College Hoops Viewing Guide: January 16, 2014

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Selection Sunday is just two months away. Tonight's schedule is almost a mini preview of Championship Week, thanks to the plentiful selection of mid-major games. However, most of March's matchups should have more pizazz than tonight's roster.

All TV info is courtesy Matt's College Sports on TV site. He has many more games listed, particularly ones broadcast only on local channels and in-house cable sports/local interest channels that are not widely available nationwide. You'll also want to check out his listings for information on which conference 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.

American

Connecticut Huskies (13-3, 1-2) at Memphis Tigers (12-3, 3-1), 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Houston Cougars (10-6, 2-1) at Louisville Cardinals (14-3, 3-1), 7 p.m. (CBS SN)

The Huskies begin a difficult weekend with a trip to Memphis, where UConn's challenge to move to .500 in the league and grab a marquee win in the process will be a stiff one. Meanwhile, the Cardinals welcome a surprising Cougar team to town. Houston can establish itself as a shock AAC contender if it can pull an upset. You won't see many bigger "ifs" in a major conference this season, however.

Last night: UCF (9-6, 1-3) fell by 10 at Rutgers in a matchup of two teams with no NCAA hopes to speak of, while SMU (12-4, 2-2) routed USF (10-7, 1-3) at Moody Coliseum, in a game that was nowhere near as close as the 17-point margin would typically indicate.

A10

No games scheduled tonight.

Last night: Derrick Gordon's layup with 8 seconds left allowed UMass (15-1, 3-0) to escape George Mason (7-10, 0-3) with a win. La Salle (10-6, 3-0) also stayed perfect in the A10, thanks to a 72-62 decision over Rhode Island (9-9, 0-3). Saint Louis (16-2, 3-0) joins the Minutemen and Explorers atop the league thanks to a six-point home victory over St. Bonaventure (11-6, 1-2) Fordham (7-9, 0-3) became Dayton's (13-4, 1-1) first conference victim at Rose Hill. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, St. Joseph's (11-5, 2-1) now sit a game back of the lead pack, thanks to a nine-point win over Duquesne (8-7, 1-2).

ACC

No games scheduled tonight.

Last night: In Coral Gables, Miami (9-7, 1-3) gave Florida State (12-4, 3-1) a scare before the Seminoles pulled out their third ACC win of the season. Clemson (12-4, 3-1) also needed to rally to win at Virginia Tech. Maryland (11-7, 3-2) had to wait out a hot first half shooting performance by Notre Dame (10-7, 1-3) before prevailing by eight in College Park. Meanwhile, N.C. State (11-6, 1-3) simply gave away its game at Wake Forest (12-5, 2-2). The Demon Deacons were able to win in the dying seconds, thanks to a Codi Miller-McIntyre leaner with less than five ticks left.

Big 12

No games scheduled tonight.

Last night: Baylor (13-3, 1-2) and Oklahoma State (15-2, 3-1) were expected to cruise on Wednesday night, thanks to matchups against teams picked to finish near the bottom of the Big 12. That worked out for the Cowboys, who pasted TCU (9-7, 0-4) by 32 in Stillwater. The Bears, on the other hand, became Texas Tech's (9-8, 1-3) first conference victim, falling by 10 in Lubbock in a game that was never close.

Big East

Providence Friars (11-5, 1-2) at St. John's Red Storm (9-7, 0-4), 7 p.m. (FS1)

On Tuesday, the Red Storm dropped their fourth straight, handing DePaul its second Big East win of the season in the process. Tonight, St. John's welcomes a Friar team that was pegged to potentially be an NCAA surprise, much like the Johnnies, to Carnesecca Arena

Last night: Georgetown (11-5, 3-2) led Xavier (14-4, 4-1) by 17 with 15 minutes left in Cincinnati. When that time passed, the Musketeers not only made up that gap, they had a 13-point victory to add to their Big East record.

Big Ten

Ohio State Buckeyes (15-2, 2-2) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-4, 2-2), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

The Golden Gophers could certainly use a high-quality win, as they've whiffed on some chances early and are hanging right around the cut line as a result. On the other hand, the Buckeyes are looking to snap a surprising two-game skid.

Last night: Michigan State (16-1, 5-0) took care of Northwestern (8-10, 1-4) without the injured Adreian Payne (foot), while Illinois (13-5, 2-3) dropped its third in a row, falling at home to Purdue (12-5, 2-2) by eight.

Mountain West

No games scheduled tonight.

Last night: UNLV (11-6, 2-2) won a 76-73 thriller at New Mexico (12-4, 3-1) -- the Runnin' Rebels first win at The Pit since 2011. Maybe that's the victory that will launch UNLV toward the NCAAs, though a win at San Diego State (15-1, 4-0) would be an even bigger boost. The Aztecs prepared for that showdown by grabbing an eight-point decision over Fresno State (8-10, 1-4). Elsewhere, Air Force (9-7, 3-2) kept San Jose State (6-11, 0-5) winless in the league, while Utah State (12-4, 2-2) took care of Colorado State (11-7, 2-3) in Logan.

Pac-12

UCLA Bruins (13-3, 2-1) at Colorado Buffaloes (14-3, 3-1), 8 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Arizona State Sun Devils (13-4, 2-2) at Arizona Wildcats (17-0, 4-0), 9 p.m. (FS1)
USC Trojans (9-7, 0-3) at Utah Utes (12-4, 1-3), 10 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)

With all due respect to the night's proceedings in Salt Lake City, tonight's contests in Boulder and Tucson are where the action is. Colorado welcomes UCLA with the intent to prove that it can still win games without Spencer Dinwiddie. About an hour later, Arizona State travels down to the McKale Center looking to end their archrival's perfect run while gaining a highly-significant and necessary win in the process.

Last night: This week's Pac-12 play started in the Bay Area, where the home teams easily swept the Washington schools. Stanford (11-5, 2-2) defeated Washington State by 32 to get to .500 in the league, while California (13-4, 4-0) stayed perfect by pasting Washington (11-7, 3-2) by 26.

SEC

Missouri Tigers (13-2, 1-1) at Vanderbilt Commodores (8-6, 0-2), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

The Tigers visit Memorial Gym, where they'll fancy their chances, especially since the Commodores no longer have leading scorer Eric McClellan on the roster.

Last night: Tennessee (11-5, 2-1) took care of Auburn (8-6, 0-3), while Texas A&M (12-4, 3-0) joined Florida at the top of the conference standings with an eight-point win over South Carolina (7-9, 0-3). Elsewhere, LSU (10-5, 1-2) managed just five points in overtime in Oxford, as Mississippi (11-5, 2-1) prevailed by 14. Also, Alabama (8-8, 2-1) got back to .500 overall with a 19-point win over Mississippi State (11-5, 1-2).

Elsewhere

OVC: Belmont Bruins (12-6, 4-0) at Eastern Kentucky Colonels (11-6, 2-2), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
NEC: Wagner Seahawks (8-7, 2-0) at Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers (5-10, 1-1), 7 p.m. (NEC TV/MASN/FCS Atlantic*/ESPN3)
A-Sun: Kennesaw State Owls (4-14, 1-4) at Lipscomb Bisons (6-11, 1-5), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
A-Sun: USC Upstate Spartans (9-8. 2-2) at Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (10-8, 4-1), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Summit: Western Illinois Leathernecks (7-9, 1-0) at South Dakota State Jackrabbits (9-8, 1-1), 8 p.m. (Midco SN/FCS)
OVC: Murray State Racers (9-7, 4-0) at Eastern Illinois Panthers (5-11, 2-3), 8 p.m. (WEIU/Racer Sports Network/ESPN3)
OVC: Austin Peay Governors (8-9, 2-1) at SIU Edwardsville Cougars (4-13, 1-3), 8 p.m. (FS Midwest)
Horizon: Milwaukee Panthers (12-6, 2-2) at UIC Flames (5-12, 0-3), 8 p.m. (Horizon League Network/TWCS Wisconsin/FS SportsTime Ohio/CSN Chicago/ESPN3)
Sun Belt: UALR Trojans (8-8, 3-1) at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (10-6, 2-1), 8 p.m. (HSSN/WKYU/ESPN3)
WAC: UTPA Broncs (4-14, 0-3) at Kansas City Kangaroos (5-10, 2-1), 8 p.m. (KSMO/ESPN3)
MAAC: Niagara Purple Eagles (4-13, 1-5) at Fairfield Stags (3-13, 0-6), 8:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
Southland: Lamar Cardinals (1-15, 0-4) at New Orleans Privateers (4-8, 1-3), 8:45 p.m. (ESPN3)
WCC: BYU Cougars (11-7, 3-2) at San Francisco Dons (11-7, 4-2), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
WCC: Portland Pilots (10-7, 2-3) at Loyola Marymount Lions (10-8, 2-4), 10 p.m. (TheW.tv, streaming directly at SB Nation's Mid-Major Madness)
WCC: Gonzaga Bulldogs (14-3, 4-1) at Pepperdine Waves (11-7, 4-2), 10 p.m. (TheW.tv, streaming directly at SB Nation's Mid-Major Madness)
Big West: Cal State Fullerton Titans (6-9, 1-0) at UC Irvine Anteaters (11-7, 2-0), 10 p.m. (ESPN3)
Big West: Long Beach State 49ers (5-11, 1-1) at UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (9-5, 0-1), 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

While the bulk of tonight's games are from the mid-major ranks, the lineup suffers from the same problem that has afflicted most of this week's TV schedule -- namely, the lack of must-see matchups. The game that stands out the most to me are Belmont's trip to Richmond, Kentucky to take on EKU, the team picked to unseat the Bruins atop the OVC in the preseason. Torrey Craig and USC Upstate's trip to Fort Myers to take on Florida Gulf Coast has some potential, as does BYU's visit to San Francisco. Also, UALR and WKU will look to keep pace with Georgia State in the Sun Belt.

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