Heading into Friday afternoon, the matchups currently set on paper make the weekend schedule look a little light. However, that's because the championship games (and in the case of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, the consolation games) aren't set yet. We could see North Carolina-Louisville, Georgetown-VCU, New Mexico-Clemson, Michigan-Charlotte, Michigan State-Oklahoma, and several other noteworthy tilts if things turn out as expected.
Note: All times are Eastern, and the rankings are according to the AP Poll.
Best game: Indiana vs. No. 18 Connecticut (7 p.m., Friday, ESPN2). The championship of the 2K Sports Classic is the best game of the weekend . . . for now. The championship games of the other early-season tournaments could be better, but those are yet to be determined. Anyway, Indiana-UConn should be a very good matchup. The key for Indiana will be guarding the perimeter group of the Huskies, especially Shabazz Napier. Also, can Yogi Ferrell initiate offense with Napier and Boatright on him? On the other side, do the Huskies have any answer for Noah Vonleh on the inside?
Second-best game: Harvard at Colorado (4:30 p.m., Sunday, ESPNU). A really good test for both teams. Harvard is 4-0 with mostly regional wins, although the Crimson could push for the top 25 with a road win over the Buffaloes. Meanwhile, Colorado has reeled off five in a row after losing the opener to Baylor. With that said, the Buffs have been terrible from behind the arc and are also defending the perimeter fairly poorly. Getting Brandyn Curry back from injury would be a big boost for Harvard – especially heading into a tough environment. The Siyani Chambers vs. Spencer Dinwiddie battle will be entertaining.
Another one to watch: No. 14 Michigan vs.
Guaranteed wins: Several ranked teams have stiff tests this weekend, but the following three should cruise. No. 11 Memphis hosts Nicholls State (6 p.m., Saturday, ESPN3). No. 12 Wisconsin welcomes Oral Roberts (8:30 p.m., Saturday, Big Ten Network). And finally, No. 6 Duke should roll past Vermont (6:30 p.m., Sunday, ESPNU).
Potential upset: I honestly didn't have any good ones jump out at me on Friday's slate – so I went to the Vegas lines, and picked the one legitimate underdog that has the best chance of winning. That's South Alabama, playing
Five things to keep an eye on:
- Jerrelle Benimon got some hype when it beat Temple a couple of weeks ago – and now the Tigers are on a big stage against No. 2 Kansas (8 p.m., Friday, ESPN3)
- How does No. 24 North Carolina respond after losing to Belmont last weekend? The Tar Heels face Richmond (12 p.m., Saturday).
- Don't be surprised to see both Boston University and UC-Irvine (8:30 p.m., Saturday) in the NCAA tournament.
- No. 17 Oregon is going to be a factor for the Pac-12 title, but San Francisco has size and depth (8 p.m., Sunday, Pac-12 Network).
- Fun fact: FIU is tied for the nation's third-longest winning streak. That could end at South Carolina (1 p.m., Saturday).
Other games to watch:
- Kansas State vs. Georgetown (11 a.m., ESPNU)
- Nebraska vs. UAB (11 a.m., ESPN3)
- Charlotte vs. Northeastern (2:30 p.m., ESPNU)
- Massachusetts vs. No. 19 New Mexico (2:30 p.m., ESPN2).
- Boston College vs. Washington (5 p.m., ESPNU)
- Providence vs. Vanderbilt (6:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network)
- Oklahoma vs. Seton Hall (7 p.m., truTV)
- Delaware at Villanova (7 p.m., FOX Sports 1)
- Pennsylvania at Iowa (7 p.m., Big Ten Network)
- Long Beach State vs. No. 10 VCU (7:30 p.m., ESPNU)
- San Francisco at Montana (9 p.m.)
- Chicago State at Illinois (9 p.m., Big Ten Network)
- Virginia Tech vs. No. 1 Michigan State (9:30 p.m., truTV)
- Davidson vs. Clemson (9:30 p.m., ESPNU)
- Bradley at Arizona State (10 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
- Morehead State vs. No. 22 UCLA (11 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
- No. 3 Louisville vs. Fairfield (2 p.m.)
- Tulsa at No. 23 Creighton (3:30 p.m., FOX Sports Net)
- Gardner-Webb at Missouri (3:30 p.m.)
- New Mexico State at UTEP (9:05 p.m.)
- Mississippi State at
Utah State(9:05 p.m.)