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Tournament Week Viewing Guide: November 29, 2013

Forget about shopping today. There are so many interesting matchups on tap, highlighted by a huge NIT Season Tip-Off final, that you'll just want to sit in your favorite chair to enjoy them.

Al Bello

All TV info is courtesy Matt's College Sports on TV site. He has many more games listed, and you'll also want to check out his listings for information on which ACC and SEC regional contests and CSN and FSN games (all games listed here marked with an * are available on which affiliates.

All times are Eastern.

NIT Season Tip-Off Finals

Championship: Arizona Wildcats (6-0) vs. Duke Blue Devils (6-1), approx. 6 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Consolation: Drexel Dragons vs. Alabama Crimson Tide, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN/ESPN2)
It's the fourth and sixth ranked teams in the country playing for a trophy. You really don't need another reason to watch, but it will be fun to see Aaron Gordon and Jabari Parker on the same court. As for the undercard, Drexel will attempt to become the second CAA team to claim third place in this event in the last four seasons. VCU defeated UCLA to finish with a win in 2010.

Old Spice Classic Semifinals

Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-0) vs. Butler Bulldogs (5-0), approx. 1:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Memphis Tigers (3-1) vs. LSU Tigers (4-1), 5:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
I'll be taking in all four games in Lake Buena Vista, one more than on the holiday.

The odds are fairly good that Oklahoma State and Memphis will play again, following the Cowboys' emphatic 21-point win in Stillwater back on November 19th. However, Butler might be able to stun Oklahoma State if they can get production from players other than Khyle Marshall and Kellen Dunham, who scored 62 of the Bulldogs' 76 points against Washington State. Memphis, on the other hand, will need to rebound far better against LSU than it did against Siena. The Bayou Bengals have some serious firepower, so Memphis will need every chance with the ball it gets.


Purdue Boilermakers (5-1) vs. Washington State Cougars (2-3), 11 a.m. ET (ESPNU)
St. Joseph's Hawks (2-2) vs. Siena Saints (2-5), approx. 8 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Might Purdue-Washington State be a game that has an impact on the bubble come March? In the nightcap, St. Joe's really can't afford a loss to a Siena squad that looks to be destined to go 0 and 3 here.

Battle 4 Atlantis Semifinals

Iowa Hawkeyes (6-0) vs. UTEP Miners (4-2), 7 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Villanova Wildcats (5-0) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (5-0), approx. 9:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Of the quartet, Villanova and UTEP had the easiest games on Thursday, somewhat surprisingly. The Jayhawks were pushed hard by Wake Forest, while Iowa needed overtime to dispose of Xavier. The Wildcats and Miners may be able to make a statement today based on their relative freshness.


Xavier Musketeers (5-1) vs. Tennessee Volunteers (3-2), 1 p.m. ET (
USC Trojans (4-2) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-1), approx. 3:30 p.m. ET (
Well, thanks to UTEP's win over the Volunteers, we won't see Andy Enfield and Tim Floyd attempt to settle their differences on the court. However, we will see one rematch (the Musketeers defeated Tennessee by four back on November 12th) and there's the possibility Xavier will meet Wake Forest a month before their scheduled meeting in Cincinnati.

Wooden Legacy Semifinals

George Washington Colonials (5-0) vs. Marquette Golden Eagles (4-2), 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN/ESPN2)
San Diego State Aztecs vs. Creighton Bluejays (5-0), 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
The Golden Eagles should have little trouble with a Colonial team that needed overtime to eliminate Miami. Meanwhile, the Aztecs and Bluejays both impressed in easy quarterfinal wins on Thanksgiving night.


Miami Hurricanes (3-3) at Cal State Fullerton Titans (2-4), approx. 6 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Charleston Cougars (2-4) vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (6-1), approx. 12 a.m. ET (ESPNU)
Of this group, the team with the most to lose is Arizona State, whose week started promisingly with a big home win over Marquette. Last night's blowout loss to Creighton certainly doesn't doom the Sun Devils' season, especially given the improvement in this season's Pac-12, but a pair of games against teams unlikely to be in the bid picture stings.

Barclays Center Classic Semifinals

Mississippi Rebels (4-0) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-1), 4:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1) vs. St. John's Red Storm (4-1), approx. 7 p.m. ET (no TV)
Speaking of the bubble, there's a good chance all four of these teams could find themselves on it in about three months' time. Marshall Henderson will be in uniform for the Rebels against Georgia Tech, while Rysheed Jordan returned for St. John's against Longwood after sitting out the Monmouth game due to a rules violation.

Las Vegas Invitational Day Two

Missouri Tigers (5-0) vs. Nevada Wolf Pack (3-4), 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
UCLA Bruins (6-0) vs. Northwestern Wildcats (4-2), 11:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
The Tigers and Bruins both had no trouble on Thanksgiving night. UCLA opened the night session at Orleans Arena with a 105-84 win over Nevada, while Missouri followed with a 78-67 victory over Northwestern.

Visitors' Finals

Championship: Morehead State Eagles (6-2) vs. Gardner-Webb Bulldogs (3-4), approx. 6 p.m. ET
Consolation: Chattanooga Mocs (2-5) vs. IUPUI Jaguars (1-6), 3:30 p.m. ET
Both of Thursday's winners notched 13-point wins, but Morehead State still looks like the best bet to claim the title in the visitors' bracket.

Corpus Christi Challenge Semifinals

Virginia Cavaliers (5-1) vs. SMU Mustangs (5-1), 7:30 p.m. ET (CBS SN)
Missouri State Bears (5-0) vs. Texas A&M Aggies (6-0), approx. 10 p.m. ET (CBS SN)
This event replaces the South Padre Invitational, so the backdrop changes from the high school gym-like South Padre Convention Center to a more modern medium-sized arena in Corpus Christi. You could argue that Virginia and SMU should have probably been kept apart until the final, but the two unbeatens in this event will meet in game two. However, of those 11 Bear and Aggie wins, only A&M's over Buffalo and Missouri State's against Tulsa and Old Dominion are somewhat respectable.

Visitors' Semifinals

Hampton Pirates (2-4) vs. Liberty Flames (1-5), 2 p.m. ET
Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions (2-4) vs. Sam Houston State Bearkats (4-2), approx. 4:30 p.m. ET
This quartet managed to go 0-8 against the host schools. Hampton, who is usually decent out of the MEAC, and Sam Houston State, typically a Southland contender, are the likely winners today.

Great Alaska Shootout Semifinals

Tulsa Golden Hurricane (1-4) vs. TCU Horned Frogs (3-2), 9:30 p.m. ET (CBS SN delayed at 2 a.m. ET)
Green Bay Phoenix (3-1) vs. Harvard Crimson (5-1), approx. 12 a.m. ET (CBS SN)
Tonight's second semifinal, the game you'll actually be able to watch live, is the one to watch here as it pits two mid-major conference favorites against one another. Unfortunately for both the Phoenix and Crimson, Saturday's final matchup won't provide as much of a profile bump as tonight's contest will. That's not helpful for either side's slender at-large chances.


Indiana State Sycamores (3-2) at Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves (5-2), 4 p.m. ET
Pepperdine Waves (4-2) vs. Denver Pioneers (0-3), approx. 6:30 p.m. ET
Much like Arizona State in Southern California, Indiana State may regret dropping its exempt-event quarterfinal. Unlike the Sun Devils, however, the Sycamores probably won't be able to fall back on their conference schedule for quality win opportunities as March approaches.

Non-Tournament Games Of Note

Southern Miss. Golden Eagles (6-0) at Louisville Cardinals (5-1), 7 p.m. (WHAS/ESPN3)
The Golden Eagles finished the CBE Hall of Fame Classic with four wins, including one at DePaul. Winning in Louisville is not quite the same task as winning in Rosemont, however.

Florida State Seminoles at Florida Gators, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
The improved Seminoles would like to hand the Gators a loss hours before their football team likely sends UF to its eighth loss of the season. Florida looked significantly improved on offense after Scottie Wilbekin returned to run the point in Monday's win at Jacksonville. However, FSU is playing at a far higher level than the Dolphins currently are.

Northeastern Huskies (2-4) at VCU Rams (4-2) (Puerto Rico Tip-Off), 7 p.m. (CSN Mid-Atlantic Plus/SNY/WTVR)
These former CAA rivals renew acquaintances in a non-bracketed Puerto Rico Tip-Off game in Richmond. Both squads are looking to pick up a second win in four games in the tournament. Northeastern defeated Georgetown in the quarterfinals, while VCU only managed to defeat Long Beach State on day two, in between losses to Florida State and the Hoyas.

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