Let’s get down to it.
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Jacksonville State Gamecocks (1 p.m. ET, SEC Network+): Tennessee will look to avoid losing three in a row as they face Jacksonville State. The Vols dropped ones to both the Memphis Tigers and Cincinnati Bearcats in the last week, but playing the Gamecocks should provide a semblance of relief.
Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Missouri Tigers (1 p.m. ET, SEC Network): Braggin’ Rights is in an unusual time slot this time around. But Mizzou and Illinois will squabble with the same intensity as they would in primetime. The Tigers have won two in a row going into this one, while Illinois has done the same. The Illini recently tagged the Michigan Wolverines with a loss, so they’re feeling pretty good these days. Mizzou will hope to turn their rival’s smiles upside down and give them an unhappy beginning to the holiday season.
Southeastern Louisiana Lions vs. Ole Miss Rebels (2 p.m. ET, SEC Network+): Ole Miss, winners of their last two games, takes on Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday. Given that the Lions rank 326th on KenPom, this should be a breeze of a game for the Rebels. Point blank.
Utah State Aggies vs. Florida Gators (2:30 p.m. ET, FS1): Florida trounced the Providence Friars earlier this week and they’ll now hope to do the same to Utah State. The 11-2 Aggies, led by Sam Merrill, hav been outstanding this year but are not without their blemishes of course. They lost to the BYU Cougars last Saturday, this after taking an L to the St. Mary’s (CA) Gaels back on November 29. If Florida wants to avoid taking their fourth loss of the year, they will have to stop Merrill and get it going offensively again as they did against PC.
Belmont Bruins vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (3:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network): Skittish Alabama will face Belmont on Saturday. The Tide have won three of their last four games, their lone loss a two-point defeat at the hands of the Penn State Nittany Lions last Saturday. ‘Bama may have their hands full down in Huntsville, as Belmont is a pretty solid squad as always.
Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Kentucky Wildcats (5:15 p.m. ET, CBS): Kentucky fell to the Utah Utes a few days ago out in Vegas. UK has stayed in Sin City since, and will face Ohio State on Saturday as part of the CBS Sports Classic. The Buckeyes have been fierce all year long, as Kaleb Wesson has been indisputably one of the best players in the Big Ten and the country, as well. We shall see how this one goes, as it’s probably the best game on paper today.
Lehigh Mountain Hawks vs. Auburn Tigers (6 p.m., SEC Network): Auburn hasn’t fallen from the ranks of the unbeaten yet, and they may not after Saturday either. The Tigers welcome Lehigh to Auburn Arena and are unsurprisingly a pretty heavy favorite. This is not a particularly good Mountain Hawks squad, as they’ve lost five in a row and stand at 3-7 on the season. Auburn should likely roll here to move to a gaudy 11-0 on the year.
Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Valparaiso Crusaders (8 p.m. ET): In a game that won’t be on TV at all, Mason Jones and Arkansas will square off with Valpo. The Crusaders are 7-5 and have traded wins and losses over the course of the last five games, in which they’re 3-2. They’re 7-5 on the season but likely won’t be able to fend off the mighty Razorbacks. I am very, very intrigued to see what The Mason Jones Show delivers in this game.
UNC Wilmington Seahawks vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (8 p.m. ET, SEC Network+): Vandy has lost two in a row and three of their last four going into Saturday’s matchup with UNC Wilmington. Given that the Seahawks rank 304th on KenPom, I would imagine that Jerry Stackhouse’s club gets it done here. They’ve eaten some losses this year obviously, but this would be a pretty terrible loss that I do not see happening.
Oregon State Beavers vs. Texas A&M Aggies (8:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network): Texas A&M snapped a four-game losing streak this past Sunday, and now will look to piece together two wins in a row. To do that though, they’ll have to get by a pretty stout Oregon State team. The Beavers are 9-1 and haven’t lost a game since November 12. Granted, they haven’t beaten anybody particularly good over that stretch. But the run has been impressive nonetheless. A&M will have to play up to snuff at home if they want to get the W.
LSU Tigers vs. USC Trojans (9 p.m. ET, FS1): Rounding things out, LSU will face off with USC out at STAPLES Center. The Tigers are 7-3 on the year and are on the heels of a 74-63 loss at home to the East Tennessee State Buccaneers. Before that, they’d rattled off four wins in a row. The thing with LSU this year is that they’ve lost to practically every good team they’ve faced. They have just one win over the KenPom Top 100 this year, a 96-83 victory over the Rhode Island Rams. USC ranks 67th, so we’ll see if they can switch that to two wins over the KP Top 100.