Weekend Predictions: Louisville over UNC

So I guess there's a big game happening this weekend.

But North Carolina-Louisville matters too. Both teams are still vying for the ACC title. Virginia, however, remains undefeated and it's clear that Tony Bennett and the Cavaliers -- also a great name for a 1950s doo-wop group -- might not lose again in league play.

So a loss by either North Carolina or Louisville could be significant.

Duke-Virginia is what everyone is talking about, though. The Blue Devils continue to struggle with defensive adjustments, defensive efficiency and just defense in general. All of this before Rasheed Sulaimon was dismissed from the program on Thursday.

That's the future, though. Let's discuss past predictions.

And let me explain.

I was in Austin. Picked Texas to beat Kansas. Texas didn't beat Kansas but the Longhorns played some great music during the game. But old school hip-hop won't help my overall record, man.

And just when I started to believe in the Bloomington Redemption, the Hoosiers fell against an Ohio State team that's also trying to find itself.

The Big 12 is just one big toss-up as far Las Vegas is concerned. I thought Oklahoma would beat Baylor in Waco. That didn't happen, either.

Duke over St. John's for Coach K's 1000th win? Predictable. Notre Dame over NC State? Close but the victory wasn't surprising.

So I went 2-3 last weekend. America, I've let you down. Things will get better, though.

I promise. We're going to make this thing right again. Don't leave me.

Last weekend: 2-3

Overall: 32-23

No. 13 North Carolina at No. 10 Louisville, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN, Saturday: The last time these two teams played, Terry Rozier hit a shot that would have been the game-winner in most situations. But Marcus Paige drove down the lane on the other end and finished with the true finishing move in the final seconds. Great game by a pair of teams that are just built for battle. A mediocre-shooting Louisville searching for room among UNC's trees. An uncomfortable North Carolina trying to hold onto the rock against Rick Pitino's pressurized scheme. Expect the same drama on Saturday. With one exception. Louisville will get the win at the KFC YUM! Center.

Prediction: Louisville 64, North Carolina 63

No. 4 Duke at No. 2 Virginia, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN, Saturday: As Mike Tyson stormed through tomato-can fighters in the 1980s, the rumblings among fight fans was that he might lose to an opponent with a stiff jab, size and range. Buster Douglas fit that profile even though he lacked the hype. Styles make fights and games and contests and everything else within, competition. And Virginia's style isn't good for Duke and Jahlil Okafor. The Cavs will pack the lane with a level of pressure Okafor hasn't seen at this level. Sulaimon's dismissal is another blow to a Duke backcourt that's already playing inconsistent defense on the perimeter. The Cavs boast one of the nation's most efficient offenses too. In the movies, Duke would rise against the adversity and hand Virginia its first loss of the season. But this ain't a movie. It's real, man. It's real.

Prediction: Virginia 70, Duke 65

Oregon State at No. 6 Arizona, 10 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network, Friday: There's this Dave Chappelle skit where Chappelle is trapped in a car with nice guy-turned-criminal comedian Wayne Brady. At one point, Chappelle warns a woman to “Run! Run for your life!” And that's the message one might send to Oregon State after the Wildcats flattened Oregon by 36 points on Wednesday night. Not sure if you've been following the developments in Tucson lately, but Arizona looks scary again. The Wildcats can't redeem their road loss to UNLV, but they can seek vengeance against an Oregon State squad that shot 51 percent from the field in a 58-56 win over Arizona in Corvallis on Jan. 11. Might get ugly.

Prediction: Arizona 80, Oregon State 60

No. 12 Wichita State at No. 18 Northern Iowa, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Saturday: This Missouri Valley Conference matchup is arguably the biggest game since Wichita State and Creighton battled before the latter left for the Big East. Fred VanVleet is still a premier point guard and Ron Baker is still a wing who might earn a shot at the next level. But Darius Carter's gains since last season have been critical in Wichita State's success. Seth Tuttle and Northern Iowa, however, have battled some solid teams and employed a strong defense, which can force opponents to play out of character. The Panthers held Iowa to 44 points and nearly KO'd VCU in Richmond during a double-overtime affair. This will be the game of the day. And a win for Northern Iowa.

Prediction: Northern Iowa 89, Wichita State 85 (double-overtime)

Kansas State at No. 9 Kansas, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN, Saturday: Kansas has some momentum now. The Jayhawks have won three in a row since losing to Iowa State in Ames on Jan. 17, a stretch that includes wins over Oklahoma and Texas (in Austin). “We just have to continue to get better,” Wayne Selden told ESPN.com this week. But the Jayhawks are elite now. They're playing top-15 offense and top-40 defense, according to Ken Pomeroy's efficiency numbers. Kansas State was on a four-game winning streak before losing two of its last three games. Marcus Foster connected on 36 percent of his shots and committed eight turnovers in those two losses. Frank Mason, Kelly Oubre, Selden and Devonte Graham will pressure Foster and that will cause problems for Bruce Weber's squad.

Prediction: Kansas 80, Kansas State 67