FOX Super 6 offers a full slate for college basketball's final weekend
By Kevin Cooney
Special to FOX Sports
Normally, the final weekend of college basketball’s regular season is the calming spot before four weeks of absolute madness.
Yes, there are senior days and teams fighting for their postseason lives. But overall, most things are relatively locked in place before the conference tournaments in the power grouping.
However, this strange season has seemed to throw everything into complete chaos. Key players are getting hurt. Coaches are being suspended indefinitely. Conference rivals are backing their way into the bubble from seemingly safe spots.
The three games on this weekend’s FOX Super 6 docket are examples of the unknowns that lie ahead. All of these teams have key questions in play — what will Villanova do without Collin Gillespie? Who will coach Creighton in March? How shaky are the Badgers' tournament chances? — that have to be answered before the selection committee opens the bracket next Sunday.
Each game also features six questions you have to answer, from how many double-digit scorers there will be on either side to which squad will shoot better from deep, all for a chance to win $1,000 absolutely for free. All you have to do is download the FOX Super 6 app and play this weekend, with three separate chances at a big win for yourself (yes, for free).
Let’s break down each game. Perhaps along the way, we’ll be able to give you a few pointers to help you fill out that contest this weekend and earn one of the $1,000 jackpots on each game.
Alumni Hall in Providence, Rhode Island
2:30 p.m. ET Saturday on FOX
The No. 10-ranked Wildcats are the regular-season champions in the Big East. That much is certain.
How they will react to the loss of their heart-and-soul leader, senior guard Collin Gillespie, is the source of the Wildcats’ uncertainty.
Gillespie was Villanova’s second-leading scorer and emotional ticker who had the team as a legitimate threat to make a run deep in the NCAA Tournament. The comparisons to Ryan Arcidiacono, the 2016 Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four that Villanova won, were legitimate beyond the simple fact that the two players went to high school about nine miles apart. Both became the face of the program by being extensions of Jay Wright on the floor.
Still, counting the Wildcats out is a dangerous proposition. They have four other guys who average in double figures, including a future NBA first-round pick in sophomore forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.
Sophomore Justin Moore will take Gillespie’s spot at point guard. He averages 13.4 points per game and has started every contest. Cole Swider might swing around and get more minutes as well, and he could be big for Villanova’s bombs-away mentality beyond the 3-point line that has made Wright’s team so successful.
For Providence, the task is pretty simple. The Friars likely have to run the table in the Big East tournament to make it to the NCAAs. They could get into the NIT with a few wins over the next week, however.
Junior guard David Duke is the main weapon for the Friars, averaging 17.1 points per game and scoring his 1,000th career point on Feb. 24 against Xavier. Duke might end up a lottery pick in the NBA Draft, so this could be his last game at Providence.
CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska
5:30 p.m. ET Saturday on FOX
On paper, this would appear to be lacking drama. Creighton is the No. 2 seed in the Big East right now and the No. 15 team in the country. It has a win over Villanova a few weeks ago and the kind of scoring depth that many teams in the country would envy.
The drama, however, comes from off the court. On Thursday, the school suspended head coach Greg McDermott indefinitely for racially insensitive comments. There is no word yet on if McDermott will return to the bench this week for the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden or in two weeks for the NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis.
In McDermott’s place, assistant coach Alan Buss will be in charge.
The dilemma is how will the Bluejays react to the situation. In the past, some teams were able to shake things off easily. Others were not.
Creighton has five players averaging in double figures and has Mitch Ballock, who can stand outside and pop 3-pointers with ease.
That could be a problem for a Butler team that brings four guys to the table averaging double figures, led by Chuck Harris, but doesn’t have the huge point pop that the Bluejays feature in their lineup.
Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa
12:30 p.m. ET Sunday on FOX
This is Iowa City’s farewell to Luka Garza, whose next stop is likely to pick up some National Player of the Year awards. The No. 5-ranked Hawkeyes could end up a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament if they perform well at next week’s Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.
Momentum, however, is not with Wisconsin. The Badgers are 6-7 in their past 13, have lost four games out of five and, at 16-10, are trending dangerously toward that bubble area that could pop with a deep run by Michigan State or Indiana.
Wisconsin is just 3-7 against teams in the AP Top 25 this year. The Badgers are also only 5-5 on the road. Having the Big Ten name and a conference record that — at worst — will see them at .500 likely punches their ticket. But with every loss, it is fair to wonder where exactly they will stand if things get wacky next week.