College Basketball Weekend Guide: February 16
Plenty of action this weekend in College Basketball with a bunch of ranked matchups and bubble teams in action. The weekend is obviously highlighted by Kentucky-Tennessee, a top-5 matchup. We’re coming down to the wire this season and the chances are dwindling for bubble teams to pick up quality wins.
24 Maryland at 6 Michigan 11am CT FOX
The Terps head to Ann Arbor for a top-25 showdown with Michigan. The Wolverines are fresh off a stunning loss at Penn State while Maryland is riding high after ending Purdue’s 8-game winning streak. The battle inside will be interested to see with Teske and Brazdeikis/Livers going against Smith and Fernando. Guard play and tempo will dictate in this one, Michigan needs to limit turnovers and get either Poole or Simpson going offensively to help Charles Matthews who has been solid lately.
Clemson at 16 Louisville 11am CT ESPN
The Tigers were trending in the right direction following their win last weekend against Virginia Tech, then they lost at Miami. Back to square one for Clemson and this is another great opportunity for a quad 1 win. Louisville has dropped back-to-back including their 23-point blown lead against Duke at home. It is a great opportunity for both teams to get back on track, more so for Clemson though.
Baylor at 15 Texas Tech 1pm CT ESPN
Baylor is a weird team, I’ve said it once I’ll say it many more times. They are still kind of on the bubble because it’s an incredibly weak bubble this year, but they need to start grabbing some wins. Very few bigger opportunities than at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have won 3 straight and have not allowed more than 54 points in any of those games.
Indiana at Minnesota 1pm CT ESPN 2
Both teams are squarely on the bubble, with Indiana getting dangerously close to falling off completely. The Hoosiers have lost 9 of their last 10 and currently sit half a game behind Rutgers in the Big Ten standings…Minnesota has lost 4 straight, three of them were on the road and three of them were against ranked opponents. The gist of things here is both teams are desperate for wins.
23 Iowa State at 18 Kansas State 3pm CT ESPN 2
Kansas State hosts Iowa State at Bramlage with a chance to pick up a solid win and extend their lead in the Big 12. Iowa State can cut the Wildcats’ edge to just one game with an upset win on the road. K State has won 9 of their last 10 including 4 in a row, they’re on fire and have scored 70+ in each game of the winning streak. Iowa State was beating up on the bottom half of the Big 12 before a home loss to TCU, both teams are vying for the conference title and this is a chance for Iowa State to make a statement or Kansas State to slam the door.
VCU at Dayton 3pm CT NBCSN
VCU is a team that keeps coming up in terms of the bubble conversation. The Rams sit at 18-6 with a NET ranking of 43, not bad. They head to Dayton who has been rather up and down this year but has found their footing a bit in conference play, holding the 4th spot in the A-10 right now. VCU has won 5 straight and won the first matchup of these teams at home by just 5. Dayton can look to play spoiler here with a win at UD Arena.
North Carolina State at 2 Duke 5pm CT ESPN
Duke seems like the scariest team in America right now. They just overcame a 23-point 2nd half deficit and have swept Virginia. NC State has righted the ship a bit following their 24 point debacle against Va Tech and the shootout against UNC. The Wolfpack are in the field of 68 and could do themselves a big favor in terms of seeding by winning this game. For Duke it is all about continuing to lock down on defense. This team is currently 4th in defensive efficiency on KenPom which is terrifying. The only thing they don’t do consistently well is shoot the 3. Defend the arc should be the gameplan for NC State.
Memphis at UCF 5pm CT ESPN 2
The American desperately wants to be a 3+ bid league and they have a couple teams to hope for, UCF is one of them. The Knights are 18-5 with a NET of 39 which has them on the cusp of being an at-large team. Memphis isn’t quite where Penny wants them to be but they are competitive. This will be a tough game and really can only hurt UCF’s resume because Memphis just doesn’t move the needle.
Temple at South Florida 5pm CT ESPNU
Another matchup in the American with some bubble hopefuls. When was the last time South Florida was relevant in College Basketball? Has to be about 6 years. The Bulls are 17-7 and very much on the outside looking in, but a win over Temple, who is the only team to beat Houston this year, would be massive. The Owls are looking to keep pace with the top of the league.
UNC Greensboro at Wofford 6pm CT ESPN+
It’s really unfortunate that this game is behind a paywall because these are two of the better low-to-mid-major teams in America. Wofford has a legitimate shot at an at-large bid this year and both teams are 22-4. The Terriers are 29th in NET and hold a perfect 14-0 mark in SoCon play. The league is top heavy but if they win out in the regular season I would find it hard to keep them out of the field. I don’t see the committee giving the SoCon multiple at-large bids this year so the most Greensboro can do right now is play spoiler. Their time to shine will be the conference tournament.
1 Tennessee at 5 Kentucky 7pm CT ESPN
The matchup of the day takes place in Lexington as the Gameday crew will be in town. Kentucky just lost at home to LSU on a controversial call and Tennessee remained unbeaten in SEC play. This will be a fun one, Kentucky has a chance to secure a top-2 seed in the NCAA Tournament with a win and Tennessee can prove the folks that want Duke to be #1 wrong. Grant Williams vs PJ Washington is going to be must watch TV.
Arizona State at Utah 9pm FS1
Somehow Arizona State is still considered a bubble team. Bobby Hurley’s team was able to knock off Pac-12 top dog Washington. The Utes are quietly 2nd in the conference at 8-4. This is a can’t lose for Arizona State as another loss to anyone other than Washington would end their hopes for an at-large.