College basketball schedule: Pitt looking to hand Syracuse first loss

Scott Cunningham

Battles in the Big 12 and elsewhere sort out the conference leaders from the chaff.

Pretenders are beginning to fall by the wayside as conference play continues. Saturday's slate features three Top-25 games, including Pittsburgh looking to put an end to Syracuse's undefeated record and two potential top picks squaring off in Lawrence, as Marcus Smart and the Oklahoma State Cowboys visit the Kansas Jayhawks and Andrew Wiggins.

The full schedule for the Top 25 teams follows, with all times being Eastern.

No. 2 Syracuse vs. No. 22 Pittsburgh  (4 p.m. ESPN)

Pitt hasn't played a ranked team all season (Cincinnati is ranked 19th now, but when the Bearcats played Pitt, neither team was ranked) and will get a big jump up in competition when they travel to take on the No, 2 Orange.

If the Panthers are going to hand Syracuse its first loss of the season, do-everything senior forward Lamar Patterson will need to continue his excellence. He is leading Pitt in scoring and assists and is tied for second on the team in rebounds.

The biggest struggle for the Panthers will be keeping the Orange off of the offensive glass. Sryacuse is ninth in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage and tops in the ACC, coming up with 40.5 percent of its own misses.

No. 15 Kansas vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State (4 p.m. CBS)

Many argued that Marcus Smart should have left for the NBA last season since he was projected by many to be the top pick in the draft. He came back to Oklahoma State, and Cowboys fans rejoiced. They are still rejoicing, since Smart is having a season that puts him in the running for the Wooden Award.

Andrew Wiggins came to Kansas as a member of one of the most hyped classes of freshmen ever. Wiggins has been slightly underwhelming to many despite leading his team in scoring and averaging over six rebounds per game while guiding the top-ranked team according to RPI.

No. 12 Baylor vs. No. 25 Oklahoma (2 p.m. ESPN)

The Sooners are finishing up one of the most difficult stretches of schedule any team has faced thus far, and they have a chance to finish this four-game stretch at .500 should they take down Baylor. Oklahoma faced Kansas and Iowa State last week, and they were upset by the very decent Kansas State Wildcats on Tuesday.

Baylor will only get one day after its match up against the Sooners before they will have to turn around and head to Kansas to play the Jayhawks on Monday. The Bears were upset Wednesday by Texas Tech in a game that featured the Red Raiders shooting almost 60 percent, so they will have to do a better job defensively against the Sooners to avoid dropping their third of four games.

No. 3 Wisconsin vs. Michigan (6 p.m. ESPN)

Wisconsin is coming off of their first loss of the season, where Indiana scored a victory despite 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting by the Badgers' Traevon Jackson. Michigan is 4-0 in Big Ten play despite without a key member of their frontcourt in Mitch McGary, out for the season due to back surgery.

Illinois vs. No. 4 Michigan State (8 p.m. Big Ten Network)

Michigan State is battling injuries yet again, with Adreian Payne dealing with a foot injury, Keith Appling dealing with a shoulder injury and Branden Dawson just returning after being sick.

No. 5 Wichita State vs. Indiana State (4 p.m. ESPN2)

Neither team has lost yet in Missouri Valley Conference play, but Wichita State has yet to lose a game on the season.

No. 6 Villanova vs. DePaul (4 p.m. Fox Sports Net)

Villanova is staking its claim as one of the best teams in the country, with its only loss coming to the No. 2 Orange. The Wildcats have also topped Kansas and Iowa this season and are 2-0 in overtime games.

Auburn vs. No. 7 Florida (4 p.m. ESPN3)

Casey Prather is returning for Florida after badly bruising his knee and missing two games. He is Florida's leading scorer. Auburn has lost three in a row... and is also a football school.

Texas vs. No. 8 Iowa State (4 p.m. ESPN3)

Iowa State has lost two in a row after winning their first 14. Texas could use a win against Iowa State to boost its resume, as it sits as a bubble team at the moment.

No. 10 San Diego State vs. UNLV (6:05 p.m. CBS Sports Network)

The only loss for San Diego State is against the No. 1 Arizona Wildcats, and the Aztecs boast quality wins against Kansas, Marquette and Creighton. On the other hand, UNLV is coming off of a close call against New Mexico in which the Rebels won despite giving the Lobos three chances to tie in the final minute.

No. 13 Kentucky vs. Tennessee (12 noon CBS)

Another member of the much-hyped freshman class, Kentucky's Julius Randle, has impressed so far this season by averaging a double-double. Tennessee recently lost freshman Robert Hubbs for the season due to shoulder surgery.

Elon vs. No. 16 Massachusetts (7 p.m.)

Massachusetts is riding big man Cady Lalanne to the tune of 13.7 points per game and 9 rebounds per game, while Elon is coming off of a two-point overtime victory against Davidson.

No. 17 Memphis vs. LeMoyne-Owen (2 p.m. ESPN3)

Memphis has played five ranked opponents thus far, going 2-3 against the Top 25. The Tigers rely heavily on Joe Jackson and Shaq Goodwin, combining for over 27 per game, and they lead the Tigers in rebounds and assists, respectively.

Connecticut vs. No. 18 Louisville (9 p.m. ESPN)

UConn began the season ranked, but it has fallen out of the Top 25 following a stretch in which the Huskies lost three games to Stanford, Houston and Southern Methodist. Louisville hasn't quite lived up to preseason expectations in which they were  picked as the top team in the country, but they have maintained their spot in the Top 25.

South Florida vs. No. 19 Cincinnati (5 p.m. ESPNU)

Cincinnati has been perfect outside of a two-game hiccup against New Mexico and Xavier, which was followed by the Bearcats giving Pitt its only loss of the season.

Providence vs. No. 20 Creighton (8 p.m. Fox Sports 1)

Creighton's Doug McDermott is viewed by many as the best player in the country, while Providence senior guard Bryce Cotton will constantly be having the ball in his hands, averaging 20 points and a touch under six assists per contest.

No. 21 Colorado vs. USC (2 p.m. Fox Sports 1)

Colorado is going to have to learn to play without Spencer Dinwiddie, arguably its best player who was lost for the season with a torn ACL. A good tune-up for its upcoming game against Arizona could be USC who is 0-4 in Pac-12 play.

No. 23 Duke vs. North Carolina State (CBS)

Jabari Parker has been the best of the hyped freshman, and he leads Duke to face a probably over-matched NC State Wolfpack, who are 1-3 in ACC play.

No. 24 Saint Louis vs. Fordham (2:30 NBC Sports Network)

Saint Louis is led by seniors Jordair Jett and Dwayne Evans, and the Billikens' only two losses have been to Wisconsin and Wichita State, two of the top 10 teams in the country.

Utah vs. No. 25 UCLA (Fox Sports 1)

UCLA is coming off of a big win against Colorado and is fourth in the country in field goal percentage, shooting more than 50 percent. Utah is starting to show cracks after going through one of the easiest non-conference schedules in the country, going 2-3 in Pac-12 Conference play.

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