TOP 5 GAMES
5 Memphis at Southern Miss » The top two teams in Conference USA were headed for a titanic battle of the streaks until Southern Miss (18-5) lost for the first time in 11 games Wednesday at Central Florida. Led by junior point guard Joe Jackson, Memphis (19-3) has won 13 straight and is likely to be ranked for the first time this year with a victory. (Saturday, 4 p.m., CBSSN)
5 Virginia at Maryland » Bubblicious. Without two late-season wins last season over Maryland, Virginia wouldn't have made the NCAA tournament. A year later, both teams are on the NCAA bubble, fighting for placement in the improved ACC, which could get as many as seven tournament bids. The game will be a tempo battle with the Cavaliers trying to grind it. (Sunday, 1 p.m., Fox 5)
3 No. 11 Louisville at No. 25 Notre Dame » The Joyce Center promises to be rocking for this Saturday night prime-time ESPN matchup as Notre Dame (18-5) tries to rebound after shooting 34.6 percent in a 63-47 loss at Syracuse. Following three straight losses, Peyton Siva and Louisville (19-4) have re-discovered defense with wins over Pittsburgh, Marquette, and Rutgers. (Saturday, 9 p.m., ESPN)
2 No. 23 Pittsburgh at No. 17 Cincinnati » When Cincinnati won at Pitt, 70-61, on New Year's Eve, the Panthers were untested by a soft schedule. But six weeks later, Jamie Dixon's team has proven its worth with wins over Georgetown, Syracuse, and UConn. The Bearcats try to regroup after scoring a season-low Wednesday in a 54-50 loss at Providence. (Saturday, 6 p.m., ESPN)
1 No. 1 Indiana at No. 10 Ohio State » Every week it seems, the most enticing game is in the Big Ten. Four Sundays ago, when then No. 2 Michigan came to Value City Arena, Aaron Craft and the Buckeyes held the Wolverines to a season low in a 56-53 win. Now after losing the rematch to Michigan on Tuesday night in OT, Ohio State tries to take down a No. 1. (Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS)
- Kevin Dunleavy
Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech
When » Saturday, 1 p.m.
Where » Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va.
TV/Radio » CSN Mid-Atlantic / The Fan 106.7 FM
The improvement of Georgia Tech (12-9, 2-7) hasn't translated to ACC wins. But the Yellow Jackets are 60 points higher in the RPI (136) than last year. Tech got its best win Sunday over Virginia and nearly followed up on Tuesday, but were beaten at the buzzer by Florida State's Michael Snaer. Virginia Tech's lone ACC road win came at Georgia Tech as national scoring leader Erick Green tallied 20 of his 28 points after intermission of a 70-65 verdict in OT.
Colgate at American
When » Saturday, 3 p.m.
Where » Bender Arena
Coming off its best Patriot League victory this season, over Lafayette, American (8-14, 3-4) tries to separate in the standings from Colgate (9-15, 3-4). A month ago in New York, the Eagles got 22 points from 6-foot-8 Stephen Lumpkins and a double-double from 6-10 Troy Wroblicky in a 72-63 victory over the Raiders. AU has won the last six meetings. At halftime the Eagles will honor Hall of Fame inductees Stephen Franzke (soccer) and Virginia Casabo (field hockey).
Maryland Eastern Shore at Howard
When » Saturday, 4 p.m.
Where » Burr Gynmasium
With local products Prince Okoroh (Eleanor Roosevelt) and Mike Phillips (River Bend) combining for 33 points and 19 rebounds, Howard (5-18, 2-7) rallied past South Carolina State on Monday, 57-45, breaking a six-game losing skid. On Saturday, the Bison go for two in a row against UMES (1-17, 1-6) which has fewer wins than all but one team in Division I. Former Virginia Tech and Howard coach Frankie Allen guides the Hawks, led by 6-4 freshman Kevin Mays (14.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg).
Lafayette at Navy
When » Saturday, 7 p.m.
Where » Alumni Hall, Annapolis
After taking their lumps from the leaders in the Patriot League, Bucknell and Lehigh, Navy (7-16, 1-6) tries to halt its four-game losing streak in which none of the games has been decided by fewer than 14 points. A month ago at Lafayette (11-13, 4-3), 6-7 sophomore Seth Hinrichs had 22 points and nine rebounds as the Leopards beat the Midshipmen for the third straight time, 64-47. Navy sophomore Kevin Alter has hit 19 of his last 48 attempts from beyond the arc.
- Kevin Dunleavy