New Year's Day was a day headlined by bowl games and the NHL Winter Classic (You need to check out SB Nation's coverage of both.), but there were a few college basketball games of note.
- The game of the day wasn't much of one, as No. 4 Purdue had little trouble with No. 6 West Virginia, winning 77-62, though it wasn't that close.
- No. 19 New Mexico got a big night from Darington Hobson to top Dayton, 68-66.
- No. 20 Texas Tech slipped past visiting McNeese State, 76-75.
- Houston fell at Texas-San Antonio, 83-82.
There was a full slate of Missouri Valley games on New Year's Day as well. (They really need to get a better TV contract and own this day.)
- Northern Iowa started their conference season with their second straight win. The Panthers dispensed of Evansville, 64-46.
- Southern Illinois is also 2-0 in the conference. They rallied to top Bradley in Peoria, 86-81.
- Wichita State blasted visiting Drake, 61-38.
- Missouri State topped Illinois State, 68-64, to stay unbeaten in the league.
- Indiana State stunned Creighton in Terre Haute, 70-64.
The second day of 2010 will be a busy one, as there is conference play from coast-to-coast. All times are p.m. Eastern.
- Notre Dame at No. 10 Connecticut (ESPNU, 12): The Huskies need to make a statement after their loss at Cincinnati, while this will be a bigger test for the Irish than their home opener against Providence.
- Pittsburgh at No. 5 Syracuse (Big East/Full Court, 12): A trip to the Carrier Dome is an unenviable task for the young Panthers.
- No. 8 Villanova at Marquette (ESPN2, 3:30): The Golden Eagles are one of the best pressing teams in the league and they'll be looking to pull the upset they just missed in Morgantown.
- Cincinnati at Rutgers (Big East/Full Court, 8): The Bearcats should handle the Scarlet Knights, but the RAC is not the easiest place to play.
- Minnesota at Iowa (Big Ten, 4): The Hawkeyes showed a lot of heart in their loss at home to Purdue. The Gophers are advised not to take this one lightly, especially after their close win against Penn State Tuesday.
- No. 11 Michigan State at No. 25 Northwestern (Big Ten, 6:30): The Wildcats really need this one after losing to Illinois Wednesday. This will be the Spartans' Big Ten opener.
- Arizona at UCLA (CBS Regional, 1): The Bruins will need to play the whole 40 minutes against the Wildcats to move to 2-0 in the league.
- Oregon at No. 17 Washington (FS Northwest/OSN/CSN Northwest/FCS Pacific, 5): The Ducks stole one in Pullman on Thursday, while the Huskies held off Oregon State.
- Oregon State at Washington State (FS Northwest/FCS Pacific, 7): Both teams lost close ones Thursday night.
- Arizona State at USC (select FSN outlets/FCS Pacific, 10:30): The Trojans will be hard pressed to win their eighth straight.
After the jump, I'll take a look at the mid-majors and the key non-conference games of the day.
If you don't really want to watch major conference basketball Saturday, you have a lot of options.
- In the America East, the team who's looked best in the non-conference, Stony Brook, travels to preseason pick Boston University (America East/Full Court, 12).
- In the Horizon, the Wisconsin schools continue their trip through Indiana as Milwaukee is at league favorite Butler (Horizon League Network/Full Court, 2) and Green Bay will attempt to their New Year's Eve loss at Hinkle in Valparaiso (Lakeshore/Full Court, 9).
- There's a big battle in the Ohio Valley Saturday night, as Austin Peay visits defending champ Morehead State (ESPNU, 9).
- In the Summit, the two pacesetters meet in suburban Detroit, as IUPUI is at Oakland (FS Detroit/FCS Atlantic/Full Court, 5:30).
- The Sun Belt selection isn't so great, as Isiah Thomas' Florida International Golden Panthers visit soon-to-be-in-D3 New Orleans (CSS/CST/Full Court, 4).
- In the WAC, Nevada visits the team with the best record in the league so far, Louisiana Tech (Full Court, 8), and preseason favorite Utah State heads to New Mexico State for the Battle of the Aggies (ESPNU, 11).
In non-conference play, several SEC teams are getting in one last game before the league grind starts.
- Baylor at South Carolina (SEC on FSN/Full Court, 12): The Gamecocks will have a hard time repeating their win from last season, as Dominique Archie is out for the year and injured Mike Holmes was dismissed from the team.
- Southern Miss at Vanderbilt (SEC on FSN/Full Court, 3): The Golden Eagles are 9-3, but three of those wins came against non-D1 schools. The Commodores at Memorial Gym will be a tough test for them.
- Louisville at No. 3 Kentucky (CBS, 3:30): After this past offseason, do you really think Rick Pitino wants to go to Rupp? Do you think he wants to deal with John Wall?
- Georgia at Missouri (FS Midwest/Full Court, 4): The Bulldogs already beat Illinois, so they're going for the Braggin' Rights sweep.
- Utah at LSU (SEC on CSS/Full Court, 8): Last season, the Tigers lost by 30 in Salt Lake City. With both teams being so different this year, who knows what will happen.
In non-SEC non-conference tilts
- Gonzaga plays Illinois in Chicago (CBS Regional, 1): The Illini need a win over a team like the Zags right about now.
- Oklahoma State vs. Rhode Island at the Mohegan Sun (ESPNU, 2): A win in this one would be a feather in the Rams' cap.
- Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at No. 2 Texas (FS Southwest/Full Court, 4:30): While the Islanders should make some noise in the Southland, but the Longhorns should have no trouble with them.
- No. 1 Kansas at No. 18 Temple (ESPN2, 5:30): The Jayhawks beat the Owls by 12 in Lawrence last season. They'll have a harder time at the Liacouras Center against a team that's already topped Villanova.
- Seton Hall vs. Virginia Tech in Cancun (ESPN2, 7:30): This is a single game preview of a new tournament ESPN is launching next season. It won't be played in a hotel ballroom, thankfully.
For games that will only be telecast regionally, like Old Dominion at George Mason, Drexel at Delaware, Stanford at California, Georgia Tech at Charlotte, UAB at Arkansas, and Idaho at Hawai'i, visit Matt Sarz' College Sports on TV site.