South Florida at Georgetown (ESPNU, 11 a.m. ET): OK, let’s see if South Florida is for real in the Big East. The Bulls are 6-3 and tied with Georgetown in the loss column. USF has wins at Villanova and DePaul, but that shouldn’t compare to Georgetown this season. The Hoyas have their mojo back. Georgetown can’t be ruled out to catch Syracuse with a game against the Orange next week.
Marquette at Notre Dame (1 ET): The Golden Eagles have to be applauded for playing well despite not having Chris Otule and Davante Gardner in the post. Gardner isn’t expected to be ready for this game. The Irish have been golden at home so far, save a game against UConn. The Eagles need this one in their quest to stay with Syracuse.
Vanderbilt at Florida (1 ET): The Commodores have a rough week with games at Arkansas and Florida. They’re already down one. If Vandy is going to be taken seriously as a real contender with Kentucky and Florida, it has to pull off an upset.
Virginia at Florida State (ESPN3, 1 ET): The Cavs and Seminoles are the two “other” choices to win the ACC. If either has visions of knocking off UNC or Duke from the top spot, it's got to win this game. FSU is on more of a roll. Beat back the Cavs in what should be a grinder and the Seminoles will continue to be in the chase.
Xavier at Memphis (1 ET): This had the look of a game between two teams that were the favorites in the A-10 and C-USA at the start of the season. Since then, both have taken a few shots. Neither is a lock for the NCAAs and both could use some momentum to pique the selection committee’s interest. Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons against Will Barton and Joe Jackson will headline this game.
Ohio State at Wisconsin (ESPN, 2 ET): This has become one of the most anticipated games of the Big Ten season. The Badgers don’t have the inside presence to deal with Jared Sullinger. But Jordan Taylor can certainly match up with Aaron Craft. The Badgers will have to do something special inside to win this game.
North Carolina at Maryland (ESPN, 4 ET): The Tar Heels are simply better, more talented and have the depth to dismantle the Terps. That’s what should happen. But Maryland has showed some fight lately. The Terps will have to play their best game of the season to pull off this upset.
UNLV at Wyoming (4 ET): The Runnin’ Rebels had to struggle in overtime to get past Boise State and Air Force in their last two road games. Wyoming is a better defensive team than Boise or Air Force. This will test the Runnin’ Rebels yet again. New Mexico and San Diego State were both able to get out of Laramie with a win. Will UNLV?
Old Dominion at George Mason (ESPNU, 5 ET): I was leading the chorus that George Mason should have received a television game in BracketBusters. And then the Patriots lost to Delaware. There is a four-way tie for first in the CAA between ODU, Mason, Drexel and VCU. Separation begins with this game.
Iona at Manhattan (ESPN3, 7 ET):Momo Jones went for 43 against Canisius on Thursday night. Scott Machado had 14 assists. But Manhattan is in step with the Gaels, tied atop the MAAC at 10-2. The winner will be tied with Loyola in the loss column. This game could determine all-important seeding in the MAAC tourney.
Oregon at Colorado (9 ET): The Buffaloes smacked Oregon State on Thursday by 22 at home, where they’ve been a force in their first year in the Pac-12. Oregon, meanwhile, had to come back to beat Utah. The Ducks need a split to stay in the chase for a top-three finish. Coach Tad Boyle has done a tremendous job in Boulder after losing his two best players from last season.
Michigan at Michigan State (1 ET):Draymond Green (left knee sprain) may be a game-time decision. The Spartans do have depth to handle his possible absence. But it’s not preferred against a Michigan team that is confident going into East Lansing after knocking off the Spartans in a last-possession game in Ann Arbor. The winner here stays in the chase in the Big Ten. The loser might have to think about the second-place race if Ohio State wins at Wisconsin.