Don't the Longhorns care about my predictions? I was all set to go 4-1 for the week -- Butler's win over Georgetown in the Battle 4 Atlantis surprised me -- when Jonathan Holmes put a cape on and hit the game-winner over UConn on the road Sunday.
Huge win for Texas, not great for my overall record.
But it will get better. I promise.
You can count on these picks. Undefeated. That's what will happen this weekend. 5-0.
OK, I shouldn't have said that. But I'll stick with it, since I did.
Last week: 3-2
Here are my predictions for this weekend:
No. 6 Texas at No. 1 Kentucky, 7 p.m. ET, Friday, ESPN: You should be near a TV on Friday night for this colossal matchup. It's clear that Kentucky is just on another level. The Wildcats' size is unrivaled and their collection of talent will be difficult for any team to stop this season. With Myles Turner and Cameron Ridley inside, however, Texas can snatch offensive rebounds (15th in offensive rebounding percentage) and swat shots (third in block percentage) against that large Kentucky frontcourt. Too bad Isaiah Taylor is still sidelined, because the Longhorns don't have an answer for UK's backcourt.
Prediction: Kentucky 85, Texas 79
Florida at No. 11 Kansas, 9 p.m. ET, Friday, ESPN: When I met with Michael Frazier II and Dorian Finney-Smith during SEC Media Day in Charlotte in October, neither seemed too concerned about the hit they'd taken when they lost four key seniors from last season's team. "We've got scorers," Frazier told me then. But that's not apparent yet (Florida is 61st in adjusted offensive efficiency). Meanwhile, Kansas has recovered well from that Kentucky loss. Perry Ellis might be the Big 12's best player. Cliff Alexander is evolving. Frank Mason is leading. And four of KU's five wins were by 10 points or more. The other came against Michigan State. The Jayhawks ain't losing in Lawrence.
Prediction: Kansas 68, Florida 61
No. 2 Wisconsin at Marquette, 12:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, CBS: Wisconsin has no reason to sulk after Wednesday's loss to Duke. The Blue Devils might be America's best team. The Badgers should really be concerned about Sam Dekker. He's been held out of practices and he played limited minutes against Duke due to an ankle injury. Marquette is struggling in a transition year under Steve Wojciechowski, although the future is bright with great recruits on their way to Milwaukee. The Golden Eagles don't have much size, but Duke played small with Jahlil Okafor on the bench and kept Frank Kaminsky in check. They're catching the rival Badgers at the right time. Should be a fight until the end.
Prediction: Wisconsin 68, Marquette 65
No. 6 Gonzaga at No. 3 Arizona, 5:15 p.m. ET, Saturday, ESPN: OK. You might want to cancel your weekend plans. Don't miss this heavyweight matchup between the Zags and Wildcats. In case you've missed the first month of the season, Gonzaga looks like a national title contender. Kevin Pangos is doing what Kevin Pangos (46 percent from the 3-point line) does. Domantas Sabonis is a monster. And Kyle Wiltjer is a matchup problem for any team in America. But Gonzaga hasn't faced a team like Arizona yet. Stanley Johnson and Co. can play big or small, slow or fast, smooth or physical. Expect a good game. But the Wildcats will be the squad that sends a message at the end of the day: Don't forget about us in that national title convo.
Prediction: Arizona 76, Gonzaga 75
No. 7 Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth, 2 p.m. ET, Saturday, ESPNU: What's wrong with VCU? The Rams lost Juvonte Reddic and Rob Brandenberg, but they're deeper and more athletic than last year's squad. They're still a feisty defensive crew (17th in defensive turnover rate). But they've gone from 12th nationally in 3-point defense last year (30.3 percent allowed) to 314th this season (40 percent allowed). That's the problem. And Virginia is a respectable 3-point shooting squad (36 percent). But Malcolm Brogdon also leads one of the most balanced teams in America. The Cavs will exploit VCU's defensive gaps. But the Rams are due for a big win. Melvin Johnson and Treveon Graham will have big games for Shaka Smart's squad. And VCU will get its swagger back.
Prediction: VCU 57, Virginia 54