The regular season is winding down and must-see matchups litter this week’s college basketball schedule, including Round 2 of Baylor-Kansas.
We hit a milestone in the college basketball season this weekend as the NCAA Tournament’s Top 16 seed reveal landed on Saturday afternoon. That big piece of news revealed a lot about what the bracket could look like on Selection Sunday and raised the stakes for bubble teams as they try to ensure they’re in the field of 68.
With just two weeks left in the regular season, every matchup on the college basketball schedule is meaningful, but these ten games are the most intriguing of the week. Let’s start out with a trip to the Big East on Tuesday as Villanova looks to move one step closer to securing a Top-2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Top 10 matchups on the Week 16 college basketball schedule
Note: All games listed below were on the schedule as of post time. COVID-19 related issues can lead to postponements or cancellations at any time.
Villanova at UCONN – Tuesday, 2/22 at 8:00 p.m. ET on FS1
The Wildcats are coming off a two-win week that helped put them in the driver’s seat to win at least a share of the Big East’s regular-season title, but this game means more to UCONN. There is a general sense of disappointment as Dan Hurley’s team hasn’t lived up to preseason expectations but a win over Villanova could signal that the Huskies have a deep March run in them.
LSU at Kentucky – Wednesday, 2/23 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
This big SEC showdown is a measuring stick for LSU, which began the season hoping to contend for the regular-season title but hasn’t been the same since getting beat up by Auburn at the beginning of January. Kentucky just missed a No. 1 seed in the Top 16 seed reveal and will look to pick up a quality win here to try and make up ground on Kansas in the eyes of the selection committee.
Gonzaga at San Francisco – Thursday, 2/24 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2
This is the kind of game that makes late February fun in college basketball as an NCAA Tournament lock hits the road in conference play to take on a bubble team in need of a marquee win. Gonzaga has a narrow lead over Arizona and Auburn for the top overall seed so they could use the win here while San Francisco could essentially punch its ticket to dance by knocking off the Bulldogs.
Ohio State at Illinois – Thursday, 2/24 at 9:00 p.m. ET on FS1
The clicker will be very handy on Thursday night as this game goes head-to-head with the Gonzaga-San Francisco contest on FS1. Ohio State is just a smidge below the Big Ten’s elite teams but will look to prove they are a dangerous threat in March Madness by knocking off a loaded Illinois team that is a dark horse Final Four contender.
Belmont at Murray State – Thursday, 2/24 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPNU
It’s rare for an Ohio Valley Conference game to land in the spotlight but this contest features two excellent teams that should be in the NCAA Tournament. Murray State has surged into the polls on the strength of a 16-game winning streak and should be in the dance while Belmont can make a huge move on the bubble by securing this road win.
UCLA at Oregon – Thursday, 2/24 at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
This critical late Thursday window features another marquee game in the Pac-12 as UCLA will look to avenge a home loss to Oregon up in Eugene. The Ducks are a quality team that is squarely on the bubble thanks to some miserable losses and really need this win after squandering an opportunity to knock off Arizona last weekend in an 84-81 overtime loss.
Purdue at Michigan State – Saturday, 2/26 at 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
The Boilermakers will look to move one step closer to securing the Big Ten’s regular-season title by going on the road to try and knock off a desperate Michigan State team. Tom Izzo’s Spartans have been trending in the wrong direction for a couple of weeks and could really use the confidence boost of knocking off a Top 10 opponent ahead of the Big Ten Tournament.
Kentucky at Arkansas – Saturday, 2/26 at 2:00 p.m. ET on CBS
CBS has a tripleheader on both days next weekend but its best game comes in the middle slot on Saturday afternoon as Kentucky hits the road to take on the red-hot Razorbacks, who have won 11 of their past 12 games. Arkansas has been particularly dangerous at home, scoring upsets over Auburn and Tennessee at Bud Walton Arena in the past few weeks.
Auburn at Tennessee – Saturday, 2/26 at 4:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
Saturday will be a huge day in the SEC as Auburn hits the road again to take on Tennessee. The Tigers have had tremendous difficulty on the road of late, losing at Arkansas and Florida, while Tennessee rode its home-court advantage to a blowout win over Kentucky last week.
Kansas at Baylor – Saturday, 2/26 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
The best game of the week comes on Saturday in Waco as the Bears welcome the Jayhawks to town with a potential No. 1 seed on the line. Kansas wallopped Baylor at Allen Fieldhouse a few weeks ago and the Bears would love to return the favor in this critical Big 12 showdown.
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