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Weekend Look Ahead: Kansas-Mizzou somethin' to look forward to


I'm going to Kansas-Missouri.

And then I'm going to some other games, too.

Finish the Weekend Look Ahead and you'll know which ones.

Top game: It's been several years since I've been to Missouri for a game despite the fact that it's just an 80-minute flight from my home. I apologize to Kim English and company for my absence. But there's nowhere better to be Saturday than in Columbia because the fourth-ranked Tigers are hosting No. 8 Kansas, and a Mizzou win -- combined with a Baylor victory at Oklahoma State -- will create a three-way tie for first in the Big 12 between Kansas, Missouri and Baylor. Fun league, huh? Looking forward to my 80-minute flight.

Another interesting matchup: I was in Madison last February for Wisconsin's crazy come-from-behind victory over Ohio State in which Jordan Taylor solidified himself as an All-American by scoring 21 of his 27 points in the second half and rallying the Badgers from a 15-point deficit. It was a terrific game and scene. If you've forgotten, here's a four-minute video to spark your memory. Now let's just hope Saturday's tilt at the Kohl Center between the third-ranked Buckeyes and 19th-ranked Badgers is half as good.

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Yet another interesting matchup: While I'm in Missouri my colleague Jeff Goodman will be in Florida for a game between the 12th-ranked Gators and No. 25 Vanderbilt. It's an interesting matchup that could go a long way in determining who finishes second in the SEC. #NobodyIsCatchingKentucky

Guaranteed to be a blowout: Murray State is ranked 10th, undefeated and very, very good. UT-Martin isn't any of those things. So Saturday's game between the two OVC schools will likely get out of hand quicker than a Patriots-Broncos contest.

Guaranteed to be an upset: I like quality unranked home teams against questionable ranked visiting teams. That's my jam. So give me unranked Purdue over No. 20 Indiana at Mackey Arena on Saturday night, but spare me the Hoosiers-are-on-the-bubble talk. Please. Have you seen the bubble? The Hoosiers have wins over Kentucky, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan. They're fine.

Player trying to keep rolling: The truth about MoMo Jones is that those around the Arizona program weren't devastated when he opted to transfer to Iona. Some thought it might be addition by subtraction. And it might've been. But MoMo has been pretty good for the Gaels. He's averaging 16.1 points after dropping 43 on Canisius earlier this week. He could be the difference in Saturday's huge MAAC game between Iona and Manhattan. The winner will be alone atop the league standings.

Player trying to get rolling: It appears Michigan State's Draymond Green will play Sunday despite suffering an injury Tuesday at Illinois. That's good news for the ninth-ranked Spartans. But they still need Keith Appling to be better. He's turned the ball over eight times the past two games while shooting 2-of-19 from the field. It'll take a superior effort from the sophomore point guard for the Spartans to get past No. 23 Michigan.

Three things you need to know

1. Harrison Barnes was limited in practice Friday by a sprained ankle. It's unclear whether the All-American will play Saturday when No. 5 North Carolina visits Maryland.

2. South Florida is 6-3 in the Big East but with zero wins over schools with winning records in the league. That's my way of saying I'm not quite sold yet. But I'll be ready to pay attention if the Bulls can somehow win Saturday at No. 14 Georgetown.

3. Connecticut will play Seton Hall on Saturday without Jim Calhoun. The Hall of Fame coach is taking a leave of absence for medical reasons. My opinion: When you're unhealthy, hurting and pushing 70, it might be time to retire.

Final thought: The Kansas-Missouri game I'm attending is just the first in a nice stretch.

I'll be there Saturday.

Then I'll be at Connecticut-Louisville on Monday, Florida-Kentucky on Tuesday and Duke-North Carolina on Wednesday. And this is the time of year when this sport really starts to get fun. My only regret is that I'll be traveling from Columbia to Louisville during Sunday's big game. So my Super Bowl party will take place on a Delta flight. I've had worse. But the point is that I'm gonna see four games in five days, and three of them are between nationally ranked teams. So if you hear me complaining, punch me. Because this should be a fun few days.

Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and college basketball insider for the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts an award-winning radio show in Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two sons and two dogs.

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