This Saturday, college basketball fans will be in their glory, when teams from two of the best conferences square off in 10 games comprising the the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
There’s no question which game is the name above the marquee, as blue-blood programs Kentucky and Kansas is must-see television.
The games feature four of the top seven teams in terms of odds to win the national championship. Baylor leads the way at +900, followed by Auburn (+1000), Kentucky (+1200) and Kansas (+1400).
Here’s a look at the games in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, with some information for those who bet online.
Louisiana State Tigers at Texas Christian Horned Frogs
Date, time, TV: Saturday, Jan. 29th, Noon ET, ESPN2
No 19 Louisiana State (16-4, 4-4 SEC) has dropped three of its last four games, going 1-3 against the spread in those games. Four of the Tigers’ last five games have gone under the total.
Texas Christian (13-4, 3-3) has lost two of its last three games, but the Horned Frogs had covered in eight of nine before a Tuesday blowout loss to Texas. Four of the Horned Frogs’ last five games have been ‘under’ games.
LSU’s starting point guard Xavier Pinson, who hasn’t played since Jan. 8th, has returned to practice wearing a knee brace. The Tigers also played without second-leading scorer Darius Days in the win over Texas A&M.
Injury update: Xavier Pinson practiced with a knee brace today. While Darius Days did not practice today.
— KLSU Sports (@KLSUsports) January 27, 2022
TCU’s top scorer Mike Miles has averaged just 8.3 points on 24% shooting in his last four games.
Oklahoma Sooners at Auburn Tigers
Date, time, TV: Saturday, Jan. 29th, 2:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
It’s the first meeting between Oklahoma and Auburn since 2016 when the Tigers, then listed by the college basketball spreads as five-point underdogs, won outright, 74-70.
The Sooners (13-7, 3-5) snapped a four-game losing streak with a 72-62 Wednesday win at West Virginia. Oklahoma is trying to cover in back-to-back games for the fourth time this season. Four of the Sooners’ last five games have finished under the total.
Auburn (19-1, 8-0) had covered in eight consecutive games, then failed as 12½-point road favorites in a 55-54 win over Missouri. It was the first game in program history that the Tigers played as the No. 1 team in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. Auburn is 10-0 at home this season.
Four of the last six Auburn games have gone over the total.
Auburn has averaged eight steals and 8.7 blocked shots over its last 10 games. Oklahoma is just .500 over its last 10 games, while losing three of its last four games decided by four points or less.
Missouri Tigers at Iowa State Cyclones
Date, time, TV: Saturday, Jan. 29, Noon ET, ESPNU
The former conference rivals have a longer series than most meetings in this interconference affair. Missouri had won 10 straight games (6-4 against the Las Vegas odds) before Iowa State’s 76-59 win in 2018, the last time the teams met. Seven of the last eight games in the series finished under the total.
Missouri (8-11, 2-5) hasn’t had a winning streak or losing streak of longer than two games this season. That could change with a loss Saturday.
The Tigers have covered in their last four games-despite losing three of them-and four of their last five games have gone under the total. They are just 1-5 on the road.
No. 23 Iowa State (15-5, 3-5) was one of the early surprise teams in the Big 12, but has allen on tough times recently. The Cyclones have losing four of their last six games, splitting against the spread during that stretch. Four of those six games went over the total.
Missouri’s leading scorer Kobe Brown has been held under 10 points in four of his last five games.
Iowa State connected on 53% of its shots the last game, the Cyclones earning a much-needed win over Oklahoma State.
West Virginia Mountaineers at Arkansas Razorbacks
Date, time, TV: Saturday, Jan. 29th, 2:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2
The teams haven’t met since 2006 when Arkansas, a 2½-point favorite, won, 71-64, at Morgantown..
The Mountaineers (13-6, 2-4) have lost their last four games, then failed to cover in each. All of those four games went over the total. They are just 1-3 on the road.
Arkansas (15-5, 5-3) has won five games in a row covering in four of them. After a stretch where eight-of-nine contests finished over the total, four of the last five have gone under the total. The Razorbacks are 11-1 at home.
West Virginia has allowed opponents to shoot 47% from the field during its current four-game losing streak. Arkansas’ JD Notae, leading scorer in the SEC, is averaging 21.3 points over his last six games.
Baylor Bears at Alabama Crimson Tide
Date, time, TV: Saturday, Jan 29th, 4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
No. 4 Baylor (18-2, 6-2) won, 73-68, as a 3½-point home favorite in the last game between these teams Jan. 26th, 2019. That was the first meeting between the teams in 10 years.
Baylor has won its last three games after dropping its first two games of the season. The last two victories were by 14 and 25 points, respectively. Baylor covered in each of those wins, while four of the Bears’ last five games went under the total. The Bears are the only Big 12 team that hasn’t lost a true road game this season
Alabama (13-7, 4-4) has split its last dozen games, covered just once. Alabama lost five of the last seven games decided by less than 10 points. The Crimson Tide iare 1-4 in true road games.
Alabama has averaged allowing 75.2 points over its last 10 games. Baylor’s James Akinjo is just 2-for-14 from the field in his last two games. He managed five points in those games after posting eight consecutive double-digit scoring performances.
Kansas State Wildcats at Ole Miss Rebels
Date, time, TV: Saturday, Jan. 29th, 4:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Kansas State (10-9, 2-6) won the last two games against Ole Miss. The Wildcats were home in those the games (2013 and 2016), and both games went under the total.
Kansas State has lost six of its last eight games, four of the last six decided by three points or less. K-State lost three of those games, but went 3-1 against the spread.
Ole Miss (10-10, 2-6) has one win in its last six games, covering in just once. Three of the Rebels’ last four games have gone under the total. Nine of the Rebels’ 10 wins have been at home.
Kansas State’s last four games were against ranked opponents, with the Wildcats splitting those contests. Ole Miss is 1-5 since an injury sidelined leading scorer Jarkel Joiner.
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Florida Gators
Date, time, TV: Saturday, Jan. 29th, 4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2
The Cowboys and Gators have met just once since 2001. Florida, a 9½-point choice, won, 72-70, Dec. 19th, 2015.
Oklahoma State (10-9, 3-5) has dropped four of its last six games while also going 2-4 against the spread during that stretch.
Florida (12-8, 3-5) has covered in four of its last five games, four of the last six going under the total.
Oklahoma State’s last four games have been decided by seven points or less, the Cowboys 2-2 during that stretch. One of those wins was an stunner over then-top-ranked Baylor. Florida has split four games since leading scorer Colin Castleton has been sidelined due to injury.
Kentucky Wildcats at Kansas Jayhawks
Date, time, TV: Saturday, Jan. 29th, 6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
The teams have met six times since Kentucky topped Kansas, 67-59, in the 2012 national championship game. The Jayhawks won four of the last six matchups, including a 65-62 win Dec. 1st, 2020, hough Kentucky covered as a four-point underdog. The Wildcats covered in each of the last three games against Kansas.
Despite Kentucky (16-4, 6-2) winning five of its last six games, the Wildcats are just 2-4 against the spread those half-dozen.
Three of Kentucky’s last four games have gone over the total.
Kansas (17-2, 6-1) has won its last five games, covering only once during that span. The Jayhawks are a perfect 10-0 at Allen Fieldhouse.
The game features a pair of Player of the Year candidates. Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe has 92 rebounds over his last six games, while Ochai Agbaji of Kansas has 66 points (56% from the field) in his last two contests.
Mississippi State Bulldogs at Texas Tech Red Raiders
Date, time, TV: Saturday, Jan. 29th, 6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2
The Bulldogs and Red Raiders haven’t played since 2015, Texas Tech winning, 74-72.
Mississippi State (13-6, 4-3) has won seven of its last 10 games, also going 7-3 against the spread. The Bulldogs’ last eight games have gone over the total.
No. 13 Texas Tech (15-5, 5-3) is 7-1 against the spread in its last eight games, with five of those games finishing over the total.
Mississippi State’s last two games against ranked opponents resulted in a win over Alabama and an overtime loss to Kentucky. Texas Tech’s leading scorer Bryson Williams is averaging 20.5 points over his last four games. Texas Tech has held opponents to 4-for-25 shooting from 3-point range in the last two games.
Tennessee Volunteers at Texas Longhorns
Date, time, TV: Saturday, Jan. 29th, 8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
The teams haven’t met since playing one another every year from 2004-07. They split those four games, with the winner also covering in each. All four of those games went over the total.
No. 18 Tennessee (14-5, 5-3) has won its last three games\, but the Volunteers are only 3-4 against the spread in their last seven outings.
Texas (15-5, 5-3) is 1-3 against the spread in its last four games, three of the four going over the total.