There’s a big one in Provo Saturday night and one team needs it. Really needs it.
Two teams that have not won in the new year also face off. Something has to give, right?
Here is a look at this weekend’s matchups.
No. 19 Saint Mary’s (20-2, 9-0 WCC) at BYU (18-5, 6-2), 6 p.m., ESPNU
Both teams picked up quality road wins prior to their meeting Saturday. Saint Mary’s over LMU and BYU over Virginia Tech. For Saint Mary’s a win Saturday would be icing on the cake but it still needs the win to stay an extra step ahead of Gonzaga, who is only a game and a half behind the Gaels. BYU absolutely needs this win. Without it, they will kiss any chance of winning the WCC goodbye. They would also get an additional ding to its NCAA Tournament hopes.
[WCC Power Rankings: Jan. 24]
Portland (5-16, 2-6) at Loyola Marymount (12-9, 5-3), 7 p.m., FS West/CSN NW
LMU has not won a home conference game yet but there three conference home games to this point have been against Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga and BYU. LMU has proven that they can play with the better team in the conference when fully healthy. This is bad news for Portland, which has lost five straight.
San Diego (8-12, 3-5) at San Francisco (14-9, 4-5), 7 p.m., CSNCA/4 SD
USF has won four of its last five games and is only one win away from being back at .500 after starting 0-4. The intensity has been better than the Dons have played better because of it. San Diego is also playing well and is starting to get consistent contributions from players not named Johnny Dee. It is the first matchup between the two this season.
Santa Clara (8-12, 0-7) at Pepperdine (7-13, 1-8), 7 p.m.
Both teams desperately need a win. Neither has won in 2012 but that is not to say neither have had opportunities to change those fortunes. Santa Clara is still playing without Kevin Foster but had a big boost from Denzel Johnson on Thursday against USF. Johnson scored a career-high 26 points on 12-for-18 shooting. His previous career-high was six.
Follow Zack Farmer on Twitter: @ZFarmerExaminer