The first Saturday of February brings a massive college basketball slate as we creep toward the stretch run of the sport’s regular season. A total of 21 ranked teams are expected to be in action starting at noon ET and extending all the way until 10 p.m., when No. 2 Gonzaga tips off at BYU and No. 3 UCLA plays at Arizona State.
Among the day’s other highlights is the first of two scheduled Duke-North Carolina showdowns as Blue Devils’ coach Mike Krzyzewski makes his final trip to the Dean Dome to face the Tar Heels. Though unranked, UNC has won four in a row and can make a massive statement on the national stage about the status of its program under first-year coach Hubert Davis with a win.
That’s just one of several key conference clashes on the docket. In the SEC, Alabama hosts No. 5 Kentucky. In the Pac-12, No. 7 Arizona hosts No. 19 USC as the Wildcats look to cement the hold on first-place in the league standings that was gained in a win over No. 3 UCLA on Thursday. Not to be overlooked, the Big 12’s top two contenders will square off as No. 8 Baylor travels to No. 10 Kansas in a battle of squads with national title aspirations.
It’s going to be a busy day, and we’ve got you covered here with predictions for the biggest games.
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern
12 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Indiana won seven of eight games in the series between the 2014-15 season and the end of the 2018-19 season. But the series has flipped back in Illinois’ favor as the Illini have won three straight, including a 75-71 overtime thriller at Indiana last season. Illinois big man Kofi Cockburn has been unguardable in the Illini’s last two games — victories against Northwestern and Wisconsin — but the Hoosiers counter with Race Thompson and Trayce Jackson-Davis in the frontcourt. If Indiana can get a quality performance from at least one guard to compliment…