Welcome to the last Saturday in February folks! Next Saturday is go time. Why? It’s March, the best month of the year. With 15 days until the final day of the regular season, let’s take a look around America.
Southern Miss at #19 Memphis FSN 1:00 p.m.
This is a rematch of a game from two weeks ago that put Memphis back in the polls. Since then, the Tigers have kept winning, extending the nation’s longest winning streak to 17. Southern Miss on the other hand, has won three in a row and kept an RPI in the top 40. This is a must win on the road for the Golden Eagles to assure themselves of an at-large bid. Memphis dominated the first game, controlling the pace and will do so again at home.
Memphis 81 Southern Miss 71
#11 Georgetown at #8 Syracuse CBS 4:00 p.m.
Remember when it was Jim Boeheim vs. John Thompson III? Those were the days. Now, as Syracuse prepares to leave for new conference land, and Georgetown plans to join its six best friends, we see the end of a great rivalry. Much like Kansas-Missouri last year, expect this game to be full of emotion and full of everything that makes us love college basketball. Otto Porter is my key for Georgetown today, if he has a big game, and the rest of the Hoyas can shoot around Syracuse’s zone, then it’ll be a fun day in New York. I like the upset.
Georgetown 65 Syracuse 62
Stanford at #23 Oregon PACN 8:00 p.m.
What about the season the Ducks are having? Oregon is putting together quite a campaign for the Pac-12 title, and it needs to win tonight to stay in contention. The Ducks were knocked off by Cal earlier this week, and must regroup. They’re still in a tie for first place with Arizona, but three teams are all within one game. The finish out West might be as good as any other conference in America.
Oregon 75 Stanford 63
Missouri at Kentucky ESPN 9:00 p.m.
John Calipari’s Kentucky squad got a much needed victory earlier this week against a scrappy Vandy club at home. It was a game too close for comfort, and Coach Cal hopes this one isn’t much of the same. Missouri comes in 1-5 on the road in SEC play, but upset Florida at home on Tuesday. Kentucky needs this win to stay alive in the quest for an at-large bid. After this battle, UK gets Mississippi State, road games at Arkansas and Georgia, and then another big game at home against Florida. They need this one tonight, though. Or it may be NIT.
Missouri 69 Kentucky 63
Illinois at #7 Michigan ESPN 1:00 p.m Sunday
Michigan needs a win to stay in contention in the Big Ten race, and can still win the regular season title. The Wolverines get road games against Purdue and Penn State before Indiana on March 10th, but now find themselves 2.5 back of the league leading Hoosiers. Illinois is looking for another big victory to boost its at-large chances, and desperately wants to work up to a top 4 seed in Chicago. Going to Michigan is never easy, and I expect the Wolverines to be clicking ahead a quick two game road trip, in preparation for IU.
Michigan 73 Illinois 67
Michigan State at Ohio State CBS 4:00 p.m. Sunday
Want to see a huge game on Sunday? Look no further. Michigan State, fresh off its defeat Tuesday to Indiana, gets to travel to Ohio State this weekend. OSU gets its third straight CBS Sunday game, and they hope this one goes better than the last two, losses to Indiana and at Wisconsin. Neither team can afford a loss today and these two games will go a long way towards deciding who gets Thursday off in the Big Ten tournament, and who will have to win four games in four days. At the moment Ohio State is 5th in the conference, just half a game back of Michigan. Sparty is still in second place, but a loss Sunday could be bad.
Michigan State 62 Ohio State 59