Jan 26, 2013, 9:45 AM EDT
Game of the Day: No. 9 Butler vs. Temple (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Rotnei Clarke has been cleared to return to the Butler lineup after spraining his neck vs. Dayton on Jan. 12. With him back in the lineup, it sets the table for a high-level matchup between the Arkansas transfer and Temple guard Khalif Wyatt, who has carried the Owls for much of the season.
Both are capable of taking over a game in different ways. Clarke’s scrappy, free-shooting style contrasts with Wyatt’s persistent, smooth, “old school” repertoire of skills.
On the interior, Andrew Smith carries much of the load for Butler, but the Bulldogs should be aware of Temple forward Anthony Lee. In Temple’s big win over Syracuse at Madison Square Garden earlier this season, Lee fought on the inside and outmuscled Syracuse in the paint for 21 points and nine rebounds.
Who’s Getting Upset?: UCLA (-2.5) vs. Arizona State
I took Arizona State in an upset over Arizona last weekend and that didn’t work out, but the Sun Devils get another shot at a signature win this Saturday. It is already tough for the Bruins to go on the road, but news came down yesterday that they would be without forward Travis Wear due to a concussion.
Wear has been a major spark for UCLA in its recent resurgence and without him in the lineup, it puts more of the scoring burden on Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams.
Arizona State point guard Jahii Carson will be a handful for Larry Drew II, but the biggest advantage for the Sun Devils will be on the interior. With Wear out, it makes an already thin front line even thinner. UCLA will need to find a matchup for Jordan Bachynski, one of the nation’s best shot blockers and a true seven-footer around the rim. That likely means more minutes for freshman Tony Parker and David Wear.
Mid-Major Matchup of the Day: No. 15 New Mexico vs. San Diego State (4:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network)
Guard Tony Snell carried New Mexico in its win over Colorado State on Wednesday, due in part because an ill Alex Kirk was neutralized by the strong interior presence of Colton Iverson for the Rams. If Kirk is in the lineup and healthy Saturday, expect him to bounce back against San Diego State. If he can work in concert with Snell and Kendall Williams, the Lobos will be in business.
Defensively, New Mexico will key in, as every team does, on San Diego State’s Jamaal Franklin. His versatility and ability to score from different spots on the floor makes him dangerous. If San Diego State shoots as it did in a loss to Wyoming (29 percent), the Aztecs are going to have trouble against the Lobos.
Five Things to Watch For
1) No. 1 Duke is still without Ryan Kelly, but they’ll have something to prove after getting trounced by No. 25 Miami earlier this week. This one features a great matchup on the interior between Duke’s Mason Plumlee and Maryland’s Alex Len.
2) No. 8 Florida has been absolutely dominant in SEC play so far this season Expect that to continue Saturday, as the Gators are a 20.5-point favorite over Mississippi State.
3) After a big win over No. 1 Duke, NC State has lost two of its last three, including a two-point defeat at the hands of Wake Forest after the Wolfpack blew a 12-point halftime lead. They face tough in-state rivals North Carolina on Saturday.
4) Coach Shaka Smart did not foul when his team led by three in the closing seconds of VCU’s OT loss to Richmond on Thursday. They face a team Saturday that is hot off a big upset win, La Salle, on Saturday at home.
5) No. 5 Louisville was sloppy in its loss to Villanova this week. If they continue to miss shots and turn the ball over, Saturday vs. Georgetown will be ugly. Need we mention Georgetown’s history with messy, low-scoring games?
The Top 25
No. 1 Duke vs. Maryland (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)
No. 3 Syracuse vs. Villanova (11:0 a.m. ET, ESPNU)
No. 4 Kansas vs. Oklahoma (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
No. 5 Louisville vs. Georgetown (12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
No. 6 Arizona vs. USC (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
No. 8 Florida vs. Mississippi State (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
No. 9 Butler vs. Temple (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
No. 10 Gonzaga vs. San Francisco (8:00 p.m. ET, ROOT SPORTS)
No. 11 Kansas State vs. Iowa State (1:45 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
No. 12 Minnesota vs. Wisconsin (2:00 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network)
No. 14 Ohio State vs. Penn State (12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
No. 15 New Mexico vs. San Diego State (4:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network)
No. 16 Oregon vs. Washington (7:00 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks)
No. 18 North Carolina State vs. North Carolina (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
No. 19 Virginia Commonwealth vs. La Salle (8:00 p.m. ET)
No. 20 Wichita State vs. Bradley (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
No. 22 Missouri vs. Vanderbilt (5:00 p.m. ET, ESPU)
No. 23 Ole Miss vs. Auburn (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
No. 24 Notre Dame vs. South Florida (12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
Other Notable Games
West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State (1:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
Dartmouth vs. Harvard (2:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network)
Providence vs. Marquette (2:00 p.m.ET, ESPN3)
UCLA vs. Arizona State (4:00 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net National)
LSU vs. Kentucky (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
Xavier vs. St. Joseph’s (6:00 p.m. ET)
Pepperdine vs. St. Mary’s (6:00 p.m. ET)
Colorado State vs. Fresno State (10:00 p.m. ET)
BYU vs. Portland (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
Mar 30, 2015, 11:10 PM EDT
UConn, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Maryland make up the 2015 women’s Final Four.
Mar 30, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT
Some great names highlight this list.
Mar 30, 2015, 10:24 PM EDT
Williams was the leading scorer and rebounder for the Tigers this season.
Mar 30, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT
Nebraska forward Walter Pitchford is giving up basketball for his senior season.
Mar 30, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT
Xavier is losing a reserve guard to transfer.
Mar 30, 2015, 8:05 PM EDT
Utah Valley has found its new head coach.
Mar 30, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT
Chris Mullin will get a chance to restore glory at St. John’s.
Mar 30, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT
George Mason makes a move to hire a new head coach.
Mar 30, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT
Who were the best players in the second-weekend of the NCAA tournament?
Mar 30, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT
Cincinnati gets Mick Cronin back.
Mar 30, 2015, 3:40 PM EDT
Harrell and Rozier were both expected to head to the NBA.
Mar 30, 2015, 3:07 PM EDT
Izzo became the first coach to lead three teams seeded No. 5 or lower to the Final Four.
Mar 30, 2015, 2:41 PM EDT
Lee will be a priority target during the offseason.
Mar 30, 2015, 2:22 PM EDT
The Tar Heels should return every piece to its rotation next season, but what happens with the NCAA inquiry will have an impact as well.
Mar 30, 2015, 1:50 PM EDT
Dekker was the best player in the second weekend of the event.
Mar 30, 2015, 12:42 PM EDT
There isn’t anything all that wrong with the AP’s list. The first team is perfect.
Mar 30, 2015, 12:19 PM EDT
If you need to place a bet, here are the lines you’ll be working with.
Mar 30, 2015, 10:46 AM EDT
Neubauer was with Eastern Kentucky for 10 years and John Beilein for nine seasons before that.
Mar 30, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT
R.J. Hunter and his father/coach became a sensation during the tournament.
Mar 30, 2015, 9:43 AM EDT
This is not a surprise, as Turner was expected to be a one-and-done player.
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