With so many games on tap for the third Saturday in February, I've changed things up a bit with this post. I've selected three top games for each of the day's five viewing windows, then provided a list of other options for those two to three hours, just in case things don't pan out with my picks.
Lots of choices for a busy late February day after the jump.
Early Afternoon (ET)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at West Virginia Mountaineers, CBS Regional (1 p.m. ET)
The Fighting Irish will look to keep pace with Pitt in the Big East race, but the Mountaineers will be hungry for a win, especially since a home defeat will see them slip to .500 in the conference.
KenPom.com projection: Mountaineers 67-65, 61 poss.
Pittsburgh Panthers at St. John's Red Storm, ESPN/ESPN3 (12 p.m. ET)
Keep in mind that the last two highly-regarded teams that visited the Red Storm at Madison Square Garden, Duke and Connecticut, left with a lopsided loss on their record.
KenPom.com projection: Panthers 69-65, 64 poss.
Georgia Bulldogs at Tennessee Volunteers, CBS Regional/CBSSports.com (1 p.m. ET)
The Bulldogs are sliding down the bracket, thanks to close losses in the SEC East, like Wednesday's home loss against Vandy and a two-point loss to Tennessee on January 18th. Can they win in Knoxville and reverse that bad trend? The answer depends in part on which Volunteer team decides to show up at Thompson-Boling.
KenPom.com projection: Volunteers 68-63, 65 poss.
Other Notable Games
- Hofstra Pride at Wright State Raiders (BracketBusters), ESPNU (11 a.m. ET)
- Villanova Wildcats at DePaul Blue Demons. Big East Network/MASN/SNY/BHSN/CST/ESPN3/Full Court (12 p.m. ET)
- Duquesne Dukes at Dayton Flyers, Atlantic 10 Network/WHIO/CSS/CSN Washington/Comcast Network (12 p.m. ET)
- Virginia Tech Hokies at Virginia Cavaliers, ACC Network Regional/TheACC.com (ACC Territory) or /ESPN3/Full Court (elsewhere) (1 p.m. ET)
- Florida St. Seminoles at Wake Forest Demon Deacons, ACC Network Regional (ACC Territory)/ESPN3/Full Court (elsewhere) (1 p.m. ET)
Austin Peay Governors at Fairfield Stags (BracketBusters), ESPNU (1 p.m. ET)
- Missouri Tigers at Iowa St. Cyclones, Big 12 Network Regional/ESPN3/Full Court (1:30 p.m. ET)
- Texas Longhorns at Nebraska Cornhuskers, Big 12 Network Regional/ESPN3/Full Court (1:30 p.m. ET)
Washington St. Cougars at Arizona St. Sun Devils, FS Arizona/FSN Northwest/FCS Pacific (2 p.m. ET)
The Cougars have been alternating wins and losses of late, and they lost at Arizona on Thursday night, despite another big night from Klay Thompson. Wazzu better hope the pattern continues, as a loss in Tempe would all but burst their bubble. That's because the dreadful Sun Devils have dropped nine straight.
KenPom.com projection: Cougars 66-63, 65 poss.
Colorado Buffaloes at Kansas Jayhawks, ESPN/ESPN3 (2 p.m. ET)
The Buffaloes have earned some nice wins in the Big 12, but outside of a victory at Kansas State, their road form has left much to be desired. An unexpected win in Lawrence would do wonders for their at-large hopes.
KenPom.com projection: Jayhawks 87-69, 70 poss.
Butler Bulldogs at Illinois-Chicago Flames, Horizon League Network/ESPN3/Full Court (2 p.m. ET)
The Bulldogs need to win this one to both keep their at-large hopes alive and keep pace in the Horizon race, with the goal of earning a precious semifinal bye.
KenPom.com projection: Bulldogs 70-60, 63 poss.
Other Viewing Options
- San Diego St. Aztecs at Air Force Falcons, The Mtn. (2 p.m. ET)
- Iona Gaels at Liberty Flames (BracketBusters), ESPNU (3 p.m. ET)
Late Afternoon (ET)
Missouri St. Bears at Valparaiso Crusaders (BracketBusters), ESPN2/ESPN3 (5 p.m. ET)
This BracketBuster features two surprising at-large candidates, each of whom likely needs to win to have a shot at receiving a bid without taking care of business in their respective league tournament. In particular, the Bears lack quality wins outside of the MVC, while the Crusaders have a pair of very bad losses (Ohio and Toledo) on their profile.
KenPom.com projection: Crusaders 68-66, 64 poss.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Syracuse Orange, Big East Network/ESPN3/Full Court (4 p.m. ET)
The Orange will look to win their second in a row at home before hitting the road for a pair of very difficult games--Villanova and Georgetown, but Mike Rice's improved Scarlet Knights will make it difficult for the 'Cuse.
KenPom.com projection: Orange 73-60, 64 poss.
Boston College Eagles at North Carolina Tar Heels, ESPN/ESPN3 (4 p.m. ET)
A win in Chapel Hill would be a major boost to the Eagles' hopes, but it will take a superhuman effort to improve on their performance in the 32-point loss the Tar Heels handed them back in Chestnut Hill on February 1st.
KenPom.com projection: Tar Heels 84-70, 70 poss.
Other Viewing Options
- Oklahoma Sooners at Kansas St. Wildcats, Big 12 Network Regional/ESPN3/Full Court (4 p.m. ET)
- Vanderbilt Commodores at Auburn Tigers, SEC Network Regional/ESPN3/Full Court (4 p.m. ET)
- South Carolina Gamecocks at Kentucky Wildcats, SEC Network Regional/ESPN3/Full Court (4 p.m. ET)
- Michigan Wolverines at Iowa Hawkeyes, Big Ten Network (4:30 p.m. ET)
- BYU Cougars at TCU Horned Frogs, The Mtn. (4:30 p.m. ET)
- Vermont Catamounts at Charleston Cougars, ESPNU (5 p.m. ET)
Early Evening (ET)
Washington Huskies at Arizona Wildcats, ESPN/ESPN3 (6 p.m. ET)
The Wildcats can move one step closer to the Pac-10 regular season crown if they can knock off the Huskies, a team that beat them by 17 in Seattle, in Tucson. But Arizona will have to like its chances considering Washington's issues on the road (2-4 in their last six).
KenPom.com projection: Wildcats 81-79, 74 poss.
George Mason Patriots at Northern Iowa Panthers (BracketBusters), ESPN2/ESPN3 (7 p.m. ET)
This BracketBuster isn't quite as attractive as when it was first announced, thanks to Lucas O'Rear's ankle injury. Now, a loss to Panthers will hurt the Patriots far more than a victory will boost their case.
KenPom.com projection: Patriots 67-59, 59 poss.
UNLV Runnin' Rebels at Colorado St. Rams, The Mtn. (7 p.m. ET)
The Rams can improve their tenuous position by sweeping the Runnin' Rebels, a team that will be firmly on the bubble if the indeed fall in Fort Collins.
KenPom.com projection: Rebels 68-67, 67 poss.
Other Viewing Options
- Central Florida Knights at UAB Blazers, CSS (6 p.m. ET)
- Cincinnati Bearcats at Providence Friars, ESPNU (7 p.m. ET)
- Arkansas Razorbacks at Alabama Crimson Tide, SEC on FSN/ESPN3/Full Court (7 p.m. ET)
- Georgetown Hoyas at South Florida Bulls, Big East Network/ESPN3/Full Court (7 p.m. ET)
Late Evening (ET)
Texas A&M Aggies at Oklahoma St. Cowboys, ESPNU (9 p.m. ET)
The Cowboys won't be completely out of the picture if they lose to the Aggies, but they'll be close, particularly with a trip to Kansas, and the potential for a ninth Big 12 loss, coming up on Monday.
KenPom.com projection: Aggies 64-63, 61 poss.
Utah State Aggies at St. Mary's Gaels (BracketBusters), ESPN2/ESPN3 (9 p.m. ET)
With both teams suffering bad losses in conference recently (the Aggies against Idaho last week and the Gaels at San Diego on Wednesday), this is a crucial one for their respective at-large hopes. The Aggies are arguably more in need of a win, as they currently lack a quality win period. (Long Beach State doesn't count.)
KenPom.com projection: Gaels 67-65, 63poss.
Illinois Fighting Illini at Michigan St. Spartans, ESPN/ESPN3 (9 p.m. ET)
The Illini have a better record in their last eight than the Spartans (4-4 vs. 2-6). Yet, it feels like the Michigan State may be playing better and is closer to getting back on track than Michigan State, particularly after the Illini struggled to beat Michigan at home on Wednesday night.
KenPom.com projection: Spartans 68-67, 66 poss.
Other Viewing Options
If these games aren't enough basketball for you, you may need professional help. Seriously, visit Matt Sarz's College Sports on TV site for broadcast information for the rest of the Saturday slate. Another good resource is the schedule page at BB State.
Please share your thoughts about tonight's action in the comments, after you sign up for a free SB Nation account, of course.