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This Saturday is one of the most important days so far on the college basketball calendar, as all three of the top teams are at serious risk of suffering a late-season loss.
Here's a betting breakdown of the top matchups this weekend.
At last, the rematch. On Jan. 11, Baylor escaped Allen Fieldhouse with a 12-point win over Kansas, which hadn't lost at home in 26 games. Now the two teams meet in Waco, Texas, where the Bears are a perfect 12-0 this year with seven double-digit wins.
In that victory, Baylor bullied Kansas in the paint, with 56.7% of its points coming inside the arc. The Bears averaged 1.08 points per possession - the best any team has produced against the Jayhawks this year - while turning the ball over on just 8.1% of their possessions (second-fewest all season).
Unfortunately for Kansas, that likely won't change on Saturday. The Jayhawks are still among the nation's worst at forcing turnovers, meaning that Baylor - which also swallows up offensive rebounds for breakfast - will get plenty of chances to score inside. And the Bears' defense is arguably even better than it was in January, when Kansas finished with one of its worst offensive outputs of the campaign.
What about the revenge angle? That actually favors Baylor here. When two top-five teams meet for the second time in a season, the previous winner has won Round 2 seven of the last eight outings. Since the 2008-09 season, teams in Baylor's spot are 30-17 straight up and 29-17-1 against the spread.
The home squad has also cleaned up recently in top-five matchups, going 13-2-1 ATS in the past calendar year. Coincidentally, one of those losses was Kansas against Baylor in January. This time around, the Bears should show similar strength against the Jayhawks and seize control in the Big 12 title race.
Could this be when Gonzaga finally stumbles? The Bulldogs have lost just one game this year, but they're 2-4 ATS in their last six contests, including a near-loss at San Francisco. Saturday's test against BYU is arguably Gonzaga's second-toughest of the year outside of its loss to Michigan.
And boy, does BYU cause issues for opposing defenses. The Cougars' offense is the nation's fifth-most efficient unit, and it's centered around the best 3-point shooting attack (41.9%) in the country. Their experienced group rarely turns the ball over, too, leading to more opportunities to connect from long range. The Cougars' recipe is simple: score points in bunches and dare opponents to outpace them in as many possessions.
Unfortunately for BYU, Gonzaga can do that as the most efficient scoring team in the country, and the Bulldogs' strong rebounding generates extra volume for Mark Few's offense. The Cougars are one of the nation's worst at collecting their own misses and getting to the line, and the Bulldogs are among the best at preventing both.
That means BYU needs to be extra efficient to outlast Gonzaga, which is hard given the team's already thin margins. Unless the Cougars can fire off more threes than they have all year or attack the boards with a newfound ferocity, they won't have enough to survive the Bulldogs' onslaught.
The only other matchup on Saturday with ranked teams features two Pac-12 squads trending in opposite directions. The Ducks started the year hot but have since lost eight of their last 12 ATS, including three outright defeats in February. The Wildcats survived a midseason swoon to go 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS since getting swept on their Oregon road trip in January.
Location matters greatly for this Arizona squad, which is 5-7 away from home but a stellar 12-2 SU and 10-4 ATS in Tucson. All 12 of the Wildcats' home wins have come by five-plus points, which is roughly in line with Saturday's projected spread. Oregon is 3-6 ATS on the road with five outright losses, all by five-plus points.
If the Ducks want to pull off the road upset, they might want to be aggressive. Six of Arizona's nine worst defensive-rebounding performances have resulted in losses, including their Jan. 9 defeat at Oregon. The Wildcats have also gone 2-4 when their opponents register a free-throw rate of at least 44%.
That last bit there is bad news for Oregon, which is among the country's worst at getting to and converting from the charity stripe. The team's poor free-throw shooting contributed to a loss at Arizona State on Thursday, and that could loom large on Saturday.
Unless the Ducks can avoid beating themselves, expect Arizona to take care of business at home.
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.