Thursday's slate features the battle for second in the Atlantic 10, a Pac-10 doubleheader, potential trap games for marginal bubble teams from the ACC and SEC, and the first of a late season home-and-home series between two Big Ten hopefuls. More on my viewing picks for the night after the jump.
Early Evening (ET)
HD TV: Richmond Spiders at Temple Owls, CBS College Sports (7 p.m. ET)
The winner of this one will remain a game behind Xavier in the A-10 race, while the loser will drop into third place. From a bubble perspective, the Spiders could use a quality win, and they just may get it, as they've won nine straight true road games (and nine of 10 games away from the Robins Center, with the setback coming against Georgia Tech in the Bahamas). The Owls, meanwhile, have won six in row.
KenPom.com projection: Temple 69-63, 65 poss.
SD TV: Minnesota Golden Gophers at Penn St. Nittany Lions, ESPN2/ESPN3 (7 p.m. ET)
A pair of Golden Gopher-Nittany Lion clashes bookend the two teams' closing stretches, with Minnesota having the slightly easier path in the three games in between. That makes the home-and-home that much more important, particularly for Talor Battle and the Nittany Lions, who need to make a late run to salvage a potential spot. Of course, given Penn State's success at home, expect them to pull another upset tonight. The real challenge for them will come at the Barn on March 6th/
KenPom.com projection: Nittany Lions 65-63, 60 poss.
Laptop: Clemson Tigers at N.C. State Wolfpack, ESPN/ESPN3 (7 p.m. ET)
Thanks to their thin resume, the Tigers simply cannot afford to lose to a struggling Wolfpack team, even if it is in Raleigh,
KenPom.com projection: Tigers 66-64, 65 poss.
Late Evening (ET)
HD TV: Washington St. Cougars at Arizona Wildcats, FSN/Comcast SportsNet (8:30 p.m. ET)
Both teams are entering a key stretch of their respective Pac-10 campaigns. The Wildcats have won six straight, but will be lucky to extend that streak through a home stand against the Cougars and Washington and a trip to Los Angeles next week. Meanwhile, Wazzu begins a three-game road trip having alternated wins and losses over their past six contests (and they're coming off a win against Cal). Arizona won a thrilling two-point decision in Pullman on January 22nd.
KenPom.com projection: Wildcats 76-66, 69 poss.
SD TV: Alabama Crimson Tide at LSU Tigers, ESPN (9 p.m. ET)
Much like Clemson, Alabama's margin for error is extremely slim, and a loss to a bad Tiger team could be a bubble-bursting event.
KenPom.com projection: Crimson Tide 63-53, 64 poss.
DVR Special: UCLA Bruins at Stanford Cardinal, FSN/Comcast SportsNet (10:30 p.m. ET)
The Bruins hit the road after winning four in a row at Pauley Pavillion and five overall. They'll look to keep that up by sweeping the Bay Area schools for the season this weekend, starting with the Cardinal, a team they beat 68-57 in Los Angeles on January 22nd.
KenPom.com projection: , poss.
Please share your thoughts about tonight's action in the comments, after you sign up for a free SB Nation account, of course.