes and this weekend should be an interesting one. Here's one good reason to watch each of the five games this weekend.(Including Northwestern and Luka Mirkovic - left - on Saturday against Stanford.)

Stanford at Northwestern:
When: Saturday at 1 p.m.
Where: Welsh-Ryan Arena
Reason to watch: Stanford (5-4) is the final major conference opponent for Northwestern during the non-conference slate. The Cardinal is having a bit of a down season by Landry Fields is worth the price of admission alone. Can Northwestern avoid the upset and stay on course for a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament?

Texas State at DePaul:
When: Saturday at 1 p.m.
Where: Allstate Arena
Reason to watch: DePaul proved that no game is easy when it got upset by American earlier this week. Mac Koshwal still won't be back so the Blue Demons might struggle again. This team won't quit and the Bobcats at 3-7 should provide a good rebound opponent. Devin Hill has really stepped up his game since Koshwal's injury. Check out his new post game.

Northern Illinois at UIC:
When: Saturday at 3 p.m.
Where: UIC Pavilion
Reason to watch: The Flames just got their first win of the season over Oregon State on Wednesday. The upset was nice, but can Jimmy Collins get his team two wins in a row? Spencer Stewart has given the team new life and Robo Kreps seems to be finding his stride after early season struggles. Maybe there is some life left in the Flames' fire yet. If that's not enough, calling in to get tickets and saying "We beat the Beavers" can get fans tickets to the game plus a scarf or blanket with two or more tickets.

Chicago State at Tulsa:
When: Saturday at 7 p.m.
Where: Reynolds Center
Reason to watch: Tulsa is a very good team. Jerome Jordan is a beast in the middle and Ben Uzoh leads the team at 16.2 points per game. The Golden Hurricane is also a tough defensive minded squad that will probably give the Cougars fits. This is another game designed to work Jonathan Montgomery back into the rotation against a higher quality opponent. Watching this game though is going to be hard as I don't think it's available anywhere and Tulsa, Okla. is quite a trip from Chicago. (It's nice there though. I went last season for Northwestern's first round NIT game.)

Loyola at SIU-Edwardsville:
When: Sunday at 2 p.m.
Where: Vadalabene Center
Reason to watch: While every road game is difficult, this one is the type of game you like to have as a program. SIUE is a transitional Division I team that is still struggling to get the hang of basketball at this level. The Cougars are 2-8 with blowout losses to Lipscomb and Middle Tennessee State in their past two games. Loyola should get the victory over its in-state brethren and continue it's march towards respectability and possible post-season play.

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  • I'll be live-blogging the game over at Rush The Court if you're interested. You can check it out here.

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