One of the nation's best point guards will be on display Monday as Connecticut takes on Florida in a Top 25 clash. Shabazz Napier is getting Naismith Award buzz, averaging over seven rebounds and six assists to go with his 15 points per game for UConn. The Huskies have survived early tests against Maryland and Indiana, but the Gators should be their most difficult opponent to date.
Florida is coming off a tight win of its own, edging Florida State 67-66 Friday. That game was guard Scottie Wilbekin's second game of the season, having missed the first five games due to suspension. Wilbekin, Patric Young and Casey Prather provide a core of seniors that can do everything, making the Gators dangerous every time they take the floor.
The Huskies' strength this season has been three-point shooting, currently ninth in the nation shooting nearly 45 percent. Florida will counter with an elite scorer of its own, as Prather is averaging over 19 points per game. With losses this week by Duke and Gonzaga, the winner of this game has a chance to crack the top 10 in the AP poll Monday morning. The game will air on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. ET.
Here's the rest of Monday's college basketball action:
Auburn vs. No 17 Iowa State, ESPNU (7 p.m. ET): One of the most surprising teams of the year so far, Iowa State already holds wins over Michigan and BYU. Senior big man Melvin Ejim is making his case to be an NBA draft pick, scoring 18 points and hauling in over seven rebounds a game. Auburn is 4-1 on the season against a cream puff schedule, holding an embarrassing loss to Northwestern State. The Cyclones will be the first team from a BCS conference the Tigers have played.
Vanderbilt vs. Texas, ESPN2 (9 p.m. ET): Texas sophomore Cameron Ridley is a defensive star in the making. The 6'9, 285-pound forward is averaging over three blocks per game to go along with his 9.1 points and 7.7 rebounds. The Longhorns also play great team defense, with four players averaging over a steal per game. The Commodores have a potent offense that features senior Rod Odom and sophomore leading scorer Eric McClellan.
Oklahoma vs. Mercer ESPNU (9 p.m. ET): With their lone loss coming to No. 1 Michigan State, the Sooners have been an impressive team this season. They hold wins over Seton Hall and Alabama in non-conference play. Senior guard Cameron Clark has been phenomenal, averaging 18.8 points on 53 percent shooting this season. Mercer is coming off a triple-overtime victory over Valparaiso on Friday.
California vs. UC Irvine, Pac-12 Network (10:30 p.m. ET): After a big win over Arkansas in the Maui Invitational, Cal finished the tournament with losses to No. 8 Syracuse and Dayton. The Bears are playing without forward Richard Solomon, who was averaging a double-double before missing the last two games. Irvine already has a win over a Pac-12 school, having defeated Washington in Seattle.