This week’s college basketball schedule is loaded with heavyweight showdowns, including Round 1 for Baylor-Kansas and Duke-North Carolina.
The end of January means conference season is really kicking into high gear in the world of college basketball and this week is no exception. Following a stellar week of action that was highlighted by the SEC edging out the Big 12 in their annual challenge, this week will bring with it a ton of dramatic showdowns between bitter rivals.
The Big 12 and Pac-12 have potential regular-season title race defining games on tap while Duke and North Carolina square off in Chapel Hill for Mike Krzyzewski’s final trip to the Dean Smith Center. Let’s take a look at the 10 best games on the college basketball schedule this week, beginning with an unwelcome homecoming in the Big 12.
Top 10 Games on the Week 12 College Basketball schedule
Note: All games listed below were on the schedule as of post time. COVID-19 related issues can lead to postponements at any moment.
Texas at Texas Tech – Tuesday, 2/1 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2
This Big 12 showdown is the Chris Beard game since this is his first trip back to Lubbock since abandoning the Red Raiders last spring. Tickets for this game are a hot commodity, with the get-in price at almost $600, as Texas Tech fans will create an electric atmosphere against the Longhorns.
Alabama at Auburn – Tuesday, 2/1 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
These teams played a thriller in Tuscaloosa last month and now the Crimson Tide will head to Auburn to try and knock off the nation’s top team. This game is another test case of the Jekyll-and-Hyde nature of Alabama, which plays great against elite teams (see wins over Gonzaga, Houston and Baylor) while playing down to mediocre competition like losses against two of the SEC’s worst teams in Missouri and Georgia.
Wisconsin at Illinois – Wednesday, 2/2 at 9:00 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network
Two of the Big Ten’s elites square off in Champaign as Wisconsin takes on Illinois. The Badgers do have the best player in the contest in guard Johnny Davis but can’t sleep on the Fighting Illini, who managed to topple Michigan State last week without the services of either Kofi Cockburn or Andre Curbelo.
UCLA at Arizona – Thursday, 2/3 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
These teams met just over a week ago with UCLA storming past the Wildcats at Pauley Pavilion to claim the top spot in the Pac-12 standings. Arizona will be motivated to even the season series at home since they have a huge week ahead of them in conference play.
UCONN at Villanova – Saturday, 2/5 at 12:00 p.m. ET on FOX
The Big East is stacked this year and Villanova will look to defend home court here against UCONN, which is best known as the only team to defeat Auburn this season. The Wildcats have been on a tear since late December, winning 9 of their last 10 games to surge into second place in the conference, while UCONN is off to a 6-2 start in league play.
Baylor at Kansas – Saturday, 2/5 at 4:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
These two teams could both win a national championship so watching the first of two meetings this season at Allen Fieldhouse is must-watch television. Kansas will be looking to make a statement after a brutal home defeat against Kentucky last weekend while Baylor is more than capable of scoring a road win at the Phog.
USC at Arizona – Saturday, 2/5 at 5:00 p.m. ET on FOX
The Wildcats welcome their two top rivals for Pac-12 supremacy this week as USC comes to town on Saturday afternoon for their first meeting of the season. This matchup will say a lot about the Trojans, who have a gaudy won-loss record with few quality victories to speak of at this point.
Duke at North Carolina – Saturday, 2/5 at 6:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
College basketball’s most historic rivalry is always must-see television and Mike Krzyzewski’s final visit to North Carolina will be the main storyline here. The Tar Heels could really use a win here since their win over Michigan hasn’t aged well and they have largely been blown out whenever they face quality opponents this season.
Kentucky at Alabama – Saturday, 2/5 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
This stacked Saturday continues as Alabama wraps up a tough three-game stretch against Kentucky, which is fresh off its dominant performance at Allen Fieldhouse last Saturday. The Crimson Tide beat Baylor in the Big 12/SEC Challenge last weekend and would definitely sign for a split of their games this week.
Gonzaga at BYU – Saturday, 2/5 at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN2
Gonzaga blew out BYU the first time these teams met in Spokane. The venue has now flipped to Provo as the Cougars will look to bolster their at-large resume by finding a way to topple the Bulldogs.
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