Football season is officially over, which means two things: 1) you can now completely focus on college basketball and 2) games won't stop in the late afternoon on this particular Sunday, or any others between now and the end of the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
Just think, if the NFL goes to an 18-game season that starts the weekend after Labor Day, the Super Bowl will feed right into conference tournaments!
Hopefully, football season will stay its current length and college basketball will continue to have at least a month and a half to itself. In the meantime, my viewing picks for today, the day that's just four short weeks from Selection Sunday.
St. John's Red Storm at Cincinnati Bearcats, Big Ten Network/FS Ohio/MSG/ESPN3/Full Court (12 p.m. ET)
The Red Storm look to follow Thursday's impressive win over Connecticut with their first road win since December 29th (over West Virginia). On the other hand, the Bearcats, who topped the Johnnies in Queens, are looking for a significant sweep.
KenPom.com projection: Bearcats 66-61, 65 poss.
Purdue Boilermakers at Illinois Fighting Illini, CBS (1 p.m. ET)
The Boilermakers and Fighting Illini will meet twice in the next two and a half weeks, with the rematch taking place in West Lafayette on Tuesday, March 1st. The Illini will look to be dominant at home, particularly as they need to follow up on Thursday's win at Minnesota.
KenPom.com projection: Illini 68-66, 67 poss.
Marquette Golden Eagles at Georgetown Hoyas, ESPN/ESPN3 (1 p.m. ET)
This is the third road game in a row for the Golden Eagles, who predictably fell at Villanova, but only by five, then won at USF, but only by a point. Don't expect the trip to end well, as the Hoyas are one of the hottest teams in the country, winners of seven straight.
KenPom.com projection: Golden Eagles 77-70, 67 poss.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Virginia Tech Hokies, ACC Network/TheACC.com (ACC territory) or ESPN3/Full Court (elsewhere) (1 p.m. ET)
The Hokies will look to avenge an embarrassing 15-point loss in Atlanta on January 25th, the only time the Yellow Jackets have won in their last six outings.
KenPom.com projection: Hokies 70-59, 67 poss.
Northwestern Wildcats at Penn St. Nittany Lions, Big Ten Network (3:30 p.m. ET)
With the Nittany Lions sitting at 12-11, a loss to the Wildcats would be yet another blow to their fading tournament hopes.
KenPom.com projection: Nittany Lions 69-67, 60 poss.
Minnesota Golden Gophers at Iowa Hawkeyes, Big Ten Network (6 p.m. ET)
The Gophers have dropped four straight and really need to stop the bleeding now. However, a win in Iowa City is not guaranteed, just ask Wisconsin, who needed OT to pick up a victory there on Wednesday.
KenPom.com projection: Hawkeyes 69-68, 68 poss.
Duke Blue Devils at Miami Hurricanes, FSN/Comcast Sports Net (6:45 p.m. ET)
The Blue Devils look to sweep the Hurricanes, who they beat by 11 in Durham in their ACC opener, and move to 10-1 in the conference. Miami, meanwhile, has won three straight, and could get back into tournament contention if they pull the upset.
KenPom.com projection: Blue Devils 80-69, 69 poss.
Providence Friars at Connecticut Huskies, Big East Network/SNY/Cox Sports/MASN/ESPN3/Full Court (7 p.m. ET)
The Huskies have lost three of four, and things could get worse down the stretch, as they face six tourney contenders between now and the end of the season. That piece of info means this game against the Friars is their last real breather, and that's even arguable given how much better Providence has been playing of late.
KenPom.com projection: Huskies 82-71, 73 poss.
Arizona Wildcats at Arizona St. Sun Devils, FSN/Comcast Sports Net (9 p.m. ET)
The Wildcats are looking for their sixth straight win and a sweep of the woeful Sun Devils, who have dropped seven in a row. Arizona cannot get caught looking ahead to next week's homestand against the Washington schools, which will be key in determining the Pac-10 regular season crown.
KenPom.com projection: Wildcats 72-64, 64 poss.
Bonus Pick: Xavier Musketeers at Duquesne Dukes, FS Ohio (2 p.m. ET)
The first-place tie at the top of the Atlantic 10 will be broken this afternoon in Pittsburgh, though not many people will be able to check it out. Thanks to a lack of success out of the conference, the Dukes need this one more than the Musketeers to make it as an at-large.
KenPom.com projection: Dukes 77-70, 71 poss.
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