No. 24 Iowa State at No. 20 Mississippi

Sat.: 11 a.m., ESPN

The Cyclones jumped back into the rankings this week after their second victory against a top-10 team, this time Texas Tech. This is another chance to pick up a “W” vs. a ranked opponent.

No. 9 Kansas at No. 8 Kentucky, 5 p.m.

Sat.: 5 p.m., ESPN

The featured Big 12-SEC matchup could’ve been an early Final Four preview, until both teams dropped from elite status. But the Wildcats have won five in a row, including victories over Auburn and Mississippi State.


Trending up: Purdue Boilermakers. We expected Carsen Edwards to be the Big Ten’s top scorer and an All-America candidate again. Not as easy to predict has been the supporting cast stepping up. Matt Painter’s team has won four consecutive games, including victories over Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio State.

Trending down: Ohio State and Indiana. For the second straight week, the Buckeyes and Hoosiers make the list, because neither team has been able to right the ship. Their five straight losses each are mostly against tournament-caliber opponents, but there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight.


Grant Williams, forward, Tennessee: The 6-7 senior might be the front-runner for national player of the year after his 43-point night in an overtime win Tuesday at Vanderbilt. Last year’s SEC Player of the Year became only the second D-I player to shoot 23-for-23 or better from the foul line in a game.