College Hoops Viewing Guide: December 31, 2013

Dave Weaver-USA TODAY Sports

What are you doing on New Year's Eve? Well, if you don't have plans (or even if you do), there is plenty of college basketball on to keep you occupied, thanks to some significant conference openers.

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, FSN, and Root Sports games (all games listed in these posts marked with an *) are available on which affiliates.

All times are Eastern.

Big East Opening Day

(all games on FS1)
St. John's Red Storm (9-3) at Xavier Musketeers (10-3), 12 p.m.
Seton Hall Pirates (9-4) at Providence Friars (10-3), 2:30 p.m.
DePaul Blue Demons (8-5) at Georgetown Hoyas (8-3), 5 p.m.
Villanova Wildcats (11-1) at Butler Bulldogs (10-2), 7:30 p.m.
Marquette Golden Eagles (8-5) at Creighton Bluejays (10-2), 10 p.m.

Fox Sports 1 built a proper New Year's Eve basketball marathon to introduce itself properly to fans who might not have paid much attention to the channel during the non-conference season (which is understandable, as some of the games FS1 televised in November and December would struggle to find a place on most conferences' internet offerings -- Hello, Manchester at Butler. Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery will call both the first and fourth offerings tonight, which may end up being the highlights. The finale, Marquette at Creighton, was long planned to fill such a role, but the Golden Eagles' struggles during a rough non-conference schedule means that contest is not quite the showcase it was planned to be. Instead, it's almost an early must-win for Buzz Williams' squad.

Big Ten Opening Day

Ohio State Buckeyes (13-0) at Purdue Boilermakers (10-3), 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
Indiana Hoosiers (10-3) at Illinois Fighting Illini (11-2), 3 p.m. (ESPN2)
Michigan State Spartans (11-1) at Penn State Nittany Lions (9-4), 5 p.m. (BTN)
Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-4) at Iowa Hawkeyes (11-2), 7 p.m. (BTN)

Eight of the 12 Big Ten members begin conference play today, with the remaining four tipping off on Thursday night. Of this quartet of games, Indiana's trip to Illinois looks to be the most intriguing, as both squads look destined for the middle of the table and a win might provide an edge in terms of NCAA selection/seeding. However, keep an eye on Michigan State's trip to an improved Penn State. The Spartans never seem to have an easy time in Happy Valley.

American Opening Day

Louisville Cardinals (11-2) at Central Florida Knights (8-3), 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
Memphis Tigers (9-2) at South Florida Bulls (9-4), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Connecticut Huskies (11-1) at Houston Cougars (8-5), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

While the American couldn't quite pull off what the Big East did in terms of setting up an opening day marathon, at least all three of the league favorites are in action and on national TV to start the conference's basketball history. All three begin on the road against teams that will likely finish in the bottom half of the standings.

Other Game Of Note

George Washington Colonials (11-1) at Kansas State Wildcats (9-3), 3 p.m. (FSN*)
In the most attractive non-conference game of the day, the Colonials head to Manhattan looking to avenge a 65-62 loss at Foggy Bottom last season. They certainly are capable of leaving the Octagon of Doom with a profile-boosting win.

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