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Temporary Independence Wednesday Preview - 28 January 2009

The "Week and a Half of Chris" has begun. I made the long drive to Rockville for one final time this morning to drop off my company laptop and access card at the small government contractor that formerly employed me. Now, I'll enjoy the next 10 days before I start a new job at a far bigger government contractor at an office that's far closer to home.

I'm fairly certain that I'll be doing some traveling over the next week or so (besides my already scheduled trip to Philadelphia on February 7 for a Central New York takes on Philly doubleheader), but I'm not quite sure where I'm headed yet. I'll probably some time this afternoon figuring this out, so here is tonight's viewing guide, released a bit earlier than normal.

While there are a lot of viewing options this evening, it's a fairly average night, outside of a couple of marquee matchups.

Michigan @ Ohio State (Big Ten, 6:30 EST) - The Wolverines just ended a three game skid by beating Northwestern. The Buckeyes have dropped two straight. Both teams are firmly in the middle of the Big Ten pack at the moment, UM at 4-4 and OSU at 3-4.

Duke @ Wake Forest (ESPN, 7 EST) - Number 1 vs. Number 4. I don't think I really need to say much more about this one.

Pittsburgh @ Villanova (ESPNU, 7 EST) - The final college hoops game at the Spectrum features a team who's challenging for a 1 seed and one who is exhibit 2 (Notre Dame is exhibit 1) as to why college basketball polls really don't tell the whole story.

Syracuse @ Providence (Big East/Full Court, 7 EST) - The Orange have lost three of their last four, with two of the setbacks coming on the road. This game is allegedly the breather in this portion of SU's schedule, but the Friars are playing a bit better than expected in Keno Davis' first season at the helm.

Georgia @ Florida (Raycom/FS Florida/FS South/Full Court, 8 EST) - With Mark Gottfried's resignation, the hottest seat in the SEC belongs to Dennis Felton. Playing the Gators in the O'Dome probably isn't what he needs at the moment.

LSU @ Tennessee (Raycom/Full Court, 8 EST) - The Tigers missed a shot at a resume-building win against Xavier Saturday night. They get another tonight because, while the Vols may be a bit down this year, they're still tourney-worthy.

Texas Tech @ Texas A&M (ESPNU, 9 EST) - Both teams have a chance for their second Big 12 win. For the Red Raiders, this was expected. For the Aggies, it's a bit of a disappointment.

Missouri @ Kansas State (FS Kansas City/FS Midwest/Full Court, 9 EST) - Tigers, if you want to be considered seriously for the bracket, this is the type of game you have to win.

North Carolina @ Florida State (Raycom/Full Court, 9 EST) - The last two times the Tar Heels played in Tallahassee, they won by 1 and 11. The 11-point decision came in overtime.

Colorado State @ New Mexico (the mtn., 9:30 EST) - The Lobos are tied with four others in the loss column in the MWC race. Even though the Rams are improved, victors over UNLV and Air Force in Fort Collins, New Mexico should handle them fairly easily at The Pit.

TCU @ San Diego State (CBS CS, 10 EST) - Two of the five clubs in the mess at the top of the MWC square off. One will fall behind the leaders when tonight is over.

Also of note tonight, Illinois State @Northern Iowa (only on local TV in Cedar Falls, 8 EST). The Panthers lead the Redbirds (and Bradley) by two games in the Valley. These two will meet again in Bloomington on February 24.