NO. 8 SETON HALL AT NO. 11 CREIGHTON
1:30 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 9
The Pirates and national player of the year candidate Myles Powell can clinch the Big East title outright with a victory. But the Bluejays might have something to say about that. They’re in a tie with Villanova for second.
NO. 19 OHIO STATE AT NO. 16 MICHigan STATE
3:30 p.m. Sunday, Ch. 4
The Buckeyes can do Wisconsin and Maryland a favor by upsetting the Spartans to give those other two teams a chance to keep the Big Ten regular season title to themselves. Michigan State is peaking at the right time.
TRENDS to watch
Trending up: Greg Gard. The Badgers head coach took a team that was 6-6 in the league after getting blown out at Minnesota on Feb. 5 and turned it into a potential conference regular-season champion after seven consecutive victories. That sounds like Big Ten coach of the year material.
Trending down: Duke. Sure, the Blue Devils have the talent with Tre Jones, Vernon Carey and company to reach the Final Four, but they lost their last three road games of the regular season in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Can’t play at home in the postseason. Duke has North Carolina at home on Saturday.
player to watch
Chris Smith, guard, UCLA: The 6-foot-9 junior has injected some life into the once-dormant program by leading the Bruins (19-11, 12-5) in scoring (13.1 points per game) this season and being the spark during a seven-game winning streak that has catapulted UCLA into first place in the Pac-12.