I'm not going to preview Duke's game Saturday at Louisville, although I love the Cardinals as it's a huge letdown game for the Blue Devils. But one thing to monitor going forward for Duke is the status of starting guard Matt Jones. He suffered a badly sprained ankle in the upset of North Carolina on Wednesday and is going to miss quite a bit of time. Jones averages 11.7 points and leads the team in made 3-pointers with 59 for the season. Coach K's team is really, really thin so this could be a problem going forward -- especially against a pressure defensive team like Louisville.
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Saint Joseph's at Davidson (+3.5)
Atlantic 10 game at 2 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. It's incredibly rare for a team to go unbeaten on the road during a college basketball regular season. Obviously Kentucky did it last year because the Wildcats didn't lose until the Final Four. If I gave you 10 guesses, I'd be willing to wager you wouldn't have picked Saint Joseph's as the only team left in Division I without a true road loss. That's in some jeopardy on Saturday. The Hawks (22-4, 11-2) are in a three-way tie with Dayton and VCU atop the A-10, although VCU was likely to win at home Friday night vs. Richmond. Saint Joseph's is done playing those two. It lost at home to VCU 85-82 on Jan. 5 but beat No. 15 Dayton 79-70 on Wednesday in Philadelphia. That probably got Saint Joseph's off the NCAA Tournament bubble for good. DeAndre Bembry had 16 points, 13 rebounds and three assists with no turnovers. Isaiah Miles added 12 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for SJU. They are two of the conference's better players. If you are wondering, Saint Joseph's has two road games left after this: UMass and St. Bonaventure.
Davidson (15-9, 7-6) is playing for conference tournament seeding at this point. The Wildcats beat Richmond on Tuesday 83-79 despite playing without one of the nation's leading scorers in Jack Gibbs. He averages 24.9 points along with 4.9 assists and 4.2 rebound but sat out with an illness. So did fellow guard Jordan Barham, who averages 9.4 points and 4.1 rebounds. I'm surprised there's an opening line here because of those two but obviously oddsmakers must feel comfortable they are playing. This is the only scheduled meeting this season between the schools.
Key trends: Saint Joe's is 9-0 against the spread in its past nine road games. Davidson is 0-4 ATS in its past four after a win.
I'm leaning: Davidson has won 32 of its past 34 at home. I like the Cats here if Gibbs and Barham play. Otherwise, Saint Joseph's.
No. 3 Oklahoma At No. 10 West Virginia (+3.5)
This Big 12 matchup is at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN and is the only Top-10 matchup on the schedule (Miami-North Carolina just misses with the Canes at No. 11). Oklahoma (20-5, 8-5) was No. 1 for a few weeks but could fall out of the Top 15 with a loss here as the Sooners have dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season. Last Saturday, it was home to Kansas, which is fine. On Wednesday, it was at Texas Tech, which isn't OK. Oklahoma, the nation's top 3-point shooting team, was just 6-for-23 from long range. Player of the Year favorite Buddy Hield was held to 16 points and was 3-for-10 from long range. He has 1,997 career points and needs five to move into sixth place on the Big 12's all-time scoring list. OU has to win here to likely have a shot at the Big 12 regular-season title.
WVU (20-6, 9-4) is a game behind first-place Kansas. The Mountaineers lost 85-78 at No. 24 Texas on Tuesday. Jaysean Paige, WVU's leading scorer at 14.0 points per game, injured an ankle in the first half and didn't return. He was scoreless in six minutes. Paige is listed as probable here. The Mountaineers also played without guard Daxter Miles Jr. with a hamstring injury. He didn't even travel and is questionable here. Miles averages 10.1 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. West Virginia lost at Oklahoma 70-68 on Jan. 16. Khadeem Lattin had a tip-in of a Jordan Woodard missed layup with one second remaining. Hield had 17 in that one.
Key trends: The Sooners are 1-5 ATS in their past six road games. The Mountaineers are 13-3 ATS in their past 16 at home. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings.
I'm leaning: Oklahoma only because WVU isn't 100 percent.
Saint Mary's at Gonzaga (-5.5)
This West Coast Conference game is at 10 p.m.. ET on ESPN2. It's my favorite mid-major rivalry and Saint Mary's (21-4, 12-3) can tie the Zags for first. ESPN actually has SMC among its "First Four Out," so the Gaels clearly need this one. They have a lousy RPI of 67 and haven't played a ranked team. SMC's best non-conference win is probably vs. Stanford and the Cardinal aren't very good this season. The Gaels nearly were caught looking ahead to this one on Thursday as they escaped at Portland, 74-72. Joe Rahon hit the winning jumper with three seconds left. Alec Wintering's last-second 35-foot rimmed out for Portland.
Gonzaga (21-6, 13-2) is currently projected as a No. 9 seed in the Big Dance and has an RPI of 63. Its only good non-conference win was over UConn. The Zags had no trouble Thursday at home in trashing Pacific 90-68. Kyle Wiltjer had 19 of his 26 points in the second half and Domantas Sabonis finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Gonzaga looks to avoid the season sweep here as the Zags lost at Saint Mary's 70-67 on Jan. 21. Evan Fitzner hit two free throws with 2.9 seconds left and Gonzaga's Josh Perkins hit the front rim on a heave at the buzzer. Gonzaga had won eight straight in the series. SMC likely will be the WCC's top seed with a win here because it has a much easier schedule remaining than Gonzaga does; the Zags have a tough trip to BYU left.
Key trends: SMC is 1-9 ATS in its past 10 games. Gonzaga is 2-10 ATS in its past 12 Saturday games. The Bulldogs are 8-0 ATS in the past eight meetings.
I'm leaning: Gonzaga.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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