PLAYER TO WATCH
Jaren Jackson Jr., C, Michigan State
The 6-11 freshman showed why he’s a potential No. 1 pick with his career-best 27 points and five three-pointers in Tuesday’s 87-57 victory against the Gophers. Jackson is versatile, but he’s a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, given to the nation’s top center.
game of the weekend
(3) Villanova at (4) Xavier
3:30 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 9: After losing two of their past three games, the Wildcats have lost their spot as the top-ranked team in the nation. The Musketeers, who lost at Villanova 89-65 on Jan. 10, enter Saturday trying to hold on to sole possession of first place in the Big East at 12-2.
More transparency, please
The selection committee released its top 16 teams last week, the second year of this “early buzz” idea. It’s good for TV and social media, of course, but a better idea would be to give us a look at the process and what new criteria are being used — such as “quadrants” (huh?).