College Hoops Viewing Guide: January 23, 2014

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

A pair of Big Ten teams face off, with each looking to snap a long skid. Only one can be successful, however. There's also plenty of action in the Pac-12 and in the majority of mid-major leagues on this Thursday night.

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

Houston Cougars (11-7, 3-2) at Memphis Tigers (13-4, 3-2), 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
UCF Knights (9-7, 1-4) at Cincinnati Bearcats (17-2, 6-0), 9 p.m. (CBS SN)

The Tigers will attempt to pick up their first American Athletic Conference home win over a Cougar team that is a far more formidable opponent at Hofheinz Pavilion, though they have at least beaten USF on the road. About an hour later, the Knights, one of three AAC teams that have yet to win on their conference travels, tip off against a Bearcat team that's simply dominated on its home floor (13-0).

Last night: Louisville (17-3, 6-1) routed USF (10-9, 1-5) by 39 in Tampa to stay a half-game behind Cincinnati in the league race. Wayne Blackshear led a balanced Cardinals attack, scoring 16 off the bench.

Atlantic 10

No games scheduled tonight.

Last night: Saint Louis (18-2, 5-0) held off Duquesne (8-9, 1-4) to stay in first, a position the Billikens now hold all to themselves after both squads that formerly joined them atop the A10 fell. UMass (16-2, 3-1) lost at Richmond (13-6, 3-1) by three, while La Salle (11-7, 3-1) ran out of gas at St. Bonaventure (12-7, 2-3), dropping a 15-point decision in Olean. VCU (15-4, 3-1) knocked Dayton (13-6, 1-3) off, likely dropping the Flyers out of next Tuesday's bracket, while keeping the Rams in the now large group of one-loss teams. St. Joseph's (13-5, 3-1) added its name to that pack, thanks to a four-point win over Rhode Island (10-10, 1-4) on Hawk Hill. At the other end of the Atlantic 10 race, Fordham (8-10, 1-4) defeated George Mason (7-12, 0-5) by five to grab its first conference win.

ACC

No games scheduled tonight.

Last night: Wake Forest (13-6, 3-3) won its first ACC road game since January 21, 2012 (over Boston College) as they took out Virginia Tech (8-10, 1-5) by six. Duke (15-4, 4-2) breezed by Miami (10-8, 2-4), picking up a 21-point victory.

Big 12

No games scheduled tonight.

Last night: TCU (9-9, 0-6) gave Oklahoma (15-4, 4-2) a tremendous fight in Norman before succumbing to the Sooners by eight. Meanwhile, West Virginia (11-8, 3-3) held off Texas Tech (10-9, 2-4) in Morgantown.

Big East

Seton Hall Pirates (11-7, 2-3) at St. John's Red Storm (10-8, 0-5), 7 p.m. (CBS SN)

Despite their record, the Pirates don't have much of a shot at the field of 68 at the moment, due to a dearth of quality wins. Falling to the struggling Red Storm in Queens would further quiet any tourney rumblings out of South Orange.

Big Ten

Illinois Fighting Illini (13-6, 2-4) at Ohio State Buckeyes (15-4, 2-4), 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-8, 1-4) at Penn State Nittany Lions (9-10, 0-6), 8 p.m. (ESPNU)

Someone's four-game losing streak is going to end in Columbus this evening, and I suspect it will be the Buckeyes', as the Fighting Illini have been struggling mightily on both ends of the floor, averaging only a little more than 58 points per game while surrendering 72 points on average during their skid. In the evening's other game, the Cornhuskers will look to avoid a letdown after Monday's big win over Ohio State as they visit a Nittany Lion squad that's still waiting on Big Ten win number one.

Last night: Nik Stauskas tied a career-high by scoring 26 to lead Michigan (14-4, 6-0) past  Iowa (15-4, 4-2), setting up a Saturday showdown at Michigan State. Wisconsin (16-3, 3-3), is going in the complete opposite direction of the Wolverines, as the Badgers fell at Minnesota (15-5, 4-3), their third straight conference loss. Deandre Mathieu and Maurice Walker each had 18 for the Golden Gophers.

Mountain West

No games scheduled tonight.

Last night: San Diego State (17-1, 6-0) remained undefeated in Mountain West play, as the Aztecs had no trouble at San Jose State (6-13, 0-7), winning by 15. Nevada (10-9, 5-1) remains a game behind SDSU in the conference race, though they needed overtime to dispose of host Fresno State (8-12, 1-6). In the evening's pair of contests featuring teams in the middle of the standings, Wyoming (12-6, 3-2) surprised Air Force (9-9, 3-4) at Clune Arena by seven, while Utah State (12-6, 2-4) lost by 20 at UNLV (12-7, 3-3)

Pac-12

Colorado Buffaloes (15-4, 4-2) at Arizona Wildcats (18-0, 5-0), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Utah Utes (14-4, 3-3) at Arizona State Sun Devils (13-5, 2-3), 9 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Oregon Ducks (13-4, 1-4) at Washington Huskies (11-8, 3-3), 11 p.m. (FS1)
Stanford Cardinal (12-5, 3-2) at UCLA Bruins (14-4, 3-2), 11 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)

Colorado-Arizona long looked to be the marquee game of this particular Pac-12 Thursday night, but with Spencer Dinwiddie out for the season for the Buffs, the matchup has lost some of its luster. Still, if Colorado can pull the upset, it would give them a tremendous amount of confidence down the stretch. That's a huge "if," however. Well, at least Dave Pasch and Bill Walton will be on the call, so the broadcast will be at least entertaining.

With the matchup in Tucson losing some luster, the game of the night is really Stanford's trip to UCLA. The Cardinal visit Pauley Pavilion in need of another quality win, though the same can really be said of the Bruins, who have just one win against a team in the Top 50 (at Colorado). Expect UCLA to attempt to win this one from the perimeter, as Stanford has generally allowed plenty of threes (though they did hold Washington to 25% from beyond the arc on Saturday night).

Speaking of the Huskies, they'll look to send their rivals from Eugene to their fifth straight conference loss. Meanwhile, in Tempe, Arizona State's bubble hopes cannot afford a home loss to an improved Utah squad.

Last night: Los Angeles was the site of the upset of the night as USC (10-9, 1-5) handed California (14-5, 5-1) its first Pac-12 loss, thanks in no small part to 23 points from Nikola Jovanovic. Meanwhile, Oregon State (11-7, 3-3) moved to .500 in the league by topping Washington State (8-11, 1-6) by a 66-55 score in Pullman.

SEC

Florida Gators (15-2, 4-0) at Alabama Crimson Tide (8-9, 2-2), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Crimson Tide coach Anthony Grant has yet to beat his mentor, Gator legend Billy Donovan, during his time in Tuscaloosa. A win tonight might not just save Bama's difficult season, it may very well save his job. Florida struggled last time out -- at Auburn -- and faces a short turnaround before a crucial home game against Tennessee on Saturday. The Gators will look to wrap this one up quickly.

Last night: Arkansas (12-6, 1-4) lost yet another road game, falling apart in the second half at Tennessee (12-6, 3-2), who prevailed 81-74, thanks to 34 points from Jordan McRaeGeorgia (10-7, 4-1) continued its surprising start, as they toppled South Carolina (7-11, 0-5) in Athens. Like the Gamecocks, Auburn (8-8, 0-5) remains winless after falling at Mississippi State (13-5, 3-2). Finally, Mississippi (13-5, 4-1) joins Kentucky and Georgia in a three-way tie for second after picking off Vanderbilt (9-8, 1-4) at Memorial Gym.

Elsewhere

NEC: LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds (6-11, 1-3) at Bryant Bulldogs (11-8, 3-1), 7 p.m. (MSG+/FCS Atlantic)
MAAC: Fairfield Stags (4-15, 1-7) at Monmouth Hawks (9-10, 3-5), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
A-Sun: Stetson Hatters (5-14, 3-4) at Kennesaw State Owls (4-16, 1-6), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Horizon: Valparaiso Crusaders (11-9, 3-2) at Youngstown St. Penguins (12-8, 3-2), 7 p.m. (Horizon League Network)
A-Sun: Jacksonville Dolphins (8-10, 4-3) at USC Upstate Spartans (9-10, 2-4) , 7:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
SoCon: UNC Greensboro Spartans (10-10, 3-2) at Samford Bulldogs (7-13, 1-4), 8 p.m. (ESPN3)
Summit: Denver Pioneers (8-10, 1-2) at Omaha Mavericks (11-7, 1-2), 8 p.m. (MidcoSN/FCS Central)
MAC: Buffalo Bulls (9-5, 3-1) at Ball State Cardinals (3-12, 0-4), 8 p.m. (TWCS*/ESPN3)
Sun Belt: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (11-7, 3-2) at ULM Warhawks (6-7, 3-2), 8 p.m. (HSSN/WKYU/ESPN3)
Southland: Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (16-2, 5-0) at Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (10-8, 4-1), 8:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
C-USA: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (12-6, 2-1) at Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8-10, 3-1), 9 p.m. (FS1)
Sun Belt: Troy Trojans (7-11, 2-4) at UT Arlington Mavericks (7-10, 2-3), 9 p.m. (Sun Belt/CSS/CST/ESPN3)
WCC: San Diego Toreros (11-9, 2-5) at Gonzaga Bulldogs (16-3, 6-1), 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
WCC: BYU Cougars (13-7, 5-2) at Portland Pilots (11-8, 3-4), 10 p.m. (ROOT Sports/TheW.tv, streaming directly at SB Nation's Mid-Major Madness)
WCC: Pepperdine Waves (12-8, 5-3) at St. Mary's Gaels (14-5, 4-2), 10 p.m. (TheW.tv, streaming directly at SB Nation's Mid-Major Madness)
WCC: Loyola Marymount Lions (10-10, 2-6) at Pacific Tigers (10-7, 1-5), 10 p.m. (TheW.tv, streaming directly at SB Nation's Mid-Major Madness)
Big West: Cal Poly Mustangs (7-10, 3-1) at Cal State Fullerton Titans (6-11, 1-2), 10 p.m. (ESPN3)

The most intriguing game on this list is the showdown in the Southland. Stephen F. Austin is the only remaining unbeaten in the 14-team loop, while Oral Roberts is one of three teams sitting a game back in the loss column. The Golden Eagles, who are heading back to the Summit League after this season, are in their current position thanks only to a waiver from the NCAA. That ruling allowed them (and other affected schools) to play transitional members (Incarnate Word and Abilene Christian in ORU's case) without violating the bylaw on the permitted number of games against non-Division I opponents.

Elsewhere, BYU and Gonzaga both need to win to set up a matchup for the WCC lead in Spokane on Saturday night.

Last night: Akron (12-6, 4-1) opened up a 20-point halftime lead at Eastern Michigan (11-7, 3-2) and held on for a 10-point victory in MACtion. In the Patriot League, the battle for the conference lead wasn't really much of a contest as American (11-7, 7-0) crushed Boston U. (13-7, 6-1) by 30. And in a game that wasn't widely televised, Wichita State I20-0, 70-0) remained undefeated by knocking out Illinois State (11-8, 4-3).

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