LAWRENCE, KS, Sporting Alert – College basketball has some exciting matchups this weekend, including No. 1 Oklahoma v LSU and No. 4 Kansas v No. 20 Kentucky.
After taking down then-No. 13 Baylor and Texas Tech in their last two fixtures, the top-ranked Sooners (17-2, 6-2 Big 12) will step out of conference to test their range against LSU, which includes a very talented freshman, Ben Simmons, in its setup.
This matchup will see two of the front runners for the national player of the year award, in Simmons and the in-form Oklahoma senior guard Buddy Hield, going head-to-head at Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge.
Hield comes into this game averaging 25.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 53 percent from the field, including 52.9 percent from 3-point range. He is also shooting 90.3 percent from the free throw line.
Simmons, in the meantime, leads the Tigers (13-7, 6-2 SEC) in almost every area this season.
The star forward is averaging 19.8 points, 12.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game, while shooting 55.3 percent from the floor, which are all team-highs for LSU this term.
Like Oklahoma, LSU has also won two straight — beating Alabama and Georgia recently to sit second in the SEC standings.
The Tigers are averaging 81.3 points per game, while the Sooners, who lead the NCAA in 3-point shooting this term, average 85.8, which sit fourth in the nation this season.
The other highlighted college basketball matchup on Saturday comes from the Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas, where the fourth-ranked Kansas entertains the 20th-ranked Kentucky.
Both teams were at one point ranked No. 1 in the AP college basketball top 25 poll, but has since drifted, with the Wildcats being hit the heaviest for their inconsistency.
However, Kentucky (16-4, 6-2 SEC), which has won five of the last six games, can make a big statement this weekend with a road win over the Jayhawks (16-4, 5-3 Big 12), who are 11-0 at home.
The Wildcats are 2-4 on the road this term.
Kentucky leads this all-time series between the college basketball clubs, 22-6.
Individually, Perry Ellis leads Kansas this season, averaging 16.7 points and 6.6 points per game and shooting 50.2 percent from the floor.
For the Wildcats, who have won three straight, they are led in scoring by Jamal Murray, who is averaging 17.5 points per game. The freshman guard is also pulling down 4.8 rebounds and dishing out 2.4 assists per contest this campaign.
Tyler Ulis (15.5pts) and Isaiah Briscoe (10.2pts) are also averaging in double figures.
In other college basketball fixtures on this busy Saturday, No. 2 North Carolina (18-2, 7-0 ACC) will take on Boston College (7-13, 0-7 ACC) which is still searching for its first conference win on the term, No. 5 Texas A&M (17-3) and No. 14 Iowa State (16-4) will meet, while No. 15 Miami (FL) (16-3, 5-2 ACC) and NC State (11-10, 1-7 ACC).
NCAAM Division I Schedule – College Basketball
Saturday, January 30th, 2016
Live ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and WatchESPN
No. 9 West Virginia at Florida 11:00 AM ESPN, WatchESPN
Vanderbilt at Texas 11:00 AM ESPN2, WatchESPN
Clemson at Florida State 11:00 AM ESPN3, WatchESPN
No. 11 Virginia at No. 16 Louisville 12:00 PM CBS
No. 14 Iowa State at No. 5 Texas A&M 1:00 PM ESPN, WatchESPN
No. 7 Xavier at DePaul 1:00 PM CBSSN
Minnesota at No. 19 Indiana 1:15 PM BTN
No. 15 Miami (FL) at NC State 2:00 PM ESPN3, WatchESPN
Boston College at No. 2 North Carolina 3:00 PM ESPN2, WatchESPN
Nebraska at No. 21 Purdue 3:30 PM BTN
No. 1 Oklahoma at LSU 4:00 PM ESPN, WatchESPN
Georgia at No. 17 Baylor 5:00 PM ESPN2, WatchESPN
No. 20 Kentucky at No. 4 Kansas 6:00 PM ESPN, WatchESPN
Memphis at No. 13 SMU 7:00 PM ESPNU, WatchESPN
No. 10 Providence at Georgetown 7:00 PM FS1
Oregon State at No. 18 Arizona 8:30 PM PAC12