Each of the top-10, men’s college basketball teams in the current AP poll will be in action on Saturday. #1 Gonzaga (19-1) is trying to keep the top spot for a fifth week in a row, while fending off conference foe, BYU. #2 Baylor (15-2) is eying a top spot, but have a tough road game against Oklahoma State in Stillwater. #3 Duke faces #11 Louisville in ACC action.
#7 San Diego State (18-0) is the only unbeaten team in the nation, but Nevada is trying to serve them their first loss of the season.
#4 Auburn started the season 15-0, but they lost their first game of the season on Wednesday when Alabama ambushed the Tigers in Tuscaloosa.
Notable Saturday College Hoops Matchups
#2 Baylor (14-1) at Oklahoma State (9-7)
#18 Seton Hall (13-4) at St. John’s (12-6)
#5 Butler (15-2) at DePaul (12-5)
#9 Florida State (15-2) at Miami (10-6)
#4 Auburn (15-1) at Florida (11-5)
#6 Kansas (13-3) at Texas (12-4)
#20 Colorado (14-3) at Arizona (12-5)
#8 Oregon (14-4) at Washington (12-6)
#11 Louisville (14-3) at #3 Duke (15-2)
Nevada (11-7) at #7 San Diego State (18-0)
BYU (14-5) at #1 Gonzaga (19-1)
Several rivalry games are at stake on Saturday, including UW and Oregon, with the #8 Ducks visiting the Huskies in Seattle. #9 Florida State and Miami also square off, and with those two teams, records don’t matter because of the bitter rivalry that developed on the football field, and which has since extended onto the basketball court. When the Seminoles and Hurricanes play in any sport, it’s a heated affair, and must-see TV.
Game of the Day: Louisville at Duke
#11 Louisville (14-3) at #3 Duke (15-2)… Duke had a nine-game winning streak snapped with a 7-point loss to Clemson. Duke teams usually respond positively after a loss, and you know Duke’s been getting their butts kicked by Coach K in practice all week. Freshman Vernon Carey, Jr. leads Duke with 17.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. After dropping two straight to Kentucky and FSU, Louisville won two close games in a row. Duke will look to trip up Louisville on offense by shutting down top scorer, Joran Nwora (20.4 ppg).
Conference Roadies: Big 12, SEC, Big East
In these five games, ranked teams are all hitting the road to face tough conference opponents.
#2 Baylor (14-1) at Oklahoma State (9-7)… Baylor jumped into the #2 spot last week. They’re looking to move up to the top spot if Gonzaga falters. But Scott Drew’s Baylor team knows they can’t overlook the Cowboys in Stillwater.
#18 Seton Hall (13-4) at St. John’s (12-6)… The Johnnies are 12-6, and host the Seton Hall Pirates. St. John’s started out 1-4 in Big East play. They live and die by LJ Figueroa. If LJ has a good night, then they typically win. Seton Hall won seven in a row, including a 78-70 upset over #5 Butler this week. Myle Powell leads the Pirates with 22.0 ppg.
#5 Butler (15-2) at DePaul (12-5)… Butler had a six-game winning streak ended by Seton Hall this week. They’re expected to bounce back against DePaul, who have yet to win a conference game in the Big East.
#4 Auburn (15-1) at Florida (11-5)… Auburn got their collective butts kicked by ‘Bama this week in a 19-point blowout. Bruce Pearl’s Tigers will have a lot more fight in them when they hit the road to play the Gators in Gainesville. Florida’s Kerry Blackshear, a 6-foot-10 forward, averages 15.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
#6 Kansas (13-3) at Texas (12-4)… Kansas’ leading scorer, Devon Dotson, missed the last game with a hip pointer. He will be a game-time decision against Texas.
Rivalry Games: Oregon/UW and FSU/Miami
#8 Oregon (14-4) at Washington (12-6)… Oregon is fresh off a stunning 11-point loss at Washington State. Payton Pritchard leads the Ducks with 19.4 ppg. UW is 2-4 over their last six games, but you can’t count out the Huskies whenever they face the Ducks. Isaiah Stewart, a 6-foot-9 freshman forward, leads UW with 17.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. The Stewart and Pritchard battle should be fun to watch.
#9 Florida State (15-2) at Miami (10-6)… It’s going to be a wild night in Coconut Grove. You never know which player will shoulder the scoring burden among FSU’s triple-guard threat: Sevin Vasell (12.6 ppg), Trent Forrest (11.8 ppg), and ML Walker (11.1 ppg). Miami has a triple-guard threat as well, with Chris Lykes (15.6 ppg), Kameron McGusty (14.6 ppg), and Dejan Vasiljevic (14.4 ppg).
Respect Games: Buffs and Aztecs
#20 Colorado (14-3) at Arizona (12-5)… Colorado won seven out of their last eight games, including a huge win over #4 Oregon. The Buffs are led by McKinley Wright IV, a 6-foot junior guard, who averages 13.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game. Tyler Bey, a 6-foot-7 junior swingman, also averages 13.4 points per game, and leads Colorado in rebounding with 9.6 boards per game.
Nevada (11-7) at #7 San Diego State (18-0)… San Diego State has their eye on a perfect regular season, but Nevada is their latest obstacle.
Fighting for #1: No Zig for Zags
BYU (14-5) at #1 Gonzaga (19-1)… Filip Petrusev, a 6-foot-11 sophomore center, emerged as Gonzaga’s top player, averaging 16.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. BYU won 10 out of their last 12 games thanks to Yoeli Childs, a 6-foot-8 senior swingman, who averages 20.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.