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College Basketball Roundup: Super Saturday Edition

Five ranked vs ranked matchups in one day!

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Kentucky Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Greetings, BBN!

This Saturday we’re in for a real treat as it is the biggest day in college hoops yet with a slate more loaded than Elon Musk! Here’s the slate: #14 Indiana at #8 Kansas (12pm), #4 Alabama vs #15 Gonzaga (1pm), #5 Houston at #2 Virginia (2pm), North Carolina vs #23 Ohio State (3pm), #16 UCLA vs #13 Kentucky (5:15pm), and finally #6 Tennessee at #9 Arizona (10:30pm).

That’s five ranked vs ranked games in one day, and would be six if UNC hadn’t lost four in a row. It’s Super Saturday I can’t remember the last time there were this many heavyweight bouts all packed into one Saturday college-football style like this—even the NCAA Tournament doesn’t have this many top teams playing each other in a single 12pm-12am span. Enjoy the games: college basketball season is in full swing as football fades into the rearview mirror.

This Week

Absolutely nothing happens

Part of the reason this Saturday’s games are so good is because almost nobody played earlier in the week as student-athletes across the U.S. studied for and took finals. Texas survived Rice in overtime following the stunning news of Chris Beard’s arrest, Alabama edged a dangerous Memphis squad by three, UCLA crushed Maryland by 27 on the road, and Louisville at long last won a basketball game with an 11-point home win over Western Kentucky to curb their historically horrendous start at 0-9. The Cal Golden Bears have yet to end theirs as they are now the only remaining winless team in all of Division 1. That’s right: even the worst of the mid-majors have gotten more wins than 0-11 Power 5 Cal who is dangerously close to Pac-12 play, so stay tuned on that story.

This Weekend

Indiana at Kansas

Two blue bloods clash in Allen Fieldhouse this weekend as both teams look to get a huge trophy win for the resume. The Hoosiers hold the upper hand in this series, winning eight of the 14 games, two of the three in Allen Fieldhouse, and losing none of the games in Bloomington. Very impressive basketball history from IU, but only one of those games was played after 1996, so this game has been a long time in the making. Can the Jayhawks hold off the resurgent Hoosiers and Trayce-Jackson Davis? Can IU make a monster statement on the road? The game just tipped off as I’m typing this—Super Saturday has begun!

Gonzaga vs Alabama rematch

I’d like a 110-108 double-overtime game, served with 28 Drew Timme points, five Alabama freshmen in double figures, a buzzer-beater at the end of regulation, and a crash helmet. Oh, and couple thousand panic buttons shipped to Spokane in case the Zags lose and fall to 8-4 (gasp!).

Houston vs Virginia and Tennessee vs Arizona

More sold-out home-courts with absolutely electric atmospheres as student bodies gather for some of the biggest basketball games their arenas have ever hosted! Will Virginia stay unbeaten against a preseason Final Four pick? Can Tennessee win out West on the road in a game with a 10:30 tip? Do any UK fans actually care about either of these games?

CBS Sports Classic

UNC vs Ohio State is the first game at 3pm and also the undercard as the Tar Heels are still trying to recover from that four game losing streak, but have the perfect opportunity to bounce back into the rankings against the Buckeyes, who have quietly amassed a 7-2 record with close wins over Texas Tech and Rutgers. Then your Kentucky Wildcats tip off against the UCLA Bruins who are coming off of a 27-point road whooping over Maryland in a key resume-improving opportunity for both teams—all from Madison Square Garden.

Fast Breaks

Total unbeaten teams remaining

Last week Houston, UConn, Purdue, Virginia, Auburn, Mississippi State, Utah State, Missouri, UNLV, and New Mexico made up the ten unbeaten teams, but Houston, Missouri, and Auburn all succumbed to the inevitable since then leaving us with #1 Purdue, #2 Virginia, #3 UConn, and a supporting cast.

Three of the seven unbeaten teams are from the Mountain West

Shouts to the Mountain West with a whopping three of the seven unbeatens mentioned above ready to start eliminating each other in conference play! Utah State, New Mexico, and UNLV have all the ingredients needed to whip up a three-bid league, but better keep up the good work because even with these 9-0 and 10-0 starts they’re still only on Joe Lunardi’s “Last Four In”. Should be a good season for the Mountain West!