NO. 15 KENTUCKY AT NO. 18 TEXAS TECH
6 p.m. Saturday, ESPN
The Red Raiders were showing signs of still being a Big 12 title contender until suffering three losses in their past five games, including back-to-back losses to real contenders Baylor and West Virginia. But they can get their mojo back vs. Kentucky.
TENNESSEE AT NO. 3 KANSAS
4 p.m. Saturday, ESPN
The Volunteers aren’t the potential Final Four team they were last year, but they don’t have to be to take advantage of the undermanned Jayhawks. How will Bill Self’s team respond after the shameful late-game melee against Kansas State?
TRENDS to watch
Trending up: Illinois and Rutgers. Who will win Big Ten coach of the year? It appears to be a two-man race between the Illini’s Brad Underwood and the Scarlet Knights’ Steve Pikiell. Both coaches have taken their programs from the bottom to near the top of the league in impressive fashion this season, and both teams are nationally ranked.
Trending down: What’s wrong with Gonzaga? Nothing at all. So why are they in this category? Well, because blowing out opponents in the West Coast Conference wasn’t enough to keep their No. 1 ranking. The Zags went undefeated as the No. 1 team in the country, but Baylor leapfrogged them this week with a better résume.
player to watch
Obi Toppin, forward, Dayton: With no more Zion in college hoops, Obi has been our only hope to capture the attention of the masses. The 6-9 sophomore’s highlight-reel dunks and combination of size and skill make him a future top-five NBA draft pick. The Flyers, who won with a spectacular buzzer-beater last week, are also a team to watch in March.