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5 Essential College Basketball Games on Saturday

We have flipped the calendar to February and that means that college basketball is ramping up to the mayhem of March and the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament. However, before we get there, conference play, and in particular rivalry games on Saturdays, become bigger and bigger. 

And, this Saturday is no exception. 

Can’t Miss Games on Saturday

Kansas vs Iowa State

First up on the games to watch is a noon eastern time showdown between Kansas and Iowa State in the Big 12. The Jayhawks (18-4, 6-3) come off of a revenge win over rival Kansas State midweek 90-78 and now head into Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa to take on an Iowa State team that is still stunned by their 23-point second half collapse and a 80-77 overtime loss to Texas Tech on Monday night. 

The Cyclones, (15-6, 6-3) look to rebound today and have already defeated top 25 teams Baylor and Texas at home this season. 

Purdue vs Indiana

Later on this rivalry Saturday, number one ranked Purdue will travel to Bloomington, Indiana to meet of the true college basketball brands in the Indiana Hoosiers. 

The Boilermakers (22-1, 11-1) have won nine games in a row in the Big Ten and post one of the top big men in all of college basketball in 7’5” Zack Edey who’s averaging 22 points per game and is a strong candidate for college basketball player of the year. Indiana (15-7, 6-5) is still trying to recover from a midweek loss at Maryland 69-55 but they do already have a couple of Big Ten home wins over Michigan State and Wisconsin earlier this season. 

You can hear more about this big Saturday in college basketball on the latest edition of the college basketball Coast to Coast podcast by clicking the link below. ESPN’s Rich Hollenberg, who will call the Iowa State Kansas game nationally, is a guest on this week’s show.

North Carolina vs. Duke

The biggest game on the docket for this Saturday night is the renewal of the rivalry between North Carolina and Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, NC.

The rivals that are only separated by 8 Miles of Tobacco Road will play for the 259th time in their storied history. This game marks the first for Duke’s new head coach and former star player John Scheyer, who’s taken over for the legendary Mike Krzyzewski. 

Meanwhile former North Carolina star and second year coach Hubert Davis will lead the Tar Heels onto the court knowing where they beat Duke to end the regular season last year in Coach K’s final regular season game he ever coached at Cameron.

The Heels, followed that up within historic national semi-final win over the Blue Devils in the Final Four last April in New Orleans. That turned out to be coach K’s final game ever

Duke, 16-6, 7-4, is off of a narrow win at home against Wake Forest mid-week 83-81. Meanwhile, Carolina, 15-7, 7-4, suffered a stunning loss to Pitt 65-64, who came from behind to beat them in the closing seconds Saturday night at the Dean Dome in Chapel Hill. 

Kentucky vs Florida

One of the top modern rivalries in the Southeastern Conference will also renew on Saturday night at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. 

That’s when the unranked Wildcats look to help build their March resume’ some more by taking on the Florida Gators 

Florida, 13-9, 6-3 is often impressive Wednesday night double digit win, 67-54 over top 10 Tennessee at home. Meanwhile, Kentucky rebounded from their loss last Saturday night at Rupp to the Kansas Jayhawks by beating Ole Miss 75-66 on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats and the Gators are perennially two the top teams in the SEC, although right now that distinction belongs to Tennessee and Alabama so far this year. Still, both the Gators and the ‘Cats expect to be a factor in March and into the NCAA tournament. 

Gonzaga vs St. Mary’s

The night will end with arguably the premier rivalry game of the last 15 years in the West with Gonzaga challenging East Coast Conference rivals St Mary’s in Maraga, CA. 

The Gales, 20-4, 9-0, are fresh off at Thursday night when over San Francisco at home which extends their conference lead. Meanwhile,  Gonzaga, who was #1 early this season and a perennial National Championship contender, blew out Santa Clara 88-70 on Thursday night. They look to pull into a tie atop the WCC standings by beating St Mary’s. Both of these teams are strong candidates for the NCAA tournament and will rematch February 25th. 

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