Our list of 10 games to watch on Saturday. All game times are listed in Pacific Time.
1. Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (9:00 AM, FOX)
Rutgers was last included in ESPN’s Joey Brackets “Last Four Byes”, but the room to move in the Big Ten is minimal. The Scarlet Knights will be hurt by a lopsided road loss to Nebraska and dropping three of their last four overall. Minnesota can play spoiler to Rutgers’ NCAA dream.
2. #6 West Virginia Mountaineers vs. #17 Oklahoma State Cowboys (11:00 AM, ESPN)
Just based off a gut feeling, I doubt Cade Cunningham plays in this one for Oklahoma State, but either way, it’s still a big-time show down. The Cowboys hung tight for most of their recent battle with Baylor and can use time without their star to develop depth in other reliable pieces.
3. #23 Purdue Boilermakers vs. Indiana Hoosiers (11:00 AM, ESPN)
Nothing like the best rivalry in the state of Indiana to get some blood flowing early on a Saturday. The Hoosiers need this one. There’s no other way to put it. They are in search of quality wins for their resume and Purdue is just that, as the Boilermakers have won their last four straight.
4. Missouri Tigers vs. LSU Tigers (12:00 PM, SECN)
A battle of two sets of Tigers, Missouri and LSU are both squads that can knock off anyone in the SEC on any given night, but have also shown flashes of remarkable letdowns. The guards get all the praise in the buildup, but I’m interested to see how Trendon Watford handles Jeremiah Tilmon.
5. #7 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #4 Illinois Fighting Illini (1:00 PM, ESPN)
The showcase game of the day, Illinois has won ten of their last eleven overall and is now playing for a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, while their foes in Ohio State are trying to stop the bleeding after an 18-4 start has become an 18-7 finish. If you miss this one, shame on you.
6. Louisville Cardinals vs. #21 Virginia Cavaliers (1:00 PM, ESPN2)
Virginia’s recent victory over Miami stopped a three-game losing skid for the Cavaliers, which has placed their ACC title hopes in jeopardy with a bad showing this weekend. Louisville will be without forward Malik Williams, which will undoubtedly change their dynamic going forward.
7. UCLA Bruins vs. USC Trojans (1:00 PM, CBS)
The cross-town rivals meet for the second time this season, with this one expecting to have Pac-12 regular season title implications in store. The Trojans own the head-to-head match-up over the Bruins and are just half-game in front of Mick Cronin’s program (with Oregon) in the standings.
8. North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils (3:00 PM, ESPN)
College basketball’s biggest rivalry has looked a bit unique this year with both programs struggling to keep their feet in the Top 25, but nonetheless, it’s still Duke-Carolina. The lack of fans and atmosphere may change, but the Blue Devils still need to play their way into the field of 68.
9. St. John’s Red Storm vs. Seton Hall Pirates (4:00 PM, FS1)
Kevin Willard hasn’t missed an NCAA Tournament at Seton Hall since 2015 and as of Friday night, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had the Pirates as the “First Team Out” of the whole field. The Pirates are on a three-game losing skid and are out of ground to give. St. John’s won’t go quietly though.
10. Fresno State Bulldogs vs. Utah State Aggies (8:00 PM, FS1)
The race for the lead in the Mountain West is as close as it’s ever been and every game matters for a team that’s fighting for their shot at the big dance like Utah State. The Aggies’ interior duo of Neemais Queta and Justin Bean is detrimental to opposing coaches sleeping patterns.
Five More To Remember
- #20 Loyola-Chicago Ramblers vs. Indiana State Sycamores (10:00 AM, CBSSN)
- Providence Friars vs. #10 Villanova Wildcats (11:30 AM, FOX)
- Creighton Bluejays vs. Butler Bulldogs (2:00 PM, FOX)
- Saint Louis Billikens vs. St. Bonaventures Bonnies (3:00 PM, CBSSN)
- Belmont Bruins vs. Morehead State Eagles (5:00 PM, ESPN2)