By Steve Silverman
Saturday, January thirteen
Kansas State (12-four, 2-2) at No. 12 Kansas (thirteen-three, three-1), 12 midday ET, ESPN
The Huge 12 is the most effective basketball convention within the nation this yr, and whereas this convention is nearly all the time the area of the Jayhawks, that is probably not the case this yr.
Kansas has loads of expertise and can be close to the highest of the convention and virtually definitely a two or three seed within the NCAA event, however the Jayhawks can be examined virtually each recreation amongst by their convention opponents.
That features this recreation towards in-state and archrival Kansas State. The Wildcats would really like nothing higher than to return in Lawrence and steal a win from the Jayhawks. Guard Barry Brown is coming off a profession-excessive 38-level recreation towards Oklahoma State, and he’s main Kansas State with a mean of sixteen.9 factors per recreation.
Ahead Dean Wade has the dimensions at 6-10 to be an element on the boards. He’s averaging 14.6 factors and a group-greatest 6.5 rebounds per night time.
The excessive-scoring Jayhawks (86.6 factors per recreation, thirteenth within the nation) are led by guards Devonté Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, who’re averaging 18.1 and sixteen.9 factors per recreation respectively. Middle Udoka Azubuike is averaging 14.6 factors and seven.7 rebounds per night time.
Search for the Wildcats to push arduous on this recreation, however Kansas could have an excessive amount of for the guests within the second half.
Saturday, January thirteen
No. 20 North Carolina (thirteen-four, 2-2) at Notre Dame (12-four, three-1), 6 p.m. ET, ESPN
The North Carolina Tar Heels stands out as the defending NCAA champions, however they haven’t seemed like they are going to be at an analogous degree this season at event time.
Roy Williams’ workforce has had quite a lot of hiccups already, however there’s nonetheless loads of time to show their season round. They’ve a chance to proper themselves on the street towards a troublesome opponent. Key street wins will do extra for a group’s confidence than anything, and whereas Notre Dame is hard at residence, the Irish don’t have star ahead Bonzie Colson (damaged foot) within the lineup.
The Tar Heels misplaced again-to-again street video games to Florida State and Virginia, however they rebounded with a 30-level win over Boston School. Ahead Luke Maye is averaging 18.2 factors per recreation and flattening 10.2 rebounds per night time.
Senior guard Joel Berry is averaging 17.6 factors per night time, however he’s capturing simply 38.eight % from the sector.
The Irish try to outlive with out Colson, and that will probably be robust towards robust opponents just like the Tar Heels. Colson was averaging a staff-excessive 21.four factors per recreation, and senior guard Matt Farrell is averaging 15.four factors per recreation. Farrell is getting help from fellow guard T.J. Gibbs, who’s scoring 14.6 factors per night time.
This could possibly be one of the crucial thrilling video games of the week and the matchup between Williams and Preventing Irish head…