Daily Word: SEC's top teams square off

Each weekday, our college hoops experts discuss the biggest issues, trends and themes in college basketball.

1. The SEC's top four teams play one another this weekend. What do you expect the standings will look like Monday?

Andy Katz: South Carolina in first place. LSU in second. Kentucky in third and Texas A&M reeling.

C.L. Brown: South Carolina in first place and a four-way tie for second with Kentucky, LSU, Texas A&M and Florida all knotted at 8-4 in the conference.

Jeff Goodman: Wow. This is a tough one. I think both of the matchups could go either way between Kentucky-South Carolina and Texas A&M-LSU. I think the two road teams win, and UK and the Aggies sit atop the SEC.

2. Iowa State's Jameel McKay could return Saturday against Texas. Would that tip the scales in ISU's favor?

Katz: Not necessarily. The Cyclones are still thin up front, and Texas has been a force of late, barely losing to Oklahoma. But there is a sense of urgency with the Cyclones. Expect Iowa State to come through with a needed home win at Hilton Coliseum.

Brown: It always helps to be home and at full(ish) strength. The Longhorns have been improving seemingly with each game, but I'd guess McKay realizes how bad his actions hurt the team by not playing at Texas Tech, and the Cyclones come out focused.

Goodman: I think McKay comes back, and the one silver lining of this suspension is that he should be 100 percent. Iowa State bounces back and wins this one in Ames, Iowa.

3. Who do you have on upset watch this weekend?

Katz: Xavier. Butler is coming off a road win at Seton Hall. The Bulldogs need another quality Big East win and must protect Hinkle Fieldhouse. This is a game where the Bulldogs need to be the aggressor. Xavier can muscle any team in the country and control the backboard. Butler must use its grit and play smart down the stretch to prevail.

Brown: Louisville. The last time the Cardinals played at Notre Dame, they lost a five-overtime thriller -- and that team would go on to win the 2013 national title. The time before that, the Cards lost in double overtime in 2012 (at home). The time before that the Cards lost in overtime in 2011. As Big East foes, the two programs had a history of close games, and this one should be no different. It would only be considered an upset because the Irish aren't ranked.

Goodman: Gonzaga will go to SMU and pull off the upset. No one has talked about the Zags this season -- but Mark Few's team has its swagger back after six straight wins. SMU will have its hands full trying to contain Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis.