NO. 11 LOUISVILLE AT NO. 3 DUKE
5 p.m. Saturday, ESPN
Some of the hype surrounding this matchup dissipated once the Blue Devils suffered their first ACC loss to Clemson. But Tre Jones, Matthew Hurt and company can still stake their claim as the league’s alpha dog by handling the Cardinals at home.
NO. 4 AUBURN AT FLORIDA
12:30 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 4
The Tigers fell from the undefeated ranks this week getting blown out 83-64 at Alabama. Is Bruce Pearl’s team for real? The Gators can prove otherwise if they give Auburn a second consecutive road loss this weekend in Gainesville.
TRENDS to watch
Trending up: Big men are back. The Big Ten is leading the charge with the resurgence of dominant post players. Iowa’s Luka Garza and the Gophers’ Daniel Oturu are two of the best in the land. But Duke’s Vernon Carey and Kansas’ Udoka Azubuike are also game-changers with their inside presence for NCAA title-contending teams.
Trending down: Buckeyes are blah. What happened to the team that was flirting with the No. 1 ranking and undefeated record before losing 84-71 at Minnesota in mid-December? Forward Kaleb Wesson isn’t getting any help in Columbus with Ohio State recently suffering a four-game losing streak before beating Nebraska on Tuesday.
player to watch
Myles Powell, guard, Seton Hall: Every preseason publication had Powell as an All-America first-team selection and national player of the year candidate. A head injury slowed the explosive-scoring 6-2 senior down in mid-December, but he averaged 24 points in five Pirates wins in a row, highlighted by 29 points in a 78-70 upset at No. 5 Butler.