Saturday’s college basketball schedule won’t be boring as a nearly complete slate of 22 teams in the Associated Press Top 25 will be in action as a result of the sport going with a weaker-than-usual schedule on Sunday when the Super Bowl will take center stage. . While the day is easy for the marquee matches – No. 4 Kansas vs.
Beginning at 12:30 PM ET, four ranked teams will be in action on the road against league foes in a window ripe for at least one upset. Then, the afternoon brings a massive doubleheader on CBS as No. 10 Illinois heads to Michigan State, followed by Gonzaga’s trip to No. 17 Kentucky in a rare February nonconference game.
The Spartans and Zags trail only Kansas in consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, but both are living on the bubble and need to improve their resumes. Both games should feature raucous environments and plenty of drama as we close in five weeks until Selection Sunday.
Our experts have picks for those games and Saturday’s other key clashes.
Odds via SportsLine Consensus | All Eastern Times
4 pm | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (free) — Kentucky has dropped two straight at Rupp Arena and three home games overall this season. That’s a matter of pride for the Wildcats, who got back on track Tuesday by scoring 109 points in a win at Vanderbilt. Gonzaga desperately needs a Quad 1 win, but expecting the Zags to travel across the country and beat an offensive juggernaut like UK is a tall order. Prediction: Kentucky -4
6 pm | ESPN, fuboTV (Free Trial) — Kansas reminded us why Allen Fieldhouse is considered one of the best home field advantages of all time last week when it beat Houston by 13 after entering as an underdog. The Jayhawks have their flaws, but good luck beating them at home. Baylor has a penchant for playing close games, but KU is the right side to pick in this big Big 12 battle. Prediction: Kansas -6.5
20:00 | ESPN, fuboTV (Free Trial) — Every single Tennessee win this season has come by six or more points. When the Volunteers win, which they often do, they tend to win big. With Dalton Knecht’s supporting cast providing significant contributions of late, look for Tennessee to create some breathing room late against a Texas A&M team that has dropped three games at home this season. Prediction: Tennessee -3.5
20:00 | Fox, fuboTV (Free Trial) — Indiana showed some grit in coming back from a late deficit to win at Ohio State on Tuesday. After losing by 21 at home to Purdue on Jan. 16, the Hoosiers will be motivated to redeem themselves. Purdue will win, but look for Indiana to struggle in one of its last chances to make a big statement. Prediction: Indiana +18.5
No. 10 Illinois at Michigan State
2 pm | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (free) — This goes down to the scene. Illinois is 1-5 in true road games this season, and the lone win was a 2-point triumph over a tough Maryland team. Michigan State is out to avenge an earlier 71-68 loss at Illinois and needs this game for its NCAA Tournament hopes. Plus, the Spartans haven’t lost a home game since December 5th. Every home win in that span has come by at least nine points for Michigan State. Prediction: Michigan State -2.5
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