It’s Super Bowl weekend (Go Panthers!), but before the big game on Sunday night, the college basketball schedule makers have gifted us with a nice slate of games, creating a great sports weekend! Here is a look at the games on tap for Saturday and Sunday:
George Washington @ VCU
Saturday 2/6, 12:00 noon, CBS Sports Network
The A-10 is a quality conference this season, and this is a match-up between two of their best teams. VCU is undefeated in conference play, and they are well on their way to a likely tournament berth. A win over George Washington would definitely improve their resume. The Colonials are squarely on the Bubble, and after a home loss to Richmond last week, they could really use this win on the road. Their next two games after VCU are against St. Joseph’s and St. Bonaventure, so this would be a nice start to that stretch.
#9 Virginia @ Pittsburgh
Saturday 2/6, 12:00 noon, ESPN3
Virginia got a massive road win over Louisville last weekend, answering some questions about their road struggles in the process. This weekend they get another difficult road test when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers. Pitt has lost three of their last six games, and they will travel to Miami and North Carolina after this one. Those will be tough games, so they could really use a win here over Virginia.
#10 Michigan State @ Michigan
Saturday 2/6, 2:00 pm, CBS
After a brutal 3-game losing streak, the Spartans have started to turn it around, getting a win over Maryland, as well as a 31-point road win over Northwestern. They ride a 3-game winning streak into this rivalry match-up. Michigan just suffered a loss on their home floor to Indiana, who pulled away at the end of the 1st half with a 25-0 run. It’s mind-boggling how a team as good as Michigan can give up 25 straight points. I don’t know if they’ll beat Michigan State, but expect them to bounce-back and play really well.
#3 Villanova @ #11 Providence
Saturday 2/6, 2:30 pm, FOX Sports 1
These two teams played an absolute classic two weeks ago in Philly, with Providence pulling off the upset in overtime. It was one of the best games we’ve seen this season, and they’ll look to make magic happen again on Saturday, this time at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Villanova may be without star C Daniel Ochefu, and Providence F Ben Bentil was banged up this week in their loss to DePaul. These teams might not be at full strength, but this should still be an exciting ballgame.
#18 Purdue @ #4 Maryland
Saturday 2/6, 4:00 pm, ESPN
In a match-up between teams that each have a great inside presence, it might come down to the guard play to see who comes out on top. Damonte Dodd and Diamond Stone of Maryland will battle underneath with A.J. Hammons, Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas, but the edge elsewhere probably goes to the Terrapins. They’ll need Melo Trimble, Rasheed Sulaimon and Robert Carter to play well if they’re going to win. This is the first of two meetings between these teams this month, as they both look to position themselves for a shot at a Big Ten title.
#25 South Carolina @ #8 Texas A&M
Saturday 2/6, 4:00 pm, ESPNU
Two of the top teams in the SEC, each coming off of tough road losses, do battle in College Station on Saturday. South Carolina is 19-3 on the year, but they are still looking for a signature win, as their best victory this season is a road win over rival Clemson. They’ll have a tough time getting the win though, as they face an angry Texas A&M team that was just wiped off the court on Thursday night against Vanderbilt. On their own home floor, it’s hard to see the Aggies not getting the victory here.
Florida @ #20 Kentucky
Saturday 2/6, 4:00 pm, CBS
Kentucky is looking to snap a 2-game losing streak, after they inconceivably squandered a 21-point lead to Tennessee earlier this week. Their last two losses were on the road, so a return home to Rupp Arena is a welcome treat. The Gators aren’t going to make it easy for them though. They are one of the best defensive teams in the nation, but they are just 2-5 on the road this season. A win in Lexington would be a huge addition to Florida’s resume.
#23 Arizona @ Washington
Saturday 2/6, 4:30 pm, FOX
The Washington Huskies are one of the biggest surprises of this college basketball season. They’re 7-3 in the Pac-12, despite starting four freshmen around senior star Andrew Andrews. They are a team to keep an eye on in the last month of the regular season. They’ll face a difficult test against an Arizona team that, believe it or not, is fighting for a spot in the tournament. They should get Allonzo Trier back soon, but a win here over Washington would definitely help their cause.
#2 North Carolina @ Notre Dame
Saturday 2/6, 7:00 pm, ESPN
College Gameday heads to South Bend this week for this big ACC match-up between the Tar Heels and the Fighting Irish. Since entering the Top-25 last week, Notre Dame has lost two out of three, but they were both tough road games against Syracuse and Miami FL. The Irish are a better team on their home floor, but they’ll need to play their best if they’re going to beat a North Carolina team that is coming off of their first loss since December 12.
#15 Baylor @ #14 West Virginia
Saturday 2/6, 8:00 pm, ESPN2
These two teams have some particular results in common this year. They are the only two teams this season to win at Hilton Coliseum against Iowa State, but they’ve also both lost home games to Texas. They are both capable of winning big road games, and they both are susceptible to home losses against good teams. That screams advantage Baylor, but West Virginia is a tough team. This game could go either way, and that should make it a fun one.
Utah @ #16 Oregon
Sunday 2/7, 4:00 pm, ESPN2
If you’re heading to a Super Bowl party and you get there early, ask the host to change the channel to this game, because it will be well worth watching. Oregon is one of the hottest teams in the land right now, and they will look here to extend their home winning streak to 22 games. Utah is a curious team. They have some really good wins this year (Duke, San Diego State, BYU), but they also have some questionable losses (Stanford, Oregon State). I believe that they are a very good team, and will be a good test for the Ducks. Oregon won at Utah earlier this season, so the Utes will be out for revenge.
I’m looking forward to sitting down and catching some really good action this weekend, and I hope you get a chance to also. Have a good weekend, and enjoy the Super Bowl!