College Hoops Viewing Guide: January 9, 2014

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday night's schedule is highlighted by old school conference reunions in the American and A-10 and a showdown between the Pac-12's two hoops powers. Plus, a rapid-fire look back at a busy Wednesday night's action.

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

Memphis Tigers (10-3, 1-1 AAC) at Louisville Cardinals (13-2, 2-0), 7 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2)
USF Bulls (9-6, 0-2) at Temple Owls (5-7, 0-2), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

With all due respect to the matchup of 0-2 teams in Philadelphia, most AAC observers will be focused on tonight's Metro/C-USA showdown in Louisville, where the Tigers will look to rebound from a shocking home loss to Cincinnati on Saturday, while the Cardinals will look to cement their position as the new conference's favorite. Memphis has the roster to claim the inaugural American crown, but it needs a win like this as a confidence boost.

Last night: The lone AAC team in action on Wednesday was Connecticut (12-3), who held off a feisty Harvard team (13-2), which was without star forward Wesley Saunders, who was dealing with some knee pain. The Crimson loss all but derails the chances of a two-bid Ivy League.

A-10

George Mason Patriots (7-7) at VCU Rams (12-3), 7 p.m. (CBS SN)
George Washington Colonials (12-2) at La Salle Explorers (7-6), 8 p.m. (NBCSN)

The Metro reunion in Louisville isn't the only one on tonight's schedule, as former CAA rivals meet in Richmond. George Mason couldn't have gotten a more difficult task for its first Atlantic 10 game than a road game against its in-state rival, which just happens to be one of the top teams in league. Oh, it also has a fearsome defense. That's not a recipe for a win for a team that's struggled badly offensively at times in the non-conference.

In Philadelphia, La Salle looks to get its campaign back on track in league play. Last season's A10 surprise begins league play against this year's version, a Colonial squad that has already defeated Creighton and Maryland.

Last night: UMass got all it could handle from St. Joseph's, who was without Ron Roberts, before prevailing by a 66-62 score. Duquesne and St. Bonaventure also picked up opening wins, with the Bonnies surprisingly handling Richmond by 14 in Olean. The Dukes took care of Fordham in a matchup of teams that are likely to finish close to the bottom of the league.

ACC

Florida State Seminoles (9-4, 0-1 ACC) at Clemson Tigers (10-3, 1-0), 7 p.m. (ACC RSNs*/ESPN3)

Expect a defensive struggle in Littlejohn, as the sixth and seventh-ranked teams in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency rankings meet. The Seminoles were surprisingly blown out by a Joe Harris-less Virginia squad in its opener in Tallahassee, while the Eagles escaped Boston College with a two-point victory.

Last night: Wake Forest (1-1) could not build on its ACC season-opening win over North Carolina, as Virginia (2-0) handled the Demon Deacons easily in Charlottesville. As for the Tar Heels, they once again managed to confound everyone, falling to Miami (1-1) in Chapel Hill. UNC is now 0-2 in the league with a trip to Syracuse looming on Saturday.

Big 12

No games scheduled tonight.

Last night: Kansas won its conference opener for the 23rd consecutive season. The Jayhawks got 24 from Wayne Selden in a seven-point win at Oklahoma (1-1). In a battle of teams looking to avoid an 0-2 start in Stillwater, Oklahoma State prevailed over Texas by 13.

Big East

DePaul Blue Demons (8-8, 0-3 Big East) at Butler Bulldogs (10-4, 0-2), 7 p.m. (FS1)
Marquette Golden Eagles (9-6, 1-1) at Xavier Musketeers (12-3, 2-0), 9 p.m. (FS1)

The Bulldogs should be able to drop the Blue Demons to 0-4 in the league, especially when you consider DePaul just played on Tuesday night. The second game of FS1's doubleheader sees preseason favorite Marquette travel to Cincinnati to take on Xavier, a team that looks to be much more of a contender at this stage. A win at Cintas is the type the Golden Eagles need for a very thin selection profile.

Last night: Georgetown (2-1) went up to Providence (1-2) without center Josh Smith, who was held out for academic reasons. Predictably, the Friars ran riot, winning by 18. The Hoyas have yet to win a true road game this season. Seton Hall (1-2) were shorthanded heading into their home game with Villanova (3-0), thanks to injuries. The Wildcats took advantage in a 16-point win.

Meanwhile, Creighton found out yesterday that it will be without guard Grant Gibbs for a month, thanks to a dislocated kneecap suffered in Tuesday's win over DePaul.

Big Ten

Michigan Wolverines (10-4, 2-0 Big Ten) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-6, 0-2), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Northwestern Wildcats (7-8, 0-2) at Iowa Hawkeyes (12-3, 1-1), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

On the surface, both of these games shouldn't be that interesting, but keep in mind this will be Nebraska's first conference game at its new arena, so the crowd should be fired up, and that Iowa will be without head coach Fran McCaffery. He's suspended for the night after his outburst at the officials -- and subsequent ejection -- in Sunday's loss at Wisconsin

Last night: Minnesota (2-1) escaped Penn State (0-3) by three, while Wisconsin (3-0) had Illinois (2-1) doubled up at halftime. The Badgers didn't look back the rest of the way -- maintaining that 25-point advantage until the end -- so they remain perfect at 16-0.

Mountain West

No games scheduled tonight.

Last night: New Mexico (2-0) needed overtime to escape the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, defeating Wyoming (0-2) by three. UNLV (1-2) dropped its second straight Mountain West home game to archrival Nevada (3-0) who appears to be a contender for the conference crown. Air Force (2-1) dropped its first conference game at Fresno State (1-2), which picked up its first Mountain West victory in return. Colorado State (1-2) also removed the goose egg from its conference win column by slipping past San Jose State (0-3).

In the game of the night, San Diego State (2-0) held off Boise State (1-1), 69-66. The Broncos' Derrick Marks missed a game-tying three with four seconds to go, preserving the Aztecs' victory and perfect Mountain West mark.

Pac-12

Arizona Wildcats (15-0, 2-0 Pac-12) at UCLA Bruins (12-2, 1-0), 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Arizona State Sun Devils (12-3, 1-1) at USC Trojans (9-5, 0-1), 10 p.m. (Pac-12 Network Regional)
Stanford Cardinal (9-4, 0-1) at Oregon State Beavers (8-6, 0-2), 10 p.m. (Pac-12 Network Regional)
California Golden Bears (10-4, 1-0) at Oregon Ducks (13-1, 1-1), 11 p.m. (FS1)

Without question, the game of the night is at Pauley Pavilion, where Arizona puts its perfect record on the line against a UCLA team that obliterated USC in its Pac-12 opener on Sunday. The Bruins, who struggled a bit during the non-conference portion of the season, enters the Pac-12 season looking to prove that they can overcome those issues. Tonight will be a great measuring stick for that objective. Across Los Angeles, Arizona State will look to avoid a bad loss at USC. Stanford will look to do the same in Corvallis, while Oregon will look to stay on track against a dangerous Cal team that could use a high-quality road win for its profile.

Last night: There was plenty of late drama in a pair of close contests in the Great Northwest. Colorado (3-0) had to play an extra five minutes to defeat Washington State (0-3) in Spokane. Que Johnson hit a three in the dying seconds to force the extra session. Utah (1-2) fell at Washington (2-1) as Delon Wright's last-gasp three attempt failed to win the game for the Utes.

SEC

Auburn Tigers (8-3) at Mississippi Rebels (9-4), 7 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2)

This one is not an automatic win for Ole Miss. For starters, the Tigers looks to be a bit better than they were last season, but more importantly, this game is the first of a two Marshall Henderson will have to sit out for the Rebels, thanks to his behavior issues this summer.

Last night: Florida opened its SEC campaign with a relatively easy win over South Carolina (well, except for the middle of the game where the Gamecocks played halfway decently and mounted a challenge). Things were a bit different for Kentucky and Missouri, however. The Wildcats got all they could handle from Mississippi State early before they took control in the second half, winning by 21. As for the Tigers, Georgia took them to overtime, where the Bulldogs ended up snapping Mizzou's 26-game home win streak. It was an emotional night for Georgia, as it was the team's first game since head coach Mark Fox's father passed away on Friday. Wrapping up the night's action, Arkansas opened its SEC season for the second year in a row at Texas A&M with the same result -- an Aggie win.

Elsewhere

Big West

UC Irvine Anteaters (9-7) at Long Beach State 49ers (4-10), 11:30 p.m. (FS Prime Ticket San Diego)

The Anteaters look like they'll be a contender in the Big West, but an opening game at the Walter Pyramid against a 49er team that's won three of its last four (after a nine-game losing streak against high-quality opposition), including victories over USC at home and Nevada on the road.

WCC

Pepperdine Waves (10-6, 3-1 WCC) at BYU Cougars (9-7, 1-2), 9 p.m. (BYU TV)
Santa Clara Broncos (9-8, 2-2) at St. Mary's Gaels (11-4, 2-1), 10 p.m. (TheW.tv)
Gonzaga Bulldogs (14-2, 4-0) at Portland Pilots (9-7, 1-3), 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

The Cougars will look to avenge an 80-74 loss in Malibu back on December 30th, while the Bulldogs have an excellent shot at moving to 5-0 in the league with their struggling travel partner visiting. In Moraga, tonight contest against the Broncos, which should be a difficult one, is the final game of St. Mary's head coach Randy Bennett's five-game suspension.

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