Kansas can make case for top ranking

If Kansas goes into Manhattan and drives back to Lawrence with a convincing victory against in-state rival Kansas State, Bill Self's team can make a valid case for returning to the position it began the season.

Number one.

If not, there is no shortage of candidates that can lay claim to the top spot.

Syracuse may possess the most impressive resume – certainly the win at West Virginia stacks up against any by a team in the mix for the No. 1 ranking.

The 'Cuse, coming off a home win vs. Georgetown, also won at Seton Hall and Notre Dame in addition to neutral-site victories against North Carolina and Florida.

The other candidate is Villanova, which has wins against Georgetown at home, on a neutral site over Ole Miss and Dayton, in D.C. against Maryland and on the road at Louisville.

Kansas may possess the least spectacular resume of the trio.

In fact, if the Jayhawks pull out a win at K-State, it'll be their first victory against a sure-fire NCAA tournament team.

CAN'T MISS: Kansas at Kansas State, Saturday at 7 p.m. ET – Even though Frank Martin's team slipped up at home against Oklahoma State last week, this is still a terrific matchup and a heated rivalry. The Jayhawks, with potentially the No. 1 ranking on the line, go into one of the most hostile environments they will see all year long at Bramlage Coliseum. If K-State can pull out the victory, the Wildcats will remain in the Big 12 race. If not, it'll become a battle between Kansas and Texas.

UNDERCARD: Duke at Georgetown, Saturday at 1 p.m. ET – A matchup of Top 10 teams. Remember, Duke is 0-3 in true road games this season, losing at Wisconsin, Georgia Tech and N.C. State. The Hoyas are coming off the loss to Syracuse and also fell short in the home-and-home series a year ago down in Durham, 76-67.

MUST SEE: First place in the SEC is on the line when Kentucky hosts Vanderbilt on Saturday at 4 p.m. However, it's the Commodores, fresh off a road win at Tennessee, who come into Rupp as the leaders in the SEC East at 5-0 while Kentucky, fresh off its setback at South Carolina, is 4-1 in league play.

REAL DEAL?: UAB – I'm still not completely sold on UAB, mostly because I've yet to see the Blazers in person, but a home date with UTEP on Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET will provide a more definitive indication of whether Mike Davis' team is a legitimate Top 25 club or not.

UPSET SPECIAL: Seriously, my upset pick of Arkansas over Kentucky might have been the worst prediction in college basketball history. But I'm motivated to make up for that temporary lapse of sanity. I'm going with a young Arizona team to knock off Cal in Tucson on Sunday afternoon.

MID-MAJOR MATCHUP: This one is a no-brainer. It's a battle of the two top teams in the Ivy League when Harvard travels to Cornell on Saturday night. Tommy Amaker's Crimson have a few impressive wins, but the Big Red will be favored due to its recent league dominance.

MUST-WIN ON BOTH SIDES: Oklahoma State at Missouri – Two teams that will likely be right on that proverbial bubble come March. The Cowboys have a key road win against Kansas State and followed it up with a home victory over Texas A&M while Missouri has also beaten K-State (at home), but could use another quality victory for its resume.

IMPORTANT: Louisville at West Virginia – The Cardinals are 13-7 and 4-3 in Big East play, but are in need of a big-time win and this could be it. In fact, Rick Pitino's most impressive win thus far this season just might be a home victory against Cincinnati last weekend. That's not good news for Cardinals fans.

DANGEROUS: UConn – Yes, the Huskies got that win at home against former No. 1 Texas, but they still aren't a lock for the NCAA tournament, especially after the setback at Providence earlier in the week. UConn, which doesn't have another "resume" victory besides the one over the Longhorns, will host Marquette on Saturday afternoon in what has become somewhat of a must-win game for the Huskies.

UNDER-THE-RADAR: Maryland at Clemson – The Terps have been one of the hottest teams in the country lately and are smacking their opponents. Clemson has lost three straight games and desperately needs a healthy Demontez Stitt.

PERFECTION AND REJECTION: Now that Kentucky has fallen as the final unbeaten team in the country, we'll focus on the final two teams left without a victory: Alcorn State and Bryant. Alcorn State has three straight on the road beginning with Saturday's contest at Southern while Bryant has a shot of getting into the win column with a home game Saturday against Farleigh Dickinson.