Tonight's TV schedule is another one that's rather light on the must-sees, but there are three games in particular that will be worth some time. The night starts with a clash of 8-1 teams in the CAA, continues with a battle for second in the Pac-10, and concludes with gut check time in the West Coast Conference.
After the jump, I have six games to watch, with four of those earlier in the evening.
Early Evening (ET)
HDTV: Hofstra Pride at VCU Rams, ESPNU (7 p.m. ET)
While most of the conference played three games in six days (except for Towson and George Mason, whose matchup in Fairfax was postponed to this afternoon because of snow), the Pride and Rams got an extra day for TV purposes. That's good because the co-leaders needed a little time to recover from tough wins on Monday--the Rams escaped last-place Towson with a four point win and Hofstra needed OT, and a furious comeback, to beat James Madison at home. This is the only meeting between the two scheduled for the regular season, and knowing how crazy the CAA can be, don't bet on them meeting in Richmond in March.
With the rest of the early evening schedule being a bit underwhelming, I suggest you check this one out, if only to see two of the best guards in the country in action, Hofstra's amazing Charles Jenkins and VCU's heart and soul, Joey Rodriguez.
KenPom.com prediction: Rams 75-66, 66 poss.
SDTV: Boston College Eagles at Duke Blue Devils, ACC Network/ESPN3/Full Court (8 p.m. ET)
The Eagles have been stumbling on the road, losing at Florida State and Miami on their last two trips away from Chestnut Hill. Don't expect their luck and results to improve at Cameron Indoor Stadium, particularly with their defensive issues.
KenPom.com prediction: Blue Devils 88-69, 69 poss.
Laptop: Michigan Wolverines at Michigan St. Spartans, ESPN/ESPN3 (7 p.m. ET)
For Michigan State, this is the first of three games against the Big Ten's bottom three, a good chance to get on track after dropping two straight on the road.
KenPom.com prediction: Spartans 67-58, 62 poss.
Alt. Ch.: Vanderbilt Commodores at Mississippi St. Bulldogs, ESPN2/ESPN3 (7 p.m. ET)
The Commodores visit the Humphrey Coliseum looking to avenge last season's SEC Tournament quarterfinal loss to the Bulldogs. Vandy will face a highly inconsistent Miss. State team, who are 2-2 in the conference, and await a visit from Florida on Saturday afternoon.
KenPom.com prediction: Commodores 79-65, 70 poss.
Late Evening (ET)
HDTV: UCLA Bruins at Arizona Wildcats, ESPN2/ESPN3 (9 p.m. ET)
The Bruins jumped into my Tuesday projection, but could really use a quality road win (like one in Tucson) to stay there--even though their win over BYU is quite an item for their resume. For the Wildcats, this game serves as an opportunity to solidify their place in second in the Pac-10 after last week's split in Washington.
KenPom.com prediction: Wildcats 76-65, 67 poss.
DVR: St. Mary's Gaels at Gonzaga Bulldogs, ESPN2/ESPN3 (9 p.m. ET)
Unfortunately, with this 11 p.m. start, I'm going to have to put this one on the DVR to watch on a quiet Friday. Up until last weekend, I was fairly certain that if these two split their regular season meetings, they'd both move on to March. Then the Gaels got blown out by Vandy and the Bulldogs lost consecutive WCC games for the first time in 11 years. Obviously, the winner tonight is in the driver's seat in the league race, and with the second game in Moraga, a win tonight would put the Gaels in great position. And if the Bulldogs prevail, the race is definitely on.
KenPom.com prediction: Gaels 76-73, 69 poss.
I won't be posting a preview for Friday night's games, as ESPNU has a doubleheader featuring mid-to-lower-table Horizon League and MAAC teams and Florida Gulf Coast's visit to a sure to be angry Belmont (CSS/CST/ESPN3/Full Court, 7 p.m. ET) are the only national games on the TV slate. However, expect to see a Saturday TV preview at some point on Friday evening and a Bracket Math/Bubble Watch post over at SB Nation earlier in the day.
Please share your thoughts about today and tonight's action in the comments, after you sign up for a free SB Nation account, of course.