The last time Oregon State didn’t give Beaver Nation their fix on a college basketball Saturday, the calendar still read 2018 and NCAA Tournament hopes were still in the team’s future. With the Beavers’ contest falling on a Sunday this week (due to Senior Day), here’s what to watch for on what should be, a fun day of college basketball.
Game Of The Day
#7 Tennessee v. #4 Kentucky (11:00 AM PT) | Coverage: CBS
This one has got it all. Two of the best teams in the country (who are both still fighting for a one-seed in the big dance), a potential preview of a third meeting in the SEC Championship game and two of the games best coaches in Kentucky’s John Calipari and Tennessee’s Rick Barnes.
Can’t Miss Contests
#18 Florida State v. North Carolina State (9:00 AM PT) | Coverage: ESPN2 - Two ACC squads with single-digit losses meeting as March ushers in. What a wild ride this one could be in Tallahassee. The Seminoles have won nine of their last ten. The Wolfpack? Four of their last five.
Indiana v. #6 Michigan State (9:00 AM PT) | Coverage: FOX - Indiana has had a season worth forgetting but Romeo Langford’s lay-up to defeat Wisconsin in double-overtime gave the Hoosiers a moment to remember. Archie Miller’s squad just feels ready for a huge upset victory.
Villanova v. Butler (11:00 AM PT) | Coverage: FOX - Jay Wright’s squad has been erratic all-season long and every game is now crucial for the Wildcats in their hunt for a Big East crown. Butler is probably headed for the NIT, but the Bulldogs could beat anyone on any given night.
#16 Kansas State v. Baylor (5:00 PM PT) | Coverage: ESPN2 - Kansas State enters Saturday tied with Texas Tech for the lead in the Big 12 with Kansas and Baylor lingering a game behind. The Bears need this game to remain in the league title-fight. Can they pull one out in Manhattan?
#23 Cincinnati v. Memphis (5:00 PM PT) | Coverage: ESPNU - At 24-4 on the season. Cincinnati sitting one full game behind Houston in the league standings show how dominant the Cougars have been in the AAC. Memphis is a dangerous team who could stun the Bearcats.
Bubble Watch Specials
Samford v. #24 Wofford (11:00 AM PT) | Coverage: ESPN3 - Wofford is in the big dance for now and has potential for an at-large bid, even if they have a letdown in the SoCon Tournament. However, they can’t have a slip-up against a tough, but barely .500 Samford group.
#8 Houston v. UCF (1:00 PM PT) | Coverage: ESPN - UCF is currently 21-6 with a lot of room for devastating losses still on their slate. A victory, especially on the road, over a one-loss team in Houston could have the Golden Knights feeling a bit more confident on Selection Sunday.
Auburn v. Mississippi State (1:00 PM PT) | Coverage: ESPNU - Under-the-radar, this SEC showdown might be one of the actual best games of the day, if both teams come to play. Neither the Tigers or Bulldogs have secured their tournament spot and both are in need of a big victory.
Utah State v. #12 Nevada (5:30 PM PT) | Coverage: CBSSN - If the eye test was a true measure, Utah State would easily be in the dance. The Aggies have quietly put together a 23-6 campaign under first-year head coach Craig Smith, which could be punctuated with a Nevada win.
TCU v. #11 Texas Tech (1:00 PM PT) | Coverage: ESPN2 - The Horned Frogs’ resume has been extremely helped by the strength of the Big 12 and not so much what they’ve actually done. They have their moment sitting in front of them. Forty minutes between them and a sure lock.
Other Games To Watch
#3 Duke v. Miami-FL (1:00 PM PT) | Coverage: CBS - Duke hasn’t looked too sharp (by Duke standards) without star Zion Williamson and the Hurricanes have always given the Blue Devils trouble. With or without Zion in the mix, when are Coach K’s guys not must-see television.
Central Michigan v. Toledo (1:30 PM PT) | Coverage: ESPN+ - If you’re looking for a great mid-major contest, find yourself this one in the early afternoon. Combined, these two squads are 42-14 on the year and sit just a game apart in the MAC-West for that coveted first place spot.
Saint Mary’s v. #1 Gonzaga (7:00 PM PT) | Coverage: ESPN - Few rivalries bring out the pure hatred between two schools like Saint Mary’s-Gonzaga does. Knocking off the #1 team in the land on the road in Moraga would at the very least, bring the Gaels back into the bubble conversation.