College Hoops Viewing Guide: December 3, 2013

Win McNamee

Monday's slate saw Shabazz Napier break the hearts of the Florida Gators and their fans (including your humble bracketologist's) and a pair of Big 12/SEC Challenge matchups. Tonight, the conference challenge that is the model for all such event returns, as there are six ACC/Big Ten Challenge contests on the slate.

All TV info is courtesy Matt's College Sports on TV site. He has many more games listed, and you'll also want to check out his listings for information on which ACC and SEC regional contests and CSN and FSN games (all games listed in these posts marked with an *) are available on which affiliates.

All times are Eastern.

ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Indiana Hoosiers (6-1) at Syracuse Orange (7-0), 7:15 p.m. (ESPN)
It's a rematch of the 2013 East Regional Semifinal, which saw the Orange unceremoniously dump the top-seeded Hoosiers out of the tournament en route to a Final Four berth. Thanks to some high-profile departures (Michael Carter-Williams, Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller), the casts for tonight's matchup are significantly different. That gives the edge to the Orange, as they have a bit more veteran talent, particularly in the frontcourt. Plus, Syracuse just claimed three quality wins in as many days to claim the Maui Invitational.

Illinois Fighting Illini (7-0) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-3), 7:15 p.m. (ESPN2)
This is a significant bubble battle, particularly for the Yellow Jackets, who have already lost to Dayton at home and who happen to be coming off a disappointing 0-2 trip to the Barclays Center Classic. Jon Groce's Illini, meanwhile, have been a bit lucky of late, winning at UNLV by two in Vegas then dropping IPFW by the same margin on Friday.

Penn State Nittany Lions (6-2) at Pittsburgh Panthers (7-0), 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
The Nittany Lions, who have been a pleasant surprise early in the season, were the team Georgia Tech missed in Brooklyn, as they defeated St. John's in OT and fell to Ole Miss by three over the weekend. PSU will look to keep surprising (they also own a nice win over La Salle) as they visit in-state rival Pitt, who has been rolling this season. The Panthers' smallest winning margin so far in 2013-14: Saturday's 17-point triumph over Duquesne. I think this stat changes tonight.

Michigan Wolverines (5-2) at Duke Blue Devils (6-2), 9:15 p.m. (ESPN)
This is pretty much the game of the night, even with both teams having a surprising two in the loss column. The National Runners-Up are in search of a true quality non-conference win. The Wolverines' best win so far came against Florida State in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off semifinals, an event Charlotte claimed with a stunning victory over John Beilein's team in the final. The last time Michigan hit the road for a non-conference game, they were hypnotized by Hilton Magic and fell to Iowa State. As for the hosts, the Blue Devils will look to rebound from Friday's disappointing loss to Arizona at Madison Square Garden. Thanks to a Champions Classic loss to Kansas, Duke's best win so far came courtesy of Alabama in the NIT semifinal.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-1) at Iowa Hawkeyes (7-1), 9:15 p.m. (ESPN2)
Like Duke, the Hawkeyes are looking to rebound from a disappointing tournament loss. On Saturday night, Iowa fell to Villanova in the Battle 4 Atlantis title game -- a contest the Hawkeyes controlled for 30 or so minutes. Strangely enough, this is their opposition's first road game of the season. The Fighting Irish have won five of their first six, all at Purcell Pavilion, with the lone loss coming to an Indiana State team that dominated Notre Dame on the perimeter. Given that his team has shot 38% from beyond the arc so far this season, you can be sure Fran McCaffery took notice of that statistic.

Florida State Seminoles (5-2) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-2), 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
The Gophers play their first game at home since returning from Maui. The result may very well be the same as the ones encountered in Lahaina, where Minnesota only defeated host Chaminade after two straight losses to power conference foes. The Seminoles, on the other hand, are a mere three points away from being unbeaten. On Friday, they lost at Florida by a single point and a week earlier FSU fell to Michigan by two in overtime.

Other Games Of Note

USC Upstate Spartans (5-3) at Cincinnati Bearcats (6-0), 7p.m. (ESPN3)
This is your chance to check out Torrey Craig, the 2012 Atlantic Sun player of the year and favorite to grab the crown this season, against a quality opponent. The Spartans definitely have the talent to challenge the Bearcats in Cincy and maybe even pull the upset.

Colorado Buffaloes (7-1) at Colorado State Rams (6-2), 9 p.m. (ESPN3)
It's a shame such a quality in-state rivalry -- remember, both teams made the NCAAs in each of the last two seasons -- is relegated to an internet stream, but such is the TV importance of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Rams lost quite a lot of talent from their postseason squads, and it's showed. CSU two losses came against the best teams on their schedule thus far: Gonzaga (in a blowout) and UTEP (by eight). As for the Buffaloes, they managed to sweep through their exempt round-robin (as the Rams did by squeaking past New Mexico State on Saturday) and they've won seven on the trot since an Opening Night loss to Baylor Bears in Dallas.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-2) at Arizona Wildcats (7-0), 9 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
The Wildcats should have little trouble following up their big NIT Season Tip-Off championship with a victory over Tubby Smith's overmatched Red Raiders. Tech's best win by far four weeks into the season came against in-state rival Houston in the Legends Classic consolation game.

Utah Utes (6-0) at Boise State Broncos (6-0), 10 p.m. (CBS SN)
Both of these squads have racked up impressive records against unimpressive competition. The Broncos, who might very well be the favorites in the Mountain West at this point alongside San Diego State, will look to pick up an important home win for their at-large hopes tonight. A loss against the Utes may be damaging, particularly if teams like inconsistent New Mexico and UNLV can't get their act together before January.

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