Saturday will finish up the first week in this year's December NCAA basketball schedule. We'll have a couple more weeks before many of the holiday tournaments begin. Some college basketball games tonight on the NCAA basketball slate match top-25 teams against one another.
Other games are between two ranked teams, one an important conference battle in Kansas. There are a number of future NBA stars playing in on Saturday's NCAA basketball TV schedule. Here's your basketball reference on where you can watch NBA mock draft prospects on these AP Top-25 teams.
#20 Colorado @ #2 Kansas 7:00PM ET – ESPN2
This is a huge game for the visiting Buffaloes as they strive to cement themselves as a possible contender in a tough Big 12 Conference race. Junior Tyler Bey will get an opportunity to put his talents on display against the second highest ranked team in the nation.
Bey is a complete player, averaging a double-double per night. He's going to need a lot of help from the Colorado supporting cast on Saturday night. Kansas has three of their own high-prized future NBA stars currently playing at the NCAA basketball level.
The Jayhawks are ranked second in the country for good reason. They cover all areas on the court with pro-level talent. Under the basket, Udoka Azubuike is the second leading scorer for Kansas, plus he hauls down over seven boards a game.
Devon Dotson has scored the rock with dagger-like precision all season. He's hitting just shy of 20 points per night. Dotson is also proving his worth in other areas on the stat sheet. Ochai Agbaji hasn't shot the ball as well as he'd like beyond the arc. However, his athleticism and court awareness are becoming glaringly evident each game he plays.
This battle of top-25 college basketball teams will tip-off at Allen Fieldhouse at 7:00PM and be seen nationally on ESPN2. This is a perfect place to get a look at multiple NBA prospects matched against one another on the same college court.
Illinois Fighting Illini @ #3 Maryland Terrapins 5:00PM ET – ESPN2
Ayo Dosunmu - Illinois Jalen Smith, Aaron Wiggins and Anthony Cowan - Maryland
The Saturday NCAA basketball schedule has interesting Big 10 matchup. The Illini played a poor game out in Arizona a couple weeks ago and lost a 2-point nail biter to the Miami Hurricanes on Monday.
Things don't get any easier for Illinois as they travel to play the third-ranked team in the country on their home floor. Ayo Dosunmu is a long, athletic guard who leads a well-balanced Illini team.
All five Illinois starters are netting over 10 points per game. Much of this balance has been caused by the chaos Dosunmu creates for defenses. He is trying to find his three-point stroke, but has shot well inside the arc and on ankle-breaking drives.
The Terrapins also put three highly-rated players on most NBA mock draft boards. A pair of talented sophomores has Terrapin fans savoring a possible National Championship run.
Jalen Smith and Aaron Wiggins have led Maryland to an unbeaten record thus far, but it's been the leadership of senior point guard Anthony Cowan that's stood out. Wiggins is still looking to get his shot to drop consistently, but Cowan has been outstanding in aspects of his game.
Smith continues to post a complete stat line, averaging nearly a double-double per game. You can see this trio of future NBA stars as part of the college basketball games tonight. This game starts at 5:00PM and you can watch all this important Big 10 action on ESPN2.
Penn State Nittany Lions @ #6 The Ohio State Buckeyes 12:00PM ET - Big Ten Network
Lamar Stevens – Penn State Kaleb Wesson – Ohio State
The next game on our list is an early tipoff time Saturday. The #6 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will welcome their Big 10 rival Nittany Lions to Columbus for a noon game. Two potential future NBA stars will square off in this important conference game.
The Buckeyes have been impressive defensively, much of that pressure coming around the basket. That's where big-body senior Kaleb Wesson has been a fixture. Wesson wasn't on all mock draft boards prior to the start of the season.
However, his defensive presence for the Buckeyes has been impressive. Wesson is rejecting nearly three shots per game to go with nine rebounds. He throws up an occasional shot beyond the arc, but one improvement in his game is from the charity stripe.
Wesson is making close to 80 percent of his free throws, a huge plus out of a post player. Penn State has played well in the early part of the season as well. While they haven't played many high-profile teams thus far, they did dismantle a decent Georgetown Hoyas team.
Much of the Nittany Lions success is the result of good balance. However, Lamar Stevens is at the top of the scale. He leads Penn State in scoring at 18 points per game. The only black mark on Stevens thus far has been a poor shooting percentage beyond the arc.
While not a huge part of his drive and slash type of game, better performance from three-point range is something NBA scouts are hopeful for. At eight rebounds per game, Stevens is an athletic forward with double-double potential on any given night.
This game has a noon tipoff time at the Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeye/Nittany Lion matchup is not one of the NCAA basketball games scheduled for national broadcast, but you can catch all the action on the Big 10 Network.
Fairleigh Dickinson Knights @ #8 Kentucky Wildcats 4:00PM ET – SEC Network
Tyrese Maxey, Ashton Hagans and Nick Richards - Kentucky
Similar to the second-ranked Jayhawks, Kentucky has NBA-caliber talent spread evenly around the court. The Wildcats have a highly-prized point guard, shooting guard and post player. Fairleigh Dickinson doesn't have the horses to offer much resistance against The Big Blue.
However, pro scouts enjoy watching player attitudes and performances in certain obvious-win games. Since beating the then #1 ranked Michigan State Spartans to open the season, Kentucky has looked like anything but a bonafide NCAA title contender.
They have lost to a small school and been challenged in at least half their games against far weaker opponents. However, no one from the Kentucky big three has been responsible for their level of underachievement.
Nick Richards and Tyrese Maxey lead Kentucky in scoring, as expected. Both are netting 14-plus points per game. Point guard Ashton Hagans is contributing 13 points a night, while orchestrating the Wildcat offense from the point.
Richards is hauling down over eight rebounds per game and averaging close to three block shots. Maxey has shown talent in various aspects of his game, including an athletic presence for the Kentucky defense.
While the Wildcats shouldn't have much of a problem containing the Knights, most people thought that as well against Evansville. Kentucky's underachieving tendencies may cause head coach John Calipari headaches it can make for interesting NCAA basketball games. You can catch this one on the SEC Network starting at 4:00PM.
#15 Memphis @ UAB 5:30PM ET – CBS
Precious Achiuwa - Memphis
#12 Arizona Wildcats @ #18 Baylor Bears 12:00PM ET ESPNU
Jared Butler – Baylor (2021) Nico Mannion, Josh Green and Zeke Nnaji - Arizona
Another noon tipoff Saturday matches two more top-25 college basketball teams. Arizona will head to Texas, where Baylor will be welcoming the first of back-to-back top-25 teams to the Ferrell Center. The first will be against a 9-0 Wildcat team, one of the most anticipated in college basketball today.
This game will probably have only minimal impact on the current rankings. However, we all know how the NCAA Tournament selection committee feels about wins against quality opponents. Make no mistake about it; this could be a big game three months from now.
It could also be a big game for a couple prospective NBA stars. Arizona has raced out to nine wins isn't really a big surprise. They boast three players on most 2020 NBA draft projections. Some boards envision two of them as possible lottery picks.
While he hasn't played his way on the majority of two-round draft projections, Baylor's Jared Butler is playing his way onto the scene in college hoops. There hasn't been an indication he will leave Waco after his sophomore year either.
Butler has piloted the Bears to six wins against a single defeat, posting nearly 20 points a game. He'll get a chance to showcase his talents to NBA scouts against two All-American caliber players. Three Wildcat freshmen are projected to enter the draft after one season at Arizona.
Josh Green is a 6'6" swingman from Australia. Green is scoring the ball at 13 point per game clip. He is also dishing out nearly three assists and grabbing four rebounds. The former MacDonald's All-American is playing his way into the lottery block as well.
Nico Mannion and Zeke Nnaji are leading a talented Wildcat team as expected. They are at the top of the scoring column almost every game, with Nnaji shooting lights-out 73 percent from the floor. The 6'3" Mannion has already nailed 16 from beyond the three-point arc.
Nnaji is averaging slightly fewer than seven rebounds per game, but he's also rested a number of minutes late in blowout games. His 40-minute averages are above the double-double line. Both these young players will pose a threat to what is a pesky Baylor defense. You can watch this matchup between top-25 teams starting at 12:00PM NOON on ESPNU
Hawaii Warriors @ #13 Oregon Ducks 7:00PM ET – PAC-12 Network
N'Faly Dante and CJ Walker - Oregon
The Ducks have lost their last two ball games, both to top-10 teams. Hawaii might be what the doctor ordered to help cure Oregon's recent shooting woes. Both losses came on a neutral court in the Bahamas.
One was an incredibly exciting, March Madness-type of atmosphere against Gonzaga. Oregon has two players on mock draft spreadsheets, but one is awaiting eligibility to play his first minutes for the Ducks.
N'Faly Dante was ruled ineligible to start the season because of a missed clearance date. One week from Saturday, he plans to re-enroll at Oregon. Dante is part of an Oregon recruiting class that ranked fourth in the country.
While one of the Duck's prized recruits works to reinstate himself, the other is looking to assert himself. CJ Walker is an athletic 6'8" forward from Sanford, Florida, who has started only one game thus far in his collegiate basketball career. His minutes have increased steadily, including more than 20 against two top-25 ranked teams.
Many NBA scouts still view Walker as a raw talent with all the tools to be successful at the next level. You won't get a look at Dante until after the first of the year, but if you tune your TV to the PAC-12 Network at 7:00PM ET Saturday night, you can see a very young and intriguing Oregon team.
#23 Villanova Wildcats @ Saint Joseph's Hawks 3:00PM ET – ESPN2
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Bryan Antoine - Villanova
Villanova will play their second Philadelphia cross-town rival in a week. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl will get his second chance as well, to showcase his talent in front of a live national television audience.
On Saturday afternoon, the Wildcats will shift across town to Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena for an afternoon game on the Saint Joseph's campus. Shooting percentage has been somewhat of a problem for the 6'9" freshman Robinson-Earl thus far. He hopes two non-conference games close to home will help him find his stroke.
The Wildcat's other highly-rated NBA recruit has yet to make his mark. Freshman Bryan Antoine is only average around 10 minutes of court time in the three games he's appeared. Tipoff is set for 3:00PM Saturday, and you can catch all the action on ESPN2.
Florida Gators @ #24 Butler Bulldogs 12:00PM ET Fox
Kamar Baldwin - Butler Scottie Lewis, Tre Mann, Keyontae Johnson and Kerry Blackshear Jr. - Florida
It might seem odd that a team with four players being closely watched by NBA scouts wouldn't make the top-25 AP men's basketball poll. However, two early-season losses have knocked the Gators out of the rankings. Don't be surprised if that changes.
They'll get a strong chance to get a quality win on Saturday when they visit the unbeaten Butler Bulldogs at Hinkle Fieldhouse. One Butler player is hovering just below the NBA radar. Senior Kamar Baldwin has yet to crack most mock draft sheets.
However, he's netting 17½ points a game shooting the ball very well. Some feel Baldwin is a little undersized for the professional game at 6'1", but we've seen how that can work to motivate a player. Three of the Gator's four NBA potential talents have started out well.
Tre Mann is a hometown Gainesville product. He missed two games back in November, but is obviously a talented facilitator who the Gators will count on as the season unfolds. Keyontae Johnson and graduate student Kerry Blackshear Jr. have played well.
The pair of Florida stars has scored 104 and 103 points respectfully. Scottie Lewis has performed well all over the court. Lewis is hitting 8½ points a game, plus his defense has been excellent. He has a dozen steals and 14 blocked shots thus far this season.
This is going to be a very good basketball game. So good, Fox Sports pegged it for its nationally televised game this Saturday. The matchup is going to put a quality win in someone's resume. Don't miss any of the action on Fox, tipoff at noon, 12:00PM ET.
Fresno State Bulldogs @ #25 Utah State Aggies 6:00PM ET - AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
Neemias Queta – Utah State Aggies (day-to-day)
The 25th ranked Utah State Aggies will open their Mountain West Conference season hosting the Bulldogs. Fresno State has played competitively even in the games they have lost, so look for them to give their conference rivals a battle.
The Aggies only loss came against a one-loss Saint Mary's Gaels team to finish out November. One player NBA scouts envision as a potential talent at the next level has yet to play his first collegiate game.
Utah State has been dealing with other injuries, but missing Neemias Queta has certainly put a damper on Aggie expectations. The seven-footer will immediately make a huge impact on both ends of the floor when he plays his first game of the 2019-20 season. You watch the rest of the action in this important conference opener on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, tipoff at 6:00PM ET.
These are the college basketball games today on the NCAA basketball TV schedule involving top-25 ranked teams with NBA mock draft prospects. These games should be your basketball reference to get a look at this year's NCAA stars who project as tomorrow's NBA elite.