College Hoops Viewing Guide: Happy New Year!

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

If you get a bit tired of football later this afternoon and tonight, the Mountain West and American Athletic Conferences ... and Valley and A-Sun ... have some New Year's hoops for you.

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.

Mountain West Opening Day

UNLV Runnin' Rebels (9-4) at Fresno State Bulldogs (7-6), 3 p.m. (ESPN3)
Utah State Aggies (10-2) at Air Force Falcons (6-5), 8 p.m. (ROOT Sports Rocky Mtn.*)
San Diego State Aztecs (10-1) at Colorado State Rams (9-4), 9 p.m. (CBS SN)
With New Mexico and Boise State not opening their Mountain West campaigns until Saturday, it's not an overwhelming slate. The big storylines of this trio of games are UNLV looking to continue its resurgence (six straight wins after a close loss at Arizona, including a Las Vegas Classic crown), Utah State attempting to show that a newcomer can win in Colorado Springs, a place notoriously tough for visitors, and Colorado State looking to show that it can be a contender despite losing a lot of production from last year's NCAA squad by knocking off SDSU at Moby.

American Opening Day, Continued

SMU Mustangs (10-2) at Cincinnati Bearcats (11-2), 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
Temple Owls (5-5) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-7), 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
Of these two contests, SMU's trip to Cincinnati is a bit more intriguing than the Mid-Atlantic showdown that follows. The Mustangs built a solid record but are looking like a bubble team thanks to losses at Arkansas and to Virginia in Corpus Christi. A victory in Cincy would serve as a warning to the rest of the conference that the Ponies are contenders to threaten the established favorites.

Action From Other Conferences

Lipscomb Bisons (5-7, 0-1 A-Sun) at Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (7-7, 1-0), 5 p.m. (ESPN3)
In their respective Atlantic Sun openers, the Bisons were stunned by a Stetson team that had won only two games previously, while the Eagles held off Northern Kentucky.

Bradley Braves (5-8) at Northern Iowa Panthers (6-6), 8 p.m. (FS Midwest/CSN Chicago*/ESPN3)
This season, the Valley really needs a team to step up and grab the two seed for Arch Madness and win it to have a shot at multiple bids. The Panthers, who have beaten VCU and Iona in Cedar Falls, are a squad that has the talent and coaching to do just that.

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