College basketball games this week: Top 10 games to watch, including UCLA-USC

TUCSON, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 05: Guard Kerr Kriisa #25 of the Arizona Wildcats defends guard Ethan Anderson #20 of the USC Trojans during the first half at McKale Center on February 05, 2022 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images)
TUCSON, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 05: Guard Kerr Kriisa #25 of the Arizona Wildcats defends guard Ethan Anderson #20 of the USC Trojans during the first half at McKale Center on February 05, 2022 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images) /

A huge Pac-12 showdown and some heavyweight fights in the Big Ten highlight this week’s college basketball schedule.

The stretch run of the college basketball season is underway as the race to get into the NCAA Tournament is starting to hit overdrive. Conference play offers plenty of teams the opportunity to boost their NCAA Tournament resumes and get off the bubble or improve their overall seeding.

Each game means more as the calendar moves ever closer to March, so let’s dive into the top games on this week’s college basketball schedule. Here are the top 10 contests to watch in Week 14, beginning tonight with a huge trip for Kansas in the Big 12.

Top 10 Games on the Week 14 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.

Kansas at Texas – Monday, Feb. 7 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

The Jayhawks made an emphatic statement by throttling Baylor at home on Saturday but have a quick turnaround for this trip to Austin to take on the Longhorns. Chris Beard’s team doesn’t have a true marquee win yet but getting a shot at Kansas here may do the trick.

Wisconsin at Michigan State – Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 7:00 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network

It’s a big week for the Big Ten as three of their matchups crack the Top 10 games, beginning on Tuesday night as Wisconsin travels to East Lansing to take on Michigan State. The Badgers lost at home to the Spartans a few weeks ago and now have to take on an angry Michigan State team that was just embarrassed at Rutgers on Saturday.

Iowa State at West Virginia – Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+

Big 12 play is a meatgrinder and both of these teams have learned it the hard way. Iowa State has dropped six of its last nine games while West Virginia has lost six straight, making this contest a desperate one for both teams.

Illinois at Purdue – Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

Finding the Big Ten’s second-best team is a challenge but Illinois has staked a worthy claim to that mantle at this juncture. The Fighting Illini, led by National Player of the Year candidate Kofi Cockburn, currently lead the Big Ten and will look to avenge a double-overtime loss to Purdue here.

Tennessee at Mississippi State – Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2

The Volunteers are one of the SEC’s top teams but they face a tough road test here against a Mississippi State team that finds itself squarely on the bubble. The Bulldogs have few opportunities left to improve their resume and will be fired up to take down Tennessee in this one.

Texas at Baylor – Saturday, 2/12 at 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2

This is a brutal week for Texas, which draws both of the Big 12’s best teams after facing off with Kansas at home on Monday. Going to Waco will be a tough assignment for the Longhorns since the Bears will be looking to make a statement after some recent struggles.

Seton Hall at Villanova – Saturday, 2/12 at 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX

The Pirates stumbled for a while but are now getting back to their excellent pre-COVID pause form. This game could be more of a challenge for Villanova if they are without senior guard Collin Gillespie, who sprained his ankle in Saturday’s win over UCONN.

Indiana at Michigan State – Saturday, 2/12 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX

Indiana has dominated its competition at home but is just 2-4 in true road games, making Saturday’s trip to East Lansing an important one for Mike Woodson’s squad. Michigan State has had some issues of late, losing at home to Northwestern a few weeks ago and getting blown out at Rutgers on Saturday, making this a game the Hoosiers can reasonably expect to get.

Florida at Kentucky – Saturday, 2/12 at 4:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

One of the SEC’s bubble teams, Florida is floating right around the cut line and will look to put itself on the right side of the bubble against Kentucky. The stakes are different for the Wildcats, who are trying to keep pace with a suddenly vulnerable Auburn atop the conference.

UCLA at USC – Saturday, 2/12 at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN or ESPN2

The Arizona trip wasn’t kind to these Pac-12 powers as they went a combined 1-3 with two losses to Arizona and an unexcusable triple-overtime loss at 7-13 Arizona State for UCLA. This is the first of two meetings between the crosstown rivals and it could have big implications for the conference title race.

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