In advance of the CBS Sports Classic, our college hoops analysts, Matt Norlander and Kyle Boone, got to talking about Kentucky, Ohio State, North Carolina and UCLA to give you a clearer idea of where these teams are and what to expect when all four play on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Matt Norlander: This has turned into a fairly urgent doubleheader on Saturday. UNC's bailing water at 6-5 and without Cole Anthony. Kentucky just got taken down by Both Gach and the Runnin' Utes, and so who even knows with the Wildcats right now? Ohio State was thought of as the best team in college basketball as recently as six days ago. Is that still true? And UCLA's, well, UCLA's just going through it in year one under Mick Cronin. Let's take a quick tour through these teams and pick these games.

Kentucky vs. Ohio State

MN: I'll start with Kentucky. The Wildcats rallied but then had the trapdoor come through on them Thursday night, in the very same arena they'll be inside of on Saturday. And now UK finds itself 0-1 in what's going to be a borderline-critical three-game stretch. My storyline with Kentucky for Saturday is: can Kentucky be even bad from 3-point range? Because right now it's awful. Shooting 27.5%, which is near the bottom of D-I and far and away the worst rate of any Calipari team this decade. Kentucky's almost always been skittish from deep under Cal, but this is bordering on a debilitating weakness. For you, Kyle, what stands out most with Kentucky?

KB: I think you hit the nail on the head here: Kentucky's 3-point shooting has been an unmitigated disaster. In its two losses this season, those struggles have reared their head in the worst way, with UK shooting a combined 6-of-34 in those games. That's 17.6% -- a mark that would rank dead-last in the NCAA (by a lot). And spoiler alert: Devin Booker isn't walking through that door. A quick-fix is not imminent. Turning to its strengths just might help, though. Kentucky had success in its near-comeback against Utah by unleashing freshman guard Tyrese Maxey, who relentlessly attacked the basket. I expect a heavy dosage of Maxey and Ashton Hagans driving and creating opportunities off the dribble will be the way the Wildcats try and dissect Ohio State.

MN: OK, so, let's dish on Ohio State. I'll volley right back. We're now almost seven weeks into the season. What's your 10,000-foot view on Ohio State and what's one thing you're looking for on Saturday?

KB: Big picture, I'm buying all the Ohio State stock anyone is willing to sell me. I still believe this is the best, most complete team in college hoops right now, aberrational Minnesota loss be damned. Size, skill, experience is all on its side.

As for Saturday, I'm interested to see what Chris Holtmann and Co. draw up to try and attack Kentucky. The Wildcats looked vulnerable against Utah and Evansville when both teams slowed the game down, attacked the rim and used the space to knock down 3-pointers. Does Kentucky have a counter to that line of attack? If not, Ohio State should follow that game plan. This team ranks sixth nationally as a team in 3-point shooting percentage and seven players on the season are shooting 37.5% or better from 3.

MN: I think I'm with you on Ohio State on the whole. Willing to listen to cases for Gonzaga and Kansas, though I think Kansas will lose at Villanova on Saturday. Fortunately for Ohio State, it's hoping to get Duane Washington back for the Kentucky game. Washington's had a rib problem that's kept him out as of late, but if he's able to contribute significant minutes, it's all the more likely to go OSU's way. 

So let's offer up a prediction here. My shot: Ohio State 72, Kentucky 65

KB: Getting Washington back and healthy would be huge for Ohio State. It will get lost in the mix, but he was out for the Minnesota loss and he's been huge for the Buckeyes. Ohio State hasn't lost this season at full strength.

My prediction: that trend continues Saturday. Ohio State 69, Kentucky 66.

MN: So you've got it closer than I do. I'd really like to see a close one. If Kentucky can't manage to win or lose competitively, Big Blue Nation will hit the panic button in advance of the Louisville game (on CBS!) on Dec. 28. 

UCLA vs. North Carolina

MN: OK, let's tackle the undercard. There's a lot to say about North Carolina, but let's touch on UCLA first. Mick Cronin is 11 games into his tenure in Westwood. UCLA's yet to beat a top-140 KenPom team. Take it away, Kyle!

KB: I do think Kentucky keeps it close. The worst thing that could have happened for Ohio State, I think, was Kentucky losing a close one to Utah on Wednesday. I think Calipari will get his guys up in this huge spot and they'll come out firing, just don't think they quite have the juice at this stage in the season to bounce back.

As for this UCLA-UNC game, how about the opportunity that lies ahead for Cronin? It gets a UNC team that's shorthanded and riding a four-game losing streak. On paper, this is a great setup for the Bruins to take out a quality team missing its best player. UCLA's been streaky and struggled against its best competition, with double digit losses to every top-140 KenPom team it has faced, but those struggles could end Saturday. In fact, I may actually be leaning UCLA here. How do you see this one shaking out?

MN: Well, with UCLA specifically, I just want to see who this team's best player is. In speaking with the Bruins staff earlier this week, even they aren't sure right now. But a player to watch? Freshman Jaime Jaquez. UCLA gets a break in that it's defensively bad -- nowhere near Cronin's usual teams. But UNC is an issue on offense, obviously. This could be the worst team -- it's tracking this way -- Roy Williams has ever had at Carolina. 

As for UNC, I'm keeping an eye on freshman big Armando Bacot and stand-in point guard K.J. Smith, who played admirably in a blowout loss at Gonzaga on Wednesday night. Really, for UNC, this is it. It needs to win this game to maintain a hope to make the NCAA Tournament. It's already hovering around the 100 spot in the NET rankings. It's not going to win more than 11 of its 20 ACC games, even when Cole Anthony (ideally) returns. Falling to 6-6 would almost definitely jolt UNC out of tournament contention. No game is bigger this weekend for any of the four teams than this one is for UNC. 

I'll fire up my prediction in a moment here, but first: anything else pop to you about the Heels? And what's your guess at the final score? 

KB: Final thought bubble on UNC: is this a spot where it can finally get its grad transfers involved? Justin Pierce and Christian Keeling were both brought in to be 3-point specialists and added perimeter depth, and neither have quite lived up to expectations -- yet. But with UNC searching for answers on where to generate offense, and with UCLA's 3-point defense among the worst in the country (313 out of 353), this could be a spot where they find their footing and establish themselves as reliable weapons for a UNC team in desperate need of some.

I think it's definitely possible that happens, but with that said, I'm still taking UCLA -- the underdog -- straight up. UNC is sputtering and I think UCLA has the goods to kick 'em while they're down. UCLA 72, UNC 67.

MN: UCLA? Bold! I ... can't be that bold. It's obviously conceivable, but I not only like UNC, I like it to cover here. Leaky Black is back, remember. On the whole, Carolina is not a weak roster. It's just weak as a shooting team. The weakest shooting team Williams has ever coached, in fact. The 2- and 3-point shooting gets a lot of attention, but only 63.8% from the foul line, which is 314th nationally. But in spite of all this -- because this is the kind of season we're having -- on Saturday, I think it has a borderline shockingly good shooting performance without its best player. I'll go UNC 71, UCLA 61.