Jan 16, 2014, 11:16 AM EDT
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 25 UCLA at No. 21 Colorado, 8:00 p.m.
Who is the second best team in the Pac-12? In the preseason, Colorado looked like they would be Arizona’s biggest challenger, but then they lost Spencer Dinwiddie. Oregon has been putting up a ton of points this season, but they don’t play any defense. Cal has looked great this season, but they don’t have any front court depth.
Can UCLA be that team? Well, UCLA doesn’t defend, either, and they still haven’t beaten anyone noteworthy this season. Are the Bruins really going to be a contender in this league? And how will Colorado respond without Dinwiddie?
WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: No. 11 Ohio State at Minnesota, 9:00 p.m.
The Golden Gophers have been one of the most surprising teams in the country this season. Richard Pitino is doing a terrific job getting this group to be competitive. They have a shot at an at-large berth this year, but they are going to have to notch a couple wins over teams like — oh, I don’t know — Ohio State.
MID-MAJOR MATCHUP OF THE DAY: Belmont at Eastern Kentucky, 7:00 p.m.
Eastern Kentucky was the favorite in the Ohio Valley entering the season. They took VCU to overtime in Richmond back in November. But it’s Belmont that is 4-0 in the OVC this season. It’s the Bruins that won a game at North Carolina. Can they stay on top of the conference?
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:
1) If UConn is really going to be a contender in the American, this is the week that will determine that. Tonight, they visit No. 17 Memphis. On Saturday, they host No. 18 Louisville. Lose both, and the Huskies will be sitting at 1-4 in league play.
2) Speaking of Louisville, they host Houston tonight.
3) No. 1 Arizona will square off with in-state rival Arizona State tonight. The Sun Devils need to get this win.
4) Gonzaga will be making one of the tougher road trips in the WCC this season as they head down to Malibu to take on Pepperdine tonight.
5) Big game out in the Big Sky as Northern Colorado makes their toughest road trip of the season as they head up to Montana State tonight and Montana over the weekend.
- Providence at St. John’s, 7:00 p.m.
- Missouri at Vanderbilt, 7:00 p.m.
- Elon at Davidson, 7:00 p.m.
- New Mexico State at Chicago State, 8:00 p.m.
- USC at Utan, 10:00 p.m.
- Bracketology: Gonzaga grabs WCC title, BYU waits 0
- 2014 Pac-12 Tournament Preview: No. 4 Arizona looks to cap dominant campaign 1
- 2014 Mountain West Tournament Preview: San Diego State, New Mexico clear favorites in Las Vegas 0
- 2014 American Athletic Conference Tournament Preview: Louisville looks to win its only year in the AAC 1
- NBCSports.com National Player of the Year: Doug McDermott, Creighton 2
- 2014 ACC Tournament Preview: Will a newcomer crash the party in Greensboro? 1
- NBCSports.com National Freshman of the Year: Jabari Parker, Duke 3
- NBCSports.com’s 2014 College Basketball All-Americans (12)
- Wichita State will head into the NCAA tournament 34-0 as a No. 1 seed (12)
- 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)
- South Carolina suspends Frank Martin for regular season finale at Mississippi State (5)