Viewer's Guide: OK State-Colorado leads weekend filled with quality
Be sure to get everything done Saturday morning -- the evening hours of Saturday are jam-packed with quality games.
For the first time in a few weeks, there's no marquee Friday game to watch -- but that doesn't lessen the quality of the weekend. There are several interesting games on Saturday, especially Saturday night -- including a late-night top-20 game that might not end up until 2 a.m. Sunday. So get your caffeine up.
Note: All times are Eastern, and the rankings are according to the AP Poll.
Best game: No. 7 Oklahoma State Cowboys State" data-canon="Oklahoma Sooners" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0"> vs. No. 20 Colorado Buffaloes (Saturday, 11:30 p.m., ESPN2). The lone top-20 game of the weekend, taking place in Vegas. I'm excited about the battle on the perimeter. Marcus Smart and Markel Brown Bears form a dynamite duo, while Phil Forte can shoot the heck out of the ball. Colorado counters with Spencer Dinwiddie, a terrific penetrator and defender, and Askia Booker, he of the winning Kansas Jayhawks shot. The key for Colorado to pull the upset will be limiting the turnovers; Oklahoma State ranks in the top 20 nationally in defensive turnover percentage. On the other side, the Buffalo Bulls es need to guard the perimeter more effectively; Oklahoma State could find itself with a lot of open shots. Le'Bryan Nash vs. Xavier Musketeers Johnson could be a good matchup.
Second-best game: Georgetown Hoyas at No. 18 Kansas (Saturday, 12 p.m., ESPN). This one looked slightly more attractive at the start of the season, but this is going to a must-watch game. Georgetown lost two of three to begin the season, but the Hoyas have rolled six in a row since then. Meanwhile, Kansas has dropped three of its last five games. It could be a tempo battle. Kansas likes to get its athletes out in transition, with Wayne Selden and Andrew Wiggins attacking the rim. Georgetown will have to take care of the ball and not allow long rebounds. Another big factor could be the foul situation. Both teams have struggled with foul trouble this season; which team's interior group will stay on the floor the longest?
Another one to watch: No. 22 Massachusetts Minutemen vs. Florida State Seminoles State" data-canon="Florida Gators" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0"> (Saturday, 2 p.m., FOX Sports). We're going to learn a lot about both teams in this one. Massachusetts has started off with a 10-0 record, but the Minutemen will be tested in the Sunshine State. Florida State has been inconsistent, but the Seminoles are capable of impressive performances. Can they be a factor in the ACC? Can Massachusetts be the favorite in the Atlantic 10? The Minutemen will have to take care of the ball against Florida State, while the Seminoles have to keep UMass off the offensive glass. Can the Seminoles slow down Chaz Williams and the up-tempo ways of Massachusetts?
Guaranteed wins: There’s a bunch of options here, but let’s limit it to two. We’ll start with No. 15 Memphis Tigers , which impressed immensely despite its loss to Florida earlier this week. Now the Tigers welcome Southeast Missouri Tigers State (Saturday, 8 p.m., ESPN3) to town. The Redhawks are 7-3, but the best win is over Texas State. No. 24 San Diego Toreros State pummeled Southern Utah Thunderbirds Southern Jaguars " data-canon="Utah Utes" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0"> by 38 on Wednesday, and it should handle McNeese State Cowboys (Saturday, 10 p.m., Regional TV) by at least 20.
Potential upsets: I came into the season loving Boise State Broncos , and I still think the Broncos have the backcourt to make a run in March. However, they really struggle away from home – and a trip to Hawaii Warriors (Sunday, 1 a.m., ESPNU) will be a problem. I think Boise could go down. La Salle Explorers has struggled this season despite making a Sweet 16 run a season ago, and that’s why the Explorers are probably underdogs at Miami (Sunday, 3 p.m., ESPN3). I think La Salle’s guards will be too much for the Hurricanes.
Eight other must-see games:
Belmont Bruins at No. 19 Kentucky Wildcats (Saturday, 12 p.m., ESPNU). Kentucky has lost two of three, and the Wildcats have one final tune-up before the big Louisville Cardinals game.
No. 5 Michigan Wolverines State at Texas (Saturday, 4 p.m., CBS). Can Texas make it two big wins in a row? Michigan State Spartans has had some injury issues, and the Longhorns have momentum.
No. 23 Missouri vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (Saturday, 5:30 p.m, ESPN2.) Braggin’ Rights. Missouri is unbeaten but has some questions; Illinois needs to slow the Tigers’ perimeter group.
No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes State" data-canon="Ohio Bobcats" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0"> vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2): Will be an interesting battle between Notre Dame’s deep and talented perimeter and Ohio State’s stifling backcourt defense.
Michigan vs. Stanford (Saturday, 8:30 p.m., FOX Sports 1): This game took on some extra pop when Stanford beat Connecticut on the road this week; Michigan already has four losses.
Marquette Golden Eagles vs. New Mexico Lobos (Saturday, 9 p.m., ESPNU): Back-to-back losses and no Hugh Greenwood could mean trouble for the Lobos. Has Marquette found its offense?
BYU at No. 13 Oregon Ducks (Saturday, 10:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network): Guaranteed to be one of the more fun games of the weekend. Oregon has rolled to a 10-0 start.
California Golden Bears at Creighton Bluejays (Sunday, 7:07 p.m, FOX Sports 1.): California has dropped three of its last six, and a win at Creighton would be huge. Might be tough to get it, though.
Other games to watch:
- High Point Panthers at No. 2 Syracuse Orange (7 p.m., ESPN3)
- East Carolina Pirates at NC State Wolfpack (12 p.m., ESPN3)
- Boston University Terriers at Maryland Terrapins (1 p.m., ESPN3)
- Middle Tennessee Volunteers at Cincinnati Bearcats (2 p.m., ESPN3)
- Butler Bulldogs at Evansville Aces (3:05 p.m.)
- No. 21 Gonzaga Bulldogs at Kansas State Wildcats (3:30 p.m., ESPN2)
- Rider Broncs at No. 8 Villanova Wildcats (4 p.m., FOX Sports 1)
- Northern Iowa Hawkeyes at Virginia Cavaliers (4 p.m., ESPN3)
- Cal Poly Mustangs at Pittsburgh Panthers (4 p.m., ESPN3)
- Vermont Catamounts at Harvard Crimson (4 p.m.)
- Fresno State Bulldogs at No. 16 Florida (4:30 p.m., FOX Sports Net)
- Davidson Wildcats at No. 14 North Carolina (5 p.m., ESPNU)
- UAB Blazers at LSU Tigers (5 p.m., ESPN3)
- VCU at Virginia Tech Hokies (5:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network)
- No. 6 Louisville at Florida International Golden Panthers (6 p.m., FOX Sports 1)
- Oklahoma at Texas A&M (7 p.m., ESPNU)
- USC Upstate at Charlotte 49ers (7 p.m.)
- Xavier at Alabama Crimson Tide (7 p.m., ESPN3)
- Towson Tigers at North Dakota State Bison State" data-canon="North Dakota Fighting Hawks" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0"> (8 p.m.)
- Arkansas Razorbacks -Pine Bluff at No. 25 Iowa (2 p.m., ESPN3)
- No. 10 Connecticut at Washington Huskies (3:30 p.m., ESPNU)
- Mercer Bears at Ole Miss Rebels (4 p.m., Comcast Sportsnet Affiliates)
- No. 17 Iowa State Cyclones vs. George Mason Patriots (5:30 p.m., ESPNU)
- North Carolina Central Eagles at No. 11 Wichita State Shockers (8 p.m.)
- Southern at No. 12 Baylor Bears (8 p.m., FOX Sports)
- South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Saint Mary’s (11 p.m., ESPNU)
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