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College Basketball On TV For February 5, 2011

Once again, the Saturday slate is especially busy during the afternoon hours, but quiets considerably, at least in terms of games with serious impact, during the evening hours.

During the afternoon, there are key clashes in the A-10, Big East, Big 12, CAA (even though not many outside of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic will get to see Old Dominion's visit to George Mason), Horizon, Mountain West, and Pac-10, along with a bicoastal bubble battle.

The highlight of the evening will be Kentucky's visit to Gainesville, where the Wildcats will look to take out  inconsistent, but SEC East-leading Florida.

My viewing picks are after the jump.

Early Afternoon (ET)

HD TV: West Virginia Mountaineers at Villanova Wildcats, ESPN/ESPN3 (12 p.m. ET)
Both the Mountaineers and Wildcats boast 6-3 Big East marks, meaning they're a half-game behind second-place Notre Dame in the league race; however, the Wildcats have a double advantage in this one, as they're at home and WVU's leading scorer Casey Mitchell is still out suspended. prediction: Wildcats 69-65, 65 poss.

SD TV: St. John's Red Storm at UCLA Bruins, CBS Regional (1 p.m. ET)
Obviously, the big story here is that Steve Lavin is returning to Westwood with a decent team, one that hammered Duke just six days ago, but this is a crucial bubble game, particularly for the Bruins, who could use a second decent non-league win to go with a December triumph over BYU. Note the tip-off marathon-like 10 a.m. Pacific start time. prediction: Bruins 70-67, 67 poss.

Laptop: Oklahoma Sooners at Oklahoma St. Cowboys, Big 12 Network/YES/ESPN3/Full Court (1:30 p.m. ET)
The Sooners have done decently against Big 12 bubble teams lately, beating both Baylor and Colorado, but both of those games were in Norman. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are looking to keep their momentum going after Wednesday night's key win over Missouri. prediction: Cowboys 68-61, 64 poss.

Alt. Ch.: Butler Bulldogs at Cleveland St. Vikings, ESPN2/ESPN3 (12 p.m. ET)
The Vikings can drop the Bulldogs to .500 in the Horizon with a win, and in the process further solidify their control of the conference race. prediction: Vikings 71-65, 65 poss.

Mid-Afternoon (ET)

HD TV: Baylor Bears at Texas A&M Aggies, ESPN/ESPN3 (2 p.m. ET)
This is a meeting of two teams who are meandering a bit right now, with the difference being the Bears are wandering down the NIT bracket and the Aggies are struggling to keep a protected seed in the NCAA version. prediction: Aggies 67-61, 62 poss.

SD TV: Old Dominion Monarchs at George Mason Patriots, CSN Washington/CSN New England.CSN Philly/CSS (2 p.m. ET)
Weather permitting, I'll be heading up to Fairfax to take in this meeting of two CAA contenders, who both have at-large hopes, as I laid out in Bubble Watch this week. prediction: Patriots 66-58, 61 poss.

Laptop: Rhode Island Rams at Temple Owls, ESPN2/ESPN3 (2 p.m. ET)
The Rams sit a game behind the Owls in the A-10 race, but everyone is chasing undefeated Duquesne, who embarassed Temple in Pittsburgh back on January 15th. prediction: Owls 72-59, 67 poss.

Alt. Ch.: Syracuse Orange at South Florida Bulls, Big East Network/SNY/MASN/ESPN3/Full Court (2 p.m. ET)
Just when you think the Orange may be back on track, they visit Tampa, a place where they've struggled more than expected over the past few seasons (11-point loss in 2008, 5-point win in 2009). prediction: Orange 66-59, 62 poss.

Late Afternoon (ET)

HD TV: Memphis Tigers at Gonzaga Bulldogs, ESPN/ESPN3 (4 p.m. ET)
The Tigers will likely head into this one without Wesley Witherspoon, who's missed the last six games after being suspended by head coach Josh Pastner for violating team rules. prediction: Bulldogs 81-70, 73 poss.

SD TV: UNLV Runnin' Rebels at BYU Cougars, Versus (4 p,m. ET)
The Runnin' Rebels' profile would look much better with a win over BYU or San Diego State. However, Jimmer Fredette and the Cougars handled UNLV in Vegas back on January 5th, and the Rebels' prospects won't be much better at the Marriott Center. prediction: Cougars 77-69, 73 poss.

Laptop: Kansas Jayhawks at Nebraska Cornhuskers, Big 12 Network/YES/Altitude 2/ESPN3/Full Court (4 p.m. ET)
Since they seem to be allergic to winning away from the Devaney Center, the Cornhuskers will have to win games like this one at home. Keep in mind, Nebraska gave Kansas a scare on January 15 in Lawrence, as the Jayhawks won by just three. prediction: Jayhawks 67-61, 67 poss.

Alt. Laptop: Alabama Crimson Tide at Tennessee Volunteers, SEC on FSN/FS South/Sun Sports/FS Southwest/FS Houston/ESPN3/Full Court (5 p.m. ET)
The Crimson Tide currently own the SEC's overall lead with a 6-1 mark, but don't expect that to be the case after they visit Knoxville. prediction: Volunteers 64-61, 65 poss.

Alt. Ch.: Washington Huskies at Oregon Ducks, FSN (4 p.m. ET)
The Huskies really need to rebound after falling at Oregon State on Thursday, but they may not Matt Knight Arena an easy place to play. (Just ask Washington State who fell to the Ducks by 26 last night.) prediction: Huskies 80-70, 74 poss.

Evening (ET)

HD TV: Florida Gators at Kentucky Wildcats, ESPN/ESPN3 (9 p.m. ET)
It's time to spin the Gators and Wildcats' respective "Wheels of Destiny."  Kentucky has lost two of their last three on the road, falling at Ole Miss and Alabama, winning at South Carolina. On the other hand, the Gators seem to have accepted winning in an ugly manner as their M.O. for this season, though they haven't fared too well on Saturdays lately, dropping two of their last three on the seventh day of the week.) prediction: Kentucky 67-64, 64 poss.

SD TV: Cincinnati Bearcats at Pittsburgh Panthers, Big East Network/FS Ohio/FSN Pittsburgh/BHSN/SNY/MASN/ESPN3/Full Court (6 p.m. ET)
The Bearcats visit Pittsburgh looking to grab a second good Big East road win (their first was at St. John's two Saturdays ago), while the Panthers can't get caught looking ahead to Monday's Backyard Brawl in Morgantown. prediction: Panthers 69-60, 62 poss.

Laptop Option 1: Colorado Buffaloes at Missouri Tigers, Mizzou Sports/ESPN3/Full Court (7:30 p.m. ET)
The Tigers will look to avenge their 89-76 loss in Boulder back on January 8th, while the Buffaloes look to push themselves even further from a recent four-game slide (ended with a home win over Iowa State on Tuesday). A win in Columbia would do wonders for CU's profile. prediction: Tigers 86-76, 74 poss.

Laptop Option 2: Murray St. Racers at Austin Peay Governors, Racer Sports/ESPN3/Full Court (8:30 p.m. ET)
The Racers and Governors are tied atop the OVC with three losses apiece, and the winner will take control of a competitive OVC race, at least temporarily. Austin Peay won a 66-64 thriller on January 8th at Murray State prediction: Govs 69-64, 63 poss.

Laptop Option 3: Boise St. Broncos at Utah State Aggies, WAC Sports Network/ESPN3/Full Court (9 p.m. ET)
The Aggies look to pick up their 22nd win overall, 11th in the conference, and 17th in a row. Ste Morrill's team beat the Broncos by 9 on January 13th in Boise. prediction: Aggies, 71-59, 64 poss.

For broadcast information for the rest ofa a very busy Saturday TV schedule, 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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