The penultimate weekend of college basketball's regular season has arrived, and boy it looks like we should be in for quite a doozy on Saturday with a number of make-or-break games that will either decide or go a long ways towards deciding conference titles, NCAA Tournament seeding and the all-important bragging rights for a number of rivalry games across the country. From early afternoon to late in the night there should be elevated stakes set to make Saturday a mandatory couch day. (I'm no doctor, but trust me: that's doctor's orders.)
In-state clashes are the theme of the day with Arizona State traveling to face No. 7 Arizona, No. 8 Texas traveling to face No. 9 Baylor and No. 17 Indiana on the road at No. 5 Purdue, with two of those three games featuring the conference frontrunner and another -- Arizona -- still in the hunt for the Pac-12 and needing to hold serve to stay on pace with UCLA.
Oh, but wait, there's more! On CBS in the noon slot, No. 18 UConn looks to avenge its loss to St. John's with a game against the Red Storm inside Madison Square Garden. There's also bubblicious Kentucky vs. Auburn in the afternoon window and a regular-season finale for the ages in the WCC in the late window with Saint Mary's headed to The Kennel to face longtime thorn-in-the-side Gonzaga. A win for the Gaels would net them the outright WCC title for the first time since 2011-12.
Our experts have picks and predictions for the day's biggest games here.
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern
No. 17 Indiana at No. 5 Purdue
7:30 p.m. | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) -- Trayce Jackson-Davis has been the best player in college basketball not named Zach Edey this season. The two face each other for the second time this season after combining for 58 points and 25 rebounds in the first matchup, and I like the same result happening as the first time: the home team winning a close one in a shootout. So give me the Boilermakers here. Prediction: Indiana +7.5 -- Boone
No. 15 Saint Mary's at No. 12 Gonzaga
10 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) -- Saint Mary's outlasted Gonzaga in the first meeting between these two in an OT thriller on its home court. But with a chance to lock up a share of the WCC at home playing in The Kennel, the Zags I am betting will be highly motivated to come out with urgency in a cozy win. Prediction: Gonzaga -5 -- Boone
No. 18 UConn at St. John's
Noon | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free) -- UConn has won six of its last eight with five of those six wins coming by at least nine points. The only losses came against Big East stalwarts Xavier and Creighton. The Huskies are much-improved since losing to St. John's earlier this season and should be inspired to cleanse the memory of a lackluster showing against the Red Storm last month. Look for the Huskies to cover inside Madison Square Garden and enter the regular season's final week with momentum. Pick: UConn -7.5 -- David Cobb
Arizona State at No. 7 Arizona
2 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free) -- Arizona can be downright lethal at times. But the Wildcats have also taken surprising losses against Washington State, Oregon and Stanford this season. While they already owns a 9-point road win over Arizona State this season, the Wildcats benefited from a horrendous shooting performance by the Sun Devils in that game. With ASU's back against the wall in terms of any remaining NCAA Tournament hopes, Arizona State should play with a sense of desperation and at least cover the spread. Pick: Arizona State +12 -- Cobb
No. 8 Texas at No. 9 Baylor
2 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) -- If I'm making a play here I'm just taking the points with Texas. Baylor hasn't lost at home in nearly two months but in two consecutive road games leading into Saturday it has blown halftime leads -- one of which was 13 points at Kansas -- and gone on to lose. Because it's a close matchup I lean taking the home team, but Texas is equipped to keep this within a possession down to the end. Pick: Baylor -3 -- Boone
2 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) -- Alabama has been one of the most dominant teams in SEC history the last few months but it has shown signs of slippage of late with a loss to Tennessee and a narrow OT win over South Carolina. I expect the Tide will hold serve at home, but it'll be a closer one than people expect against an Arkansas team rounding into form. Prediction: Arkansas +8.5 -- Boone
4 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free) -- Auburn's only SEC road victories are against Ole Miss, LSU and South Carolina, who are the league's three worst teams. The Tigers have lost their last four on the road, and this is the wrong time to be playing at Kentucky. The Wildcats have salvaged their previously sputtering season and can come closer to assuring themselves of a bye to the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament with a win here. Prediction: Kentucky -4 -- Cobb
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