#18 Iowa vs. #16 Penn State (9:00 AM, BTN)
As a fan of forwards, two of my favorite players in the whole country are Iowa’s Luka Garza and Penn State’s Lamar Stevens. When these two met in State College to start league play, Garza exploded for 34 points and 12 rebounds, while Stevens finished with 16 points in a key win for the Nittany Lions. Round two between these squads in Iowa City is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Kansas State vs. #1 Kansas (10:30 AM, CBS)
Hopefully, both teams have moved on from the bad blood that spilled over the last time these two rivals met, but for the Jayhawks, their focus should be more set on securing a Big 12 title over anything else anyway. On the road though, especially in the Big 12, strange things can always happen. The Wildcats have lost eight straight games and ten of their last eleven overall.
Marquette vs. #13 Seton Hall (11:30 AM, FOX)
Even by Markus Howard standards, tallying 68 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists in his last two outings has shown that Marquette’s star is simply performing at another level all-together. That’s not to say that Seton Hall’s Myles Powell is all that far behind. If you love watching two of the country’s best play-makers go head-to-head, you really can’t miss this one on Saturday.
#8 Kentucky vs. #15 Auburn (12:45 PM, CBS)
For those who haven’t watched the SEC a lot this season, like the rest of college basketball, it’s been a random assortment of who knows what on any given night that has kept fans coming back for more. Kentucky has a shot to grab an outright SEC title with second-place Auburn coming to town. Can Bruce Pearl and company snag the upset and ruin the Wildcats’ day in Lexington?
Virginia vs. #7 Duke (3:00 PM, ESPN)
Winners of five-straight, Virginia rolls into their match-up with Duke with the ability leapfrog the Blue Devils in the conference standings. However, the Cavaliers haven’t seen a team with Duke’s offensive prowess since they allowed 80 points at Louisville in their last loss. Duke has been wildly inconsistent as of late, dropping two of their last three, but aren’t out of the ACC title hunt yet.
#9 Maryland vs. #24 Michigan State (5:00 PM, ESPN)
Maryland’s unforeseen dominance over the Big Ten has been an absolute shock to a league that loves to turn things on it’s head and the Terps are somehow two games clear of the field with three tough meetings left. Starting with Michigan State on Saturday, they’ll go to Rutgers and host Michigan after this one. Can Sparty keep their recent string of strong performances going?
Murray State vs. Austin Peay (5:00 PM, ESPN+)
A three-way tie at the top of the Ohio Valley puts the focus on this showdown between Murray State and Austin Peay. Belmont, the other team tied at 14-3 in league play, split both their season series against the Racers and the Governors. Austin Peay knocked off Murray State on February 13th, putting them in a spot to claim the league title on the last day of their regular season.
Northern Colorado vs. Eastern Washington (6:00 PM, PlutoTV)
Two 20-8 teams with 13-4 records in Big Sky play will break the three-way deadlock (along with Montana) atop the league picture on Saturday. No, the race in a random mid-major conference isn’t necessarily the most exciting thing on paper, but games like this one have legitimate implications on who does and doesn’t make the big dance. A really great game in Greeley.
UCLA vs. Arizona (7:00 PM, ESPN)
Six straight victories have pushed Mick Cronin’s program into a tie for the top spot in the Pac-12 with Oregon, an astounding stat to digest considering the Bruins were 8-9 overall on January 15th. With two games left against NCAA Tournament caliber teams (versus Arizona and at USC), UCLA could still make their case for the field of 68. A sliding Wildcats team awaits in Westwood.
#3 Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s (7:00 PM, ESPN2)
One of college basketball’s often overlooked rivalries, Gonzaga will want to do more than just replicate their 30-point pounding of Saint Mary’s from earlier this month, they’ll want to dampen the Gaels’ shot at a probable NCAA Tournament inclusion. Saint Mary’s has won four-straight since that one-sided defeat at home, while Gonzaga is hanging onto their place as a #1 seed in March.