No. 14 Baylor (-1) at No. 17 TCU - 4 p.m. ET, ESPN2: The Big 12 has been a juggernaut this year and has been a murder’s row for teams. There’s no break at all for teams and this is another pivotal game. Baylor has a great trio of guards led by star freshman Keyonte George, who leads them in scoring. TCU has been very good this year too, but their point guard, Mike Miles Jr., is injured and we don’t know when he’s back just yet. There’s going to be question marks about the Horned Frogs until Miles is back. Emanuel Miller or Damion Baugh will have to step up. This should be a big rivalry matchup in the Big 12.
No. 21 UConn at No. 23 Creighton (-4.5) - 4 p.m. ET, FOX: These are two of the better teams in a deep Big East. UConn started the season 14-0, but has largely been inconsistent since Big East play started, and has especially struggled on the road, losing games at Xavier, Marquette and Providence. Creighton is maybe the hottest team in the league with seven straight wins, and now finds itself just a game out of first place. In terms of the game itself, it will likely come down to the two big men, as preseason All-Conference bigs Adama Sanogo and Ryan Kalkbrenner will go to battle in the middle. Sanogo had the upper hand in the first meeting between these two teams with 26 points and nine rebounds, but it could be a different story in what should be an electric environment in Omaha.
No. 3 Alabama (-2.5) at Auburn - 2 p.m. ET, ESPN: Put simply, Auburn-Alabama isn't just a football rivalry anymore. Alabama is playing like the best team in all of college basketball right now, jumping out to an 11-0 start in league play, winning by a staggering 22 points per game. Brandon Miller is the best freshman in college basketball and has carried the Crimson Tide, alongside veteran transfer Mark Sears. The pair is combining to average just under 32 points per game. Auburn on the other hand, has lost four of its last five as the schedule has gotten tougher in league play. This game is going to be a huge game at Auburn, and one they need to win to pad their tournament resume.
Duke at No. 8 Virginia (no line currently available) - 4 p.m. ET, ESPN: Duke is one of the biggest disappointments in all of college basketball this season. They are dangerously close to being on the bubble after getting embarrassed by Miami on the road Monday. The Blue Devils have four five-star freshmen on their roster and almost none of them have lived up to expectations this year except Kyle Filipowski at center. Virginia is the class of the ACC this season, mainly due to their normally great defense, but a better than advertised offense. Armaan Franklin is their leading scorer and has brought a good dimension for a team that has struggled in the past with offense. This is a big matchup for Duke to try and pad their resume.
No. 9 Kansas (-3) at Oklahoma - 1 p.m. ET, CBS: Kansas is one of the best teams in the country but has a murder’s row for a schedule this year. Jalen Wilson is playing like a player of the year candidate and is Kansas’ primary scorer, coming in averaging 20.7 points per game. Oklahoma is one of the worst teams in the Big 12, but they do have a few very good wins, including a blowout win against Alabama at home two weeks ago. They have a do-it-all point guard in Grant Sherfield who will have to play at his best to beat the Jayhawks. Kansas needs to avoid a landmine game like this in order to stay in contention for a No. 1 seed.
No. 7 UCLA (-2.5) at Oregon - 10 p.m. ET, ESPN: UCLA has been very consistent this year, especially on defense. The Bruins need to find more offense to keep it going, and hopefully found it on Thursday when freshman Amari Bailey had 24 points in a win over Oregon State. Jaime Jacquez Jr. has been the best player on UCLA’s roster this year. He can do it all for the Bruins and has been the best player they have this year, especially on offense. The Oregon Ducks have rebounded well after a rough start to the season. They dealt with injuries but overcame it to win six of their last eight and put themselves in the NCAA Tournament. Will Richardson is a star at point guard and does it all for them too. This is a big matchup in the Pac-12 as a nightcap.
Other Games to Watch:
Kentucky (-7.5) at Georgia
No. 4 Arizona (-8) at Stanford
West Virginia at No. 5 Texas (-5.5)
No. 24 Rutgers at Illinois (-5.5)
UNLV at No. 25 San Diego State (-9)
Missouri at No. 6 Tennessee (-12)
Oklahoma State at No. 11 Iowa State (-6)
No. 18 Indiana at Michigan (-2)
No. 12 Kansas State at Texas Tech (no line currently available)
BYU at No. 16 Gonzaga (-13)
Follow Jake Faigus on Twitter - @Jake_Faigus