College Hoops Viewing Guide: Mele Kalikimaka To All!

Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

The final four games of the Diamond Head Classic provide a welcome college basketball break on the holiday and an alternative (or alternate channel choice) to the day's busy NBA slate.

All TV info is courtesy Matt's College Sports on TV site.

All times are Eastern.

Diamond Head Classic Finals

Championship: Iowa State Cyclones (10-0) vs. Boise State Broncos (10-2), approx. 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Given that the Mountain West won't be quite as strong this season as it was in 2012-13, the Broncos will head into tonight needing to make a statement against the unbeaten Cyclones. Expect to see offenses dominate this matchup, as Melvin Ejim, Dustin Hogue, DeAndre Kane, and Georges Niang have each hit double figures in both of ISU's games in Honolulu and Anthony Drmic has been on a scoring tear of his own on O' ahu (51 points in two games). Still, the Cyclones play at a slightly faster pace than the Broncos might like. Plus, as Monday's second half against Akron showed, Fred Hoiberg's team can clamp down on defense when it needs to.

3rd/4th Place: Akron Zips (6-3) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (3-6), approx. 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
These two teams will be very familiar with one another by the time the week is over, as they will meet again on Saturday afternoon in Columbia in each team's fourth Diamond Head Classic game. (Thanks, exempt tournament rule!) Gamecock fans better hope that the sharpshooting version of the SC team that defeated St. Mary's on Sunday (58% from the field and 4 of 7 from three) shows up against the Zips and not the one that struggled against Boise State (37% from the floor and 25% from beyond the arc). South Carolina will need to guard the perimeter, as Akron has plenty of players (including forwards Quincy Diggs, Reggie McAdams, and Jake Kretzer) who are more than willing to let the ball fly.

5th/6th Place: Oregon State Beavers (7-3) at Hawai `i Rainbow Warriors (8-3), approx. 4 p.m. (ESPNU)
Beaver center Angus Brandt is listed as day-to-day, thanks to a knee injury he suffered in the quarterfinals against Akron. Craig Robinson will hope he's available, as his Oregon State squad faces a very competitive Rainbow Warrior squad that will most certainly have a big crowd behind it. Roberto Nelson (21.4 ppg) and Devon Collier (19.3 ppg) are earning a lot of national attention because of their effectiveness on offense, but Hawai `i's balanced attack -- featuring five players averaging in double figures, led by Christian Standhardinger with nearly 18 a contest -- will present a unique challenge for the Beavers' defense.

7th /8th Place: George Mason Patriots (5-6) vs. St. Mary's Gaels (9-2), approx. 1:30 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Who would have thought that the Gaels, who came to Hawai `i unbeaten, would need to beat the struggling Patriots to avoid an 0-3 trip? St. Mary's defense has let them down in their first two Diamond Head games, but the Gaels will have a chance to improve on that end against a Mason team that's currently 272nd in KenPom's adjusted offensive efficiency ratings.

Thanks to no scheduled games tomorrow and a very light Friday schedule, my next TV preview post will appear on Saturday, December 28. Merry Christmas everyone!

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