We go into Saturday with one less game than anticipated. Due to intense snow in Missouri prohibiting their travel, the Missouri Tigers won’t be playing the South Carolina Gamecocks. The game was postponed.
Nonetheless, basketball is still to be played elsewhere. So let’s dive into what’s on tap.
OLE MISS vs. MISSISSIPPI STATE
1 p.m. ET/Noon CT — CBS
The #34 and #24 teams on KenPom (and bitter rivals) will do battle at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Mississippi. The Ole Miss Rebels are among the biggest surprises in the nation, boasting a 12-2 record under Kermit Davis. The Rebels just knocked off the Auburn Tigers earlier in the week and now look to make it two Top 25 KenPom wins in a row when they face off with the Mississippi State Bulldogs. State is on the heels of an 87-82 overtime loss to aforementioned South Carolina and would like to not make it two in a row, of course. Especially to their archrivals.
TEXAS A&M vs. ALABAMA
3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m CT — SEC Network — WatchESPN
Two teams on the heels of losses face off in Tuscaloosa. The Texas A&M Aggies, losers of their last three, look to right the ship against the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Tide were knocked off by the LSU Tigers on Tuesday night in Baton Rouge, and look to pick up a win back at home where they’ve lost just once this season (December 4 against the Georgia State Panthers). Kira Lewis Jr. will look to continue his stellar play of late as he’s averaged 14.7 points in his last three games. T.J. Starks, meanwhile, has played off the charts lately, having scored in double figures in all but one game dating back to November 15. He’s had 23 and 18 points respectively in A&M’s first two games of SEC play, and will aim to keep those point productions high and hope to lead his team to a win.
GEORGIA vs. AUBURN
4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT — ESPN2 — WatchESPN
After losing to Ole Miss earlier this week, the Auburn Tigers will be aiming to rebound off that lackluster result. The Tigers host the Georgia Bulldogs, who come in after a win over the Vanderbilt Commodores earlier this week. Georgia protected home court and won by nearly 20 points over Vandy, getting a big performance from Derek Ogbeide. Rayshaun Hammonds wasn’t so bad himself either, as the sophomore forward put up 19 points while Nicolas Claxton had 10 points, 12 rebounds and five (!) blocks with two steals as well. Auburn would be wise to not let their guard down in this one.
TENNESSEE vs. FLORIDA
6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT — ESPN — WatchESPN
If you’re into the KenPom Thrill Score, this is the game of the day today. The #5 team takes on the #20 squad as the Tennessee Volunteers face off with the Florida Gators. Tennessee has been superb this season, with just one loss to their record this season. They’ve picked up two conference victories so far, both double-digit blowouts over Georgia and Mizzou. Florida and their elite defense will hope to slow the Vols down at the O-Dome on Saturday evening. The Gators won 57-51 against the Arkansas Razorbacks this past Wednesday to even their record at 1-1 on the year. We’ll see if they can hand UT their second loss of the year.
LSU vs. ARKANSAS
6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT — SEC Network — WatchESPN
LSU and Arkansas will do battle in Fayetteville on Saturday evening. The Fighting Tigers’ aforementioned win over Alabama put them at 11-3 on the year as they enter this game, having won four in a row and six of their last seven dating back to December 1. Arkansas, on the other hand, lost their last game to Florida but did pick off A&M back on January 5. They’ve still won three of their last four and four of their last six as they enter this one dating back to December 15, with their only losses coming to Florida and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. This should be an intriguing game as it pits the #44 and #55 KenPom teams against each other. It could be a fun battle between two teams trying to emerge from the middle of the pack.
VANDERBILT vs. KENTUCKY
8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT — SEC Network — WatchESPN
The final game of the day pits Vanderbilt against the Kentucky Wildcats. Rupp Arena will play host to a matchup that features two teams with young and blossoming talent. Kentucky obviously has the likes of Keldon Johnson, Ashton Hagans and Tyler Herro while Vandy boasts Simi Shittu, Saben Lee and Aaron Nesmith. Shittu had 10 & 14 in Vandy’s loss to UGA, coming off a 21 & 9 performance against Ole Miss. Kentucky’s bigs will most certainly be challenged by his presence in this game. Meanwhile, Vandy will have to find ways to keep Johnson, Hagans AND Herro all down, something teams have struggled to do this season. The latter two in Hagans and Herro had 18 and 21 points respectively in their recent win over A&M.