College Basketball Weekend Outlook: Gut Check Time

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

I, for one, am glad college basketball is back in full swing. 23 of the nation's top 25 are in action over the next few days. Let's do this.

It's that time of the year again, and my favorite, when college basketball is in full swing and at the forefront of most people's attention. College hoops is simply magical and just completely unpredictable. So far, we've seen more parity than in years past. The frontrunners are obvious, but I believe there are more than a handful of teams capable of cutting down the nets in Jerry World in April (Personally, I'm on the Syracuse and Wichita State bandwagons).

And much like our guy Graham did during football season (very well, I might add), I'll do my best to bring you the SEC slate and notable non-SEC games.

Without further adieu, here is your weekend college hoops schedule:

SATURDAY

SEC Action

No. 10 Florida at Arkansas - noon CST on ESPN2

It's gut check time for Arkansas. After dropping its conference opener to Texas A&M, Arkansas hopes to recreate some of the magic it saw last year against Florida. A win will respark interest in the team for the fans, but a loss sends Arkansas into the Kentucky game with little confidence and a possible 0-4 start to conference play.

LSU at South Carolina - 12:30 pm CST on ESPN3

My perception of LSU has really changed the last few weeks. A loss to Frank Martin's squad could have them NIT bound. Winner: LSU

No. 21 Missouri at Auburn - 1 pm CST on ESPNU

Haith did it again. Kudos to Mark Fox. I expect a big rebound game for Mizzou. Winner: Missouri

No. 14 Kentucky at Vanderbilt - 2:30 pm CST on CBS

The road game at Vandy always seems to trouble Calipari and his guys. I see Vandy keeping it close. Winner: Kentucky

Alabama at Georgia - 3 pm CST on ESPN3

Would make for a fun football game. Winner: Georgia

Ole Miss at Mississippi State - 3 pm CST on ESPNU

No Marshall Henderson? Not interested. Winner: MSU

Texas A&M at Tennessee - 5 pm CST on ESPN3

I see Alex Caruso having one of those "oh... that's why he plays for Texas A&M" games. Winner: Tennessee

Top Non-SEC Games

North Carolina at No. 2 Syracuse - 11 am CST on ESPN

The Orange could very well be playing in front of crowd of 30,000. That alone is reason enough to at least check in on this one. Winner: Syracuse

No. 9 Iowa State at Oklahoma - 11 am CST on ESPNU

Iowa State has this guy named DeAndre Kane. He flirted with a QUADURPLE DOUBLE vs Baylor last time out. As ESPN's Myron Medcalf says, "tell your friends about him." Winner: Iowa State

No. 25 Kansas State at No. 18 Kansas - 1 pm CST on ESPN

The best in-state hoops rivalry out there other than UNC-Duke? Winner: Kansas

No. 24 Memphis at Temple - 2 pm CST on ESPN2

Memphis picked up an impressive win over Louisville Thursday after losing big at home to Cincinnati. Josh Pastner has also fallen behind the times. Winner: Memphis

SUNDAY

No. 20 Iowa at No. 3 Ohio State - 12:30 pm CST on CBS

Should be a game of tempos. Iowa likes to get up and down, OSU not so much. Winner: Ohio State

Xavier at Creighton - 2 pm CST on CBS Sports Network (different from CBS)

Doug McDermott, who bruised a rotator cuff in his last game, might be the player of the year in college basketball thus far. Xavier should not be taken lightly, however. Winner: Xavier

Happy viewing!

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