Saturday’s college basketball lineup is relatively light compared to a normal Saturday roster in late January, with only 15 of the AP Top 25 scheduled to be in action. But there will still be plenty to watch and bet on throughout the day, starting with No. 6 Duke vs. Syracuse at noon ET.
The Blue Devils will look to bounce back from Tuesday night’s loss at Florida State against an Orange team capable of offensive explosions. But if that turns into a blowout, game of the day will kick off at 1 pm when No. 2 Auburn hosts No. 12 Kentucky on CBS.
It’s the only meeting scheduled this season between the SEC’s top contenders and a pair of squads that have looked like national title contenders in recent weeks. A win would give the Tigers ample ammunition to be No. 1 in the polls on Monday, while a road win for the Wildcats would easily stand out as their best win of the season.
There are plenty of other interesting matchups dotting Saturday’s schedule, too, and our experts have predictions for the top games here as conference racing begins to heat up and the NCAA Tournament field begins to form.
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All Eastern Times
featured game | Oklahoma Sooners vs. Baylor Bears
15:00 | ESPN+ (Try It Free) — It’s the second meeting of the month for these two teams after Baylor won 84-74 on Jan. 4. The Sooners were within striking distance at the end of the first game and this time they have home court advantage. With Baylor point guard and leading scorer James Akinjo questionable after scoring 27 points in Game 1, don’t be surprised if the Sooners pull off an upset. First-year coach Porter Moser is getting rave reviews about how the Sooners look, and Baylor has become surprisingly vulnerable since the last meeting. Prediction: Oklahoma 68, Baylor 66
featured game | Colorado Buffaloes vs. UCLA Bruins
18:00 | ESPN, fuboTV (Try it free) — It’s a rematch of a game LSU won 79-67 two weeks ago, except this one will be played in Tennessee. The Tigers have lost two of three since then, while the Volunteers have won two of three. Tennessee is shooting a horrendous 29.9% from 3-point range in conference play thus far, and LSU’s 3-point defense remains among the best in the nation. It should be closer this time, but it’s hard to trust Tennessee’s offense right now. Prediction: LSU 67, Tennessee 62
21:00 | Pac-12 Network, fuboTV (Try it free) — The Bruins and Buffaloes meet in a rematch of UCLA’s 73-61 victory on December 1 in Los Angeles. UCLA used a 23-9 point advantage in turnovers in that game to make the difference, as CU was particularly shaky with the basketball in the first half. Those problems underscored the challenges of replacing McKinley Wright IV at point guard, but it would be surprising if the Buffs struggled so much during the rematch on their home court. Neither team plays at a fast pace, and neither are they particularly reliant on 3-pointers, meaning this could be a low-scoring clash decided in the closing minutes. Prediction: UCLA 66, Colorado 62
Syracuse at No. 6 Duke
featured game | Duke Blue Devils vs. Syracuse Orange
noon | ESPN, fuboTV (Try it free) — Syracuse is entering one of its best offensive games of the season, a 91-78 home win over Clemson on Tuesday. But the Oranges are only 2-6 from home. Duke is coming off an overtime loss at Florida State and should be inspired to bounce back and protect the basketball after not doing those things cost them a win against the Seminoles. What lies ahead is the status of Duke rookie guard Trevor Keels, who suffered a calf injury against FSU. If it’s out or capped, the oranges have enough offensive firepower to shut this one down. Prediction: Duke 78, Syracuse 75
No. 12 Kentucky at No. 2 Auburn
13:00 | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (free) — Auburn Arena should be completely unhinged for this game, as the Tigers look for a win that will grab the attention of the AP voters who narrowly prevented them from reaching No. 1 last week. Kentucky’s offense has enjoyed impressive outings recently, but Auburn’s guards should be annoying enough to disrupt the Wildcats’ flow. On the inside, the length of Walker Kessler should keep Oscar Tshiebwe from dominating. In the end, home court advantage will make the difference in a close victory for Auburn. Prediction: Auburn 76, Kentucky 71
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism