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College Basketball On TV For January 5, 2011

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ESPN is again basketball-free tonight, not because of a bowl game, but because of a high school all-star game (Yawn).  Not that it matters, as the game of the night is, somewhat amazingly, on a non-ESPN network.

That contest is 14-1 BYU's visit to 12-2 UNLV, which airs on CBS College Sports at 10 p.m. ET. It's the Mountain West opener for both teams--the Cougars final one, as they head to the West Coast Conference next season. The Cougars are a 4 seed in my current bracket, while the Runnin' Rebels are a 6. Both teams rate in the top 40 offensive and defensively, per KenPom.com, with the Cougars holding the edge offensively and the Rebels owning the defensive advantage. However, UNLV thrives on forcing turnovers, something BYU is notoriously stingy about. If the Thomas & Mack crowd can get to Jimmer Fredette and co., the Cougars could make some uncharacteristic errors, which could be enough to hand the game to the Rebels. However, in reality, this one is too close to call.

After the jump, I'll take a look at the rest of the night's TV slate.

Big East

Louisville is the final team to open up their Big East slate. The Cardinals will do so with yet another home game, as they welcome 1-1 Seton Hall to their new building (ESPNU, 7 p.m. ET). Meanwhile, Marquette and Rutgers play just their second league contest each, with the Scarlet Knights in search of their first win (Big East Network/SNY/MASN/TWC Sports/Altitude/ESPN3/Full Court, 7 p.m. ET).

In other Big East news, we have a new blog in the SB Nation college family, Rumble In The Garden, which covers the St. John's Red Storm. Please stop on by and welcome Norman to the family.

Big Ten

Purdue will attempt to move to 3-0 in the conference, but they'll need to win at 1-1 Penn State to do so (Big Ten Network, 6:30 p.m. ET). Wisconsin hosts Michigan in a battle of 1-1 teams, with the Badgers holding the obvious home court advantage (Big Ten Network, 8:30 p.m. ET).

Mountain West

San Diego State, who already owns an impressive 8-0 road/neutral record, looks to pick up their 9th win away from the Aztec Bowl Arena, as they open their league campaign at TCU (The Mtn., 8 p.m. ET). Utah, who Whelliston pointed out has been a Red Line Upset victim even more frequently than even Auburn, looks to have better luck in the conference. The Utes open at Air Force (The Mtn., 10 p.m. ET).

Atlantic 10

Most of this league's opening night slate will air only regionally (see below), but Dayton, who is in this week's bracket only because they had the best non-league record in the conference, opens at St. Louis on CBS College Sports, which airs at 8 p.m. ET as an appetizer for BYU-UNLV.

Non-Conference

After picking up their first ACC win, Duke steps out of the league again to host UAB (ESPN2, 7 p.m. ET).

The real non-league game of the night is in Knoxville, where Memphis, who played one of the most bizarre games of the season in defeating Tennessee State Sunday, visits Tennessee, and we all know how crazy things have been around that program (ESPN2, 9 p.m. ET).

Kansas and Missouri play out of the Big 12 tonight. The Jayhawks play their penultimate warmup against UMKC (Jayhawk Sports/ESPN3.Full Court, 8 p.m. ET). (Remember, KU visits Michigan Sunday.) Meanwhile, the Tigers host Division II North Alabama (Mizzou Sports/FS Midwest/ESPN3/Full Court, 8 p.m. ET).

For broadcast information for games slated to be aired regionally, like Marshall at UCF, Drexel at VCU, Temple at Fordham, and Houston at Southern Miss, visit Matt Sarz's College Sports on TV site. Another good resource is the schedule page at BB State.

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.

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