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 11, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT
As weird as this may sound, the SEC may have more to play for in their conference tournament than any other conference in the country will have. Hear me out. It starts with Kentucky. The Wildcats entered the season as the No. 1 team in the country and have, since then, essentially remained the same…
Mar 11, 2014, 2:52 AM EDT
Three more teams are dancing after tonight’s exhilarating conference tournament action.
Mar 11, 2014, 2:05 AM EDT
There are eight days left until Selection Sunday. Every morning from now until the bracket comes out, we’ll help you get caught up on the happenings with impact on the bubble from the night before. Our latest bracket projection can be found here. Gonzaga: The Zags entered Monday night’s WCC quarterfinal sitting in pretty good…
Mar 11, 2014, 12:43 AM EDT
In less than 36 months, Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello has taken the Jaspers from 6-25 to the NCAA tournament.
Mar 11, 2014, 12:05 AM EDT
Get to know the eighth entry into the 2014 NCAA Tournament field, the Wofford Terriers.
Mar 10, 2014, 10:47 PM EDT
Cameron Bairstow spent his offseason toiling in international competition, and return to New Mexico with a chip on his shoulder. After a season spent toying with the other Mountain West frontcourts, Bairstow’s efforts might not get the necessary recognition.
Mar 10, 2014, 10:05 PM EDT
Highlights of Delaware’s win in the CAA title game, as seen on the NBC Sports Network.
Mar 10, 2014, 9:56 PM EDT
Get to know the sixth entry into the 2014 NCAA Tournament field, the Delaware Blue Hens.
Mar 10, 2014, 9:43 PM EDT
Get to know the fifth entry into the 2014 NCAA Tournament field, the Manhattan Jaspers
Mar 10, 2014, 9:26 PM EDT
Joel Embiid will miss the Big 12 tournament and likely will be out for the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. What does this mean for Kansas?
Mar 10, 2014, 8:23 PM EDT
This is great. The bench mob for the Colby College Mules has extensive choreographed sideline celebrations. Their best is the “El Toro Tres Puntos”. Without a doubt. (h/t Colby’s finest)
Mar 10, 2014, 6:53 PM EDT
Louisiana Tech is fighting to stay on top of Conference USA after four teams tied atop the league standings with a 13-3 record during the regular season.
Mar 10, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT
The CAA Tournament title will take be played in Baltimore on Monday evening. League champ Delaware will square off with Williams & Mary, who is looking to make their first ever trip to the NCAA tournament. The game will tip off at roughly 7:00 p.m. You can watch the game live on NBC Sports Live Extra. WATCH…
Mar 10, 2014, 6:31 PM EDT
UConn’s Shabazz Napier elevates the conversation for the American Athletic Conference’s player of the year discussion.
Mar 10, 2014, 5:57 PM EDT
Despite an arrest for a driving under the influence charge, Oregon State’s Langston Morris-Walker will play in the Pac-12 tournament, and his addition means the Beavers are the conference’s ultimate sleeper pick for a tourney title.
Mar 10, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT
Jason Capel was reportedly fired today, which may put one of the best available class of 2014 recruits on the market again
Mar 10, 2014, 5:14 PM EDT
Joel Embiid has missed the last two games, and Bill Self shines some light on when the center will next play.
Mar 10, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT
What do you expect from a conference that could feature eight NCAA tournament teams?
Mar 10, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT
Creighton and Villanova are the Big East’s two darlings, but which other teams are best positioned to separate themselves from the conference’s middle and earn a bid?
Mar 10, 2014, 1:34 PM EDT
MAAC, CAA and Southern all at stake tonight.
- 2014 SEC Tournament Preview: How will Kentucky, bubble teams fair? 0
- Joel Embiid out for Big 12 tournament, ‘longshot’ for NCAA tournament first weekend 0
- 2014 Big 12 Tournament Preview: This is going to be good 1
- 2014 Big East Tournament Preview: Can Villanova finally beat Creighton? 0
- College Basketball Talk’s Latest Top 25 4
- Bracketology: Florida in driver’s seat for overall No. 1 seed 5
- NBCSports.com’s 2014 College Basketball All-Americans 8
- Wichita State will head into the NCAA tournament 34-0 as a No. 1 seed (12)
- No. 7 Syracuse falls to Georgia Tech in a shocking home loss (9)
- NBCSports.com’s 2014 College Basketball All-Americans (8)
- Assigned Reading: Dean Smith’s health continues to deteriorate (6)
- No. 1 Florida’s undefeated SEC season not just a by-product of their league (6)