This Saturday is stacked with key conference and non-conference matchups. Five teams in the AP's top 10 poll will be playing.
Pittsburgh (11-2, 1-0 Big East) at No.5 Syracuse (12-0, 0-0)
Pittsburgh lost some big time talent off last year's team. But the Panthers have rebounded nicely. Pitt hasn't beaten anyone of note yet, but that could change on Saturday. Yes the 'Cuse is off to a great start, but you never know in the Big East. Sophomore guard Ashton Gibbs has been lighting it up for the Panthers. Pitt will need more than Gibbs, though, if it is to prevail against Syracuse wing men Wesley Johnson and Brandon Triche.
No.1 Kansas (11-0) at No. 18 Temple (10-2)
Temple is hot. After an ugly loss to St. John's, the Owls have run off six straight wins, including solid victories over Seton Hall and Villanova. Kansas is still the favorite, but Temple's backcourt of Ryan Brooks and Juan Fernandez brings back memories of Aaron McKie and Eddie Jones. The key for the Owls will be what big man Lavoy Allen does against Kansas' man in the middle Cole Aldrich. Slowing down the Jayhawks' Xavier Henry and Sherron Collins will help, too.
No national TV
No.11 Michigan State (9-3) at No.25 Northwestern (10-1)
Northwestern among the games to watch? Hard to believe, isn't it? Northwestern cracked the AP rankings for the first time since 1969. Don't sell the Wildcats short, though. Wins over Notre Dame and N.C. State gives the Wildcats' gaudy record some support. N.C. State is down, but Northwestern usually doesn't beat ACC teams. Junior guard Michael Thompson (16.7 ppg, 42.5 3pct) is one of the main reasons Northwestern can pump its chest. A win over Michigan State would set the college basketball world on fire.