BIG EAST

Villanova (20-1, 9-0 Big East) at Georgetown (16-5, 6-4) 

Day / Time: Saturday / Noon

TV: ESPN

The trio of Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher and Antonio Pena has vaulted Villanova to the top of the list of contenders. Awin at Georgetown would all but cement Villanova as a candidate for a No.1 seed. On paper, Georgetown has everything  it takes to be a great team. The Hoyas get great inside play from Greg Monroe and stellar perimeter play from Austin Freeman and Chris Wright. But the Hoyas have a habit of disappearing on offense. They have to protect their homecourt.  

BIG TEN

Michigan State (19-4, 9-1 Big Ten) at Illinois (15-8, 7-3)

Day / Time: Saturday / 9 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Don't look now, but the Illini has quietly emerged as a contender. Demetri McCamey, Illinois' leading scorer, has been hot. And he isn't the only weapon the Illini have. Mike Tisdale and .D.J Richardson have also contributed. Michigan State took it on the chin in a 67-49 loss to Wisconsin. But the Spartans had won 10 in a row before that loss. Kalin Lucas (7 pts) was terrible in that loss. But he had 23 in a key home win over Northwestern the game before. A win for Illinois puts them on the national map.  

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BIG 12

Baylor (17-4, 4-3 Big 12) at Texas A&M (16-6, 5-3)

Day / Time: Saturday / 4 p.m.

TV: ESPN 360

In a previous post, I wrote a breakdown of how much of a jumble the Big 12 is. A win for Texas A&M will put Aggies a notch above the middle of the pack. The Aggies, thanks to a big 77-74 road win over Missouri on Wednesday, proved they might just be better than the pack. Senior guard David Sloan has been the be all, end all for the Aggies. What's more impressive is that the Aggies have done well without second-leading scorer Derrick Roland. But Baylor, which won at Texas and home against Iowa State, is hot. Look for the Bears to play great amongst a hostile crowd.

NON-CONFERENCE

Gonzaga (18-4) at Memphis (16-6)

Day / Time: Saturday / 4 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Gonzaga needs a boost after a bad road loss to San Francisco. The Zags recovered with a 76-49 thrashing of Portland, but let's be honest, that was like playing a JV team. It won't be that easy in Memphis. Senior guard Matt Bouldin and freshman forward Elias Harris have been stellar, but they need sharpshooter Steve Gray, who has missed his last seven three-pointers, to be on point. Memphis made a statement with an inspiring 85-75 home win over UAB. It was the Tigers' first signature win of the season. And it could get them rolling.