Saturday looks like it could be one of the busiest days in college basketball so far this season with the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge the main event of the weekend. The action will begin early and continue well into the night culminating in a match no. 9 from Kansas to Kentucky at 8:00 PM ET to clean up the roster.
The Big 12 was ranked the best conference in college hoops this season after being rated No. 1 last season, but the SEC brings some bragging rights into the weekend having won each of their last two contests after forcing a tie in the series in 2019-20. The Big 12 still has a 4-3 lead in winning the event since its inception in 2013-14 (there were two years where the leagues tied it) and a 48- 41. But the SEC has been up for the challenge in this event and has some favorable matchups to potentially be the first three-peat league since the Big 12 did it in its first three years.
Our experts have predictions and predictions for the biggest matches of the day here.
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All eastern tenses
Featured Game | West Virginia Mountaineers versus Auburn Tigers
12:00 | ESPN, fuboTV (free trial) — Kick off the predictions with a shocking choice! Auburn is a fiery group that can play both in and out through Wendell Green and Johni Broome. West Virginia is tough, especially in Morgantown, but talent for talent I think I like the Tigers for a smoke to close out and possibly pull off the upset in the first game of the day. Prediction: Auburn +4 — Boone
Featured Game | Oklahoma Sooners vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
2pm | ESPN, fuboTV (free trial) — Alabama has blown up some really good teams in the sport this season — including Kentucky, Missouri and Michigan State — but I think OU keeps this one close. This Crimson Tide team hasn’t lost since mid-December, but they’ve flirted with loss multiple times in recent outings. The Sooners and their depth at home will keep him tight and inside the number. Prediction: Oklahoma +6 — Boone
Featured Game | LSU Tigers versus Texas Tech Red Raiders
2pm | ESPNU, fuboTV (free trial) — LSU has lost seven straight and Texas Tech has lost eight straight, so this on paper appears to be a fairly even matchup of struggling teams. But during that span the Red Raiders have been at least competitive as the Tigers have been swept by an average of 24.8 points per game in their last four. I’m fading LSU until it shows it doesn’t deserve to be faded. Prediction: Texas Tech -3 — Boone
Featured Game | Missouri Tigers versus Iowa State Cyclones
2pm | ESPN2, fuboTV (free trial) — Pretty even game here between ISU and Mizzou – great Cyclones defense against great Tigers offense – so I’ll just lean the home team. The only losses Missouri has suffered at home this season have been to possible #1 seeds. 1 in Kansas and Alabama, so if I get points for the home team, I’ll take them. Prediction: Missouri +1.5 — Boone
Featured Game | Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. TCU Horned Frogs
4pm | ESPN2, fuboTV (free trial) — This TCU team is red hot thanks to double-digit wins over Kansas and OU, so I like them to keep rolling on the road against a lower tier SEC club. The Bulldogs have remained competitive even as their 11-0 start slipped to a 12-8 record, so I expect this will be close but riding the hot hand here with the Horned Frogs. Forecast: TCU -2 — Boone
Featured Game | Baylor Bears versus Arkansas Razorbacks
4pm | ESPN, fuboTV (free trial) — Davonte Davis has emerged as a difference maker for Arkansas of late with Ricky Council IV slumping slightly and the No. leading trio in the backcourt of Keyonte George, LJ Cryer and Adam Flagler in Waco. These two teams are going in opposite directions, so I’ll take the one that’s been growing recently. Prediction: Baylor -6 — Boone
Featured Game | Tennessee Volunteers vs. Texas Longhorns
18:00 | ESPN, fuboTV (free trial) — Another shocking choice. I think this has a chance to be the best game of the weekend. Texas has a top-notch offense and goes on the road to face a Tennessee team built around its #1 defense. My concern is whether or not the Vols have the horses to keep up with the Horns. Tennessee hasn’t had this problem as of late, but this Texas team is built so they can pull off this win even in a road spot. Prediction: Texas +7.5 — Boone
Featured Game | Kansas State Wildcats versus Florida Gators
18:00 | ESPN2, fuboTV (free trial) — Kansas State has yet to lose at home all season under first year head coach Jerome Tang and that streak won’t end this weekend as Florida enters the Octagon of Destiny. The Wildcats are also 8-3 ATS at home this season, so I like to lay down the number with them at this point. Forecast: Kansas State -5 — Boone
No. 9 Kansas at Kentucky
Featured Game | Kentucky Wildcats versus Kansas Jayhawks
8pm | ESPN, fuboTV (free trial) — One of the most intriguing elements of the Kentucky-Kansas matchup is how KU’s underpowered frontfield approach will fare against UK’s home monster Oscar Tshiebwe. While the UK has become more flexible and versatile on defense due to the reduction in the role of undersized point guard Sahvir Wheeler, the Wildcats haven’t played a dynamic offensive like Kansas’ since they were burned by Alabama on Jan. 7. groupings to get Tshiebwe away from the basket and force Kentucky to guard players like Jalen Wilson, Gradey Dick and Kevin McCullar 1-on-1 off the dribble, it could be a long night for the UK. Prediction: Kansas +1 — David Cobb
Featured Game | Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Ole Miss Rebels
8pm | ESPN2, fuboTV (free trial) — This Oklahoma State team has a bit of cheekiness and looks like it could be a sneaky second weekend team with the way they can play inside and out with the veteran guard playing and a pair of bigs making the difference in Kalib Boone and Moussa Cisse. I like the Pokes to make it to a close one. Prediction: Ole Miss +10 — Boone
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