College Hoops Viewing Guide: January 7, 2014

Michael Hickey

On the first night without football of 2014, there's college basketball action from throughout the East and Central time zones, including a top five showdown in the Big Ten and a huge Big 12 matchup.

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 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

Cincinnati Bearcats (13-2, 2-0 American) at Houston Cougars (10-5, 2-0), 9 p.m. (CBS SN)
The Bearcats, fresh off a win at Memphis, head to Houston to take on a Cougar team that will have to keep winning in the AAC to have an at-large chance. The Cougars followed up a shocking New Year's Eve home win over Connecticut with a win at USF.

A-10

Saint Louis Billikens (13-2) at Rhode Island Rams (9-6), 7 p.m. (CBS SN)
The A-10 season begins with the Billikens -- one of the more impressive defensive units in the country -- visiting a Ram squad that closed out its non-conference slate with a huge road win over LSU. Note that URI can struggle to score at times, which could be an issue this evening.

ACC

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-5, 0-1 ACC) at Duke Blue Devils (11-3, 0-1), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
N.C. State Wolfpack (10-4, 0-1) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-4, 1-0), 9 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)
Syracuse Orange (14-0, 1-0) at Virginia Tech Hokies (8-5, 1-0), 9 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)
Amazingly, Virginia Tech can finish this evening with a 2-0 ACC mark, though you have to think Syracuse will play better than it did on Saturday against Miami. Duke should be in a salty mood for Georgia Tech's visit, which is bad news for a Yellow Jacket team that struggled mightily in the second half at Maryland in its opener. Notre Dame, conquerors of the Blue Devils in its first-ever ACC game, hosts an N.C. State squad that let one get away against Pittsburgh early Saturday afternoon.

Big 12

Baylor Bears (12-1) at Iowa State Cyclones (13-0, 1-0 Big 12), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Kansas State Wildcats (11-3, 1-0) at TCU Horned Frogs (9-4, 0-1), 8 p.m. (Big 12 Network/ESPN3)
While K-State should have little to fear on its trip to Fort Worth, Baylor heads to Ames for a pretty significant game in the Big 12 race. It's the first of three big ones in the next seven days for the Cyclones. They'll travel to Oklahoma on Saturday before hosting Kansas on Big Monday. Expect a lot of offense at Hilton Coliseum this evening, and quite possibly some magic at the end.

Big East

Creighton Bluejays (12-2, 2-0 Big East) at DePaul Blue Demons (8-7, 0-2), 9 p.m. (FS1)
The Jays are currently atop KenPom's adjusted offensive efficiency rankings, while DePaul is, well, DePaul. In other words, this one may not provide much drama.

Big Ten

Ohio State Buckeyes (15-0, 2-0 Big Ten) at Michigan State Spartans (13-1, 2-0), 9 p.m. (ESPN)
The game of the night. KenPom's top team in adjusted defensive efficiency heads to East Lansing to take on this week's fourth No. 1 seed, who happens to be 2-0 after a pair of Big Ten road games. The Spartans have been held to less than 70 points just twice, while the Buckeyes have yet to allow more than 69 points in a game. In short, this could end up being a typical Big Ten grinder. If that's the case, MSU's struggles from the foul line could take center stage late.

SEC

Tennessee Volunteers (9-4) at LSU Tigers (9-3), 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Vanderbilt Commodores (8-4) at Alabama Crimson Tide (6-7), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
The SEC's league campaign begins with a pair of games featuring four teams that will need to make a nice conference run to make the field of 68. The first of tonight's two games bears watching in particular, as the Volunteers and Tigers currently sit just outside of the bracket, thanks to some non-conference failings. The winner in Baton Rouge will have a leg up on the loser, at least temporarily.

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