Every year when the college basketball season begins, it happens in the shadow of the college football season and is viewed by many as an afterthought while the NFL is on. But now that the Super Bowl is in the rearview mirror and Selection Sunday is less than a month away, it’s time for the sport to shine on its own as the stakes are high and the drama high as teams push to either reach the NCAA tournament or improve their seeding within the field.
There will be plenty of that on Saturday when there are major conference clashes across America from early afternoon through late evening. No. 18 Creighton and No. 20 UConn are in action as they chase Marquette in the Big East Chase against St. John’s and Seton Hall respectively. No. 10 Tennessee meets a desperate Kentucky team at Rupp Arena, while Illinois meets a nasty No. 14 Indiana team at Assembly Hall. This is just a sample of the goodies!
There’s even more action in the Big 12, as No. 9 Baylor meets No. 5 Kansas in the only top 10 showdown on the chart. That comes after just two ranked vs. ranked matchups on the day, including in the Big 12 with a 2 p.m. ET tip between No. 19 Iowa State and No. 12 Kansas State.
Our experts have tips and predictions for the biggest games of the day right here.
Odds on Caesars Sportsbook | All times Easter
No. 9 Baylor at No. 5 Kansas
Featured Game | Kansas Jayhawks versus Baylor Bears
4 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (try for free) — One could argue that Baylor — not Kansas or Texas, but Baylor — has looked and played like the best team in the Big 12 over the past month. BartTorvik.com data seems to confirm this. I don’t pick KU to stumble on its home ground as it has an advantage in Lawrence, Kansas, but the Bears are keeping that inside number and covering, that’s my game here. Very even duel between two of the best teams in the sport, so I’ll take the team that gets points. Prediction: Baylor +5 – Boone
Seton Hall at No. 20 UConn
noon | Fox, fuboTV (try for free) — UConn lost by a point last month in Newark, NJ when they faced Seton Hall, but this Huskies team has weathered their slump and is back on the form that saw it a top-five finisher earlier in the season. team made. They’ve only lost once all season at Gampel Pavilion and picked up some massive wins, so I expect that trend to continue. Prediction: UConn -10 — Boone
No. 10 Tennessee in Kentucky
Featured Game | Kentucky Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers
1 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free) — Tennessee found its mojo back by defeating leader Alabama on Wednesday. The Volunteers will ride high in the Rupp Arena to seek revenge for an embarrassing home loss to the Wildcats last month. Britain have been vulnerable at home this season and Tennessee have three wins at the stadium under eighth-year coach Rick Barnes. Watch for the Vols to shoot better than they did when they first met and come out with a convincing win. Prediction: Tennessee -2 – Cobb
2 p.m. | ESPN+, fuboTV (free trial) — OU still not laying down to open February despite four double-digit losses; It beat Kansas State last week, showing it still has the talent to be competitive on both sides. On the road against this top 10 Texas team, getting back into the Victory Column would be a big ask, but this is a rivalry game, after all. The Sooners will keep this within the number. Prediction: Oklahoma +10.5 – Boone
No. 19 Iowa State at No. 12 Kansas State
2 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (try for free) — If I go on a lead this weekend because of a potential upset, I’m ready to get out on that one. Kansas State has stumbled badly lately with four losses in their last five games, including back-to-back games against the league’s penultimate and bottom teams: Texas Tech and OU. K-State tends to be a tough hit in Manhattan, but Iowa State beat that team in Ames a few weeks ago and could do the same here. Prediction: State of Iowa +3 – Boone
Who will win and cover in every college basketball game? Visit SportsLine to get tips from the model that has simulated every game 10,000 times and has made more than $1,200 for $100 players on its top spread picks over the past six years.