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College Hoops Viewing Guide For Saturday, December 17, 2016

With the holidays right around the corner, this is the last big weekend of non-conference play. Today’s slate, which will be competing against the first football bowl games of the season, is heavy on neutral-site showcases.

NCAA Basketball: UC Santa Barbara at UCLA Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

This list of games is not exhaustive by design. For a full schedule and more specific information about coverage—particularly for ACC RSN, ASN, CSN, and FSN games—visit Matt’s College Sports on TV Website.

If you’re only able to listen today, check out TuneIn’s college basketball lineup.

All times are Eastern, adjust accordingly.

Logos from SportsLogos.net.

Georgetown Hoyas (6-4) at Syracuse Orange (6-3), 12 p.m. (ESPN)

Last season, the two renewed their old Big East rivalry after a two-season break, with the Hoyas’ 79-72 win serving as a bright spot in a disappointing season (and the loss, the first game of Jim Boeheim’s nine-game suspension, didn’t really hurt the Orange’s tourney chances in the end). With both teams struggling a bit here in mid-December, a win would be vital for each.

Lone Star Shootout

Arizona

No. 19 Arizona Wildcats (9-2)
vs.
Texas A&M Aggies (7-2)
12 p.m. (ESPN2)

Texas A&M

Arkansas

Arkansas Razorbacks (8-1)
vs.
Texas Longhorns (5-4)
approx. 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

Texas

With Allonzo Trier still out and the Wildcats shorthanded anyway, the 11 a.m. Central tip in Houston is a golden opportunity for an Aggie squad that’s already dropped both of its previous games against Pac-12 opposition this season. In the day’s second tip, the Longhorns will look to win two in a row for the first time in a month, though the Razorbacks, who haven’t lost in nearly that span, won’t make it easy on a Texas squad that’s been struggling, particularly from the perimeter.

Memphis Tigers (7-3) at Oklahoma Sooners (6-3), 12:30 p.m. (CBS)

Last season, the Sooners took down the Tigers by six in a Tip-Off Marathon game. Memphis was stunned by Monmouth in an entertaining affair on Tuesday night, while Oklahoma last played a week ago, when Wichita State topped them in Oklahoma City.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (9-1) at Richmond Spiders (5-4), 12:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

Did you know the Red Raiders are currently 27th in KenPom? This will be their first true road game of the year, an odd trip for a power conference school. Tech won last year’s meeting in Lubbock by an 85-70 score.

No. 16 South Carolina Gamecocks (8-1) at South Florida Bulls (5-3), 1 p.m. (CBSSN)

On Monday, the Gamecocks tasted defeat for the first time this season, falling to Seton Hall at MSG. Even if Sindarious Thornwell hasn’t returned from suspension, South Carolina should be able to defeat the Bulls without him.

Orange Bowl Classic

FS2 and FS Sun will air both games.

Manhattan

Manhattan Jaspers (3-7)
vs.
No. 23 Florida State Seminoles (10-1)
1:30 p.m.

FSU

Charlotte

Charlotte 49ers (6-3)
vs.
Florida Gators (7-3)
approx. 4 p.m.

Florida

This is where I’ll be spending my Saturday afternoon. It’s not the most attractive lineup of games, as both UF and FSU have struggled to line up marquee opponents for this event over the past few seasons, but both will have to be careful, as Manhattan will want to put on a good show before jumping back into MAAC play and Charlotte looks improved in Mark Price’s second season.

Crossroads Classic

Purdue

No. 15 Purdue Boilermakers (8-2)
vs.
No. 21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-1)
2 p.m. (ESPN2)

Notre Dame

Butler

No. 18 Butler Bulldogs (9-1)
vs.
No. 9 Indiana Hoosiers (8-1)
5 p.m. (BTN)

Indiana

Two games. Four Top 25 teams. In-state rivals. It honestly doesn’t get much better. In game one in Indianapolis, Purdue should give Notre Dame fits inside, while in the second, Indiana will look to grab a third win over a likely NCAA squad—a Butler squad that handled Cincinnati by 10 a week ago.

CBS Sports Classic

CBS will air both games.

UCLA

No. 2 UCLA Bruins (11-0)
vs.
Ohio State Buckeyes (8-2)
3 p.m.

Ohio St

Kentucky

No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats (9-1)
vs.
No. 7 North Carolina Tar Heels (10-1)
approx. 5:30 p.m.

UNC

With a Top 10 showdown between Kentucky and North Carolina and the presence of second-ranked UCLA, Las Vegas will be the center of the basketball world this afternoon and evening. An 8-2 Ohio State squad is no slouch either, even with a loss to FAU on its profile.

Kentucky last met UNC in December 2014, when their series went on hiatus, partially because of this event. The Wildcats won that one by 14.

Kansas State Wildcats (9-1) vs. Colorado State Rams (8-2) at Denver, 3 p.m. (CBSSN)

Last December, the Wildcats topped the Rams 61-56 in Wichita. Colorado State, ranked 126th in KenPom, would be K-State’s best non-conference win to this point of the season.

Big Four Classic

UNI

UNI Panthers (5-4)
vs.
Iowa Hawkeyes (5-5)
4:30 p.m. (ESPN3)

Iowa

Iowa St

Iowa State Cyclones (6-3)
vs.
Drake Bulldogs (1-8)
approx. 7 p.m. (MC-22)

Drake

This doubleheader has lost some of its luster for the year with Iowa and UNI struggling a bit and Iowa State paired against a bad Drake squad (that’s already seen its head coach resign). At least that last game is going to have its telecast limited to the Hawkeye State.

Texas Southern Tigers (4-6) at LSU Tigers (6-2), 6 p.m. (SEC Network)

Texas Southern has already played 10 road games this season. They’ll play another five in a row after their trip to Baton Rouge. Last time out, the Bayou Bengals struggled to get past a North Carolina Central team that might now be the MEAC favorite. We’ll see today how they do against the SWAC frontrunner.

Jackson State Tigers (3-7) vs. No. 4 Baylor Bears (9-0) at Fort Hood, 6 p.m. (FSN)

For the second season in a row, the Bears will play at nearby Fort Hood. They should get a bit more of a challenge out of the Tigers than they Hardin Simmons offered up last December. However, JSU lost to NAIA Blue Mountain on Thursday night.

Davidson Wildcats (5-3) vs. No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks (9-1) at Kansas City, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

The Wildcats have dropped consecutive road games to College of Charleston and UNC, while Kansas can run its record at the Sprint Center to 3-0 on the season.

State Farm Chicago Legends

BTN will air both games.

Dayton

Dayton Flyers (7-2)
vs.
Northwestern Wildcats (8-2)
7 p.m.

Northwestern

BYU

BYU Cougars (7-3)
vs.
Illinois Fighting Illini (8-3)
approx. 9:30 p.m.

Illinois

At this point, all four of these teams look like they’ll be on the bubble come March, so this doubleheader in Chicago will be worth some time. Northwestern should have a better chance at defeating Dayton than normally expected, thanks to the Flyers’ injury issues. Meanwhile, both BYU and Illinois could use a name win for their respective profiles after slightly disappointing non-conference showings.

Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-2) vs. Wichita State Shockers (9-2) at Intrust Bank Arena, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

The Shockers will attempt to complete a Sooner State sweep, though the surprising Cowboys could use a quality win of their own.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-2) at No. 17 Xavier Musketeers (8-2) (Skip Prosser Classic), 8 p.m. (FS1)

The Deacs gave the Musketeers a scare in Cincinnati last year, as Xavier only won by a 78-70 score. Look for an improved Wake squad to keep it interesting again.

Indiana State Sycamores (5-5) at Valparaiso Crusaders (8-2), 8 p.m. (ESPN3)

It’s a pity this one isn’t included in the Crossroads Classic, but at least that means this matchup remains on campus. Valpo won by six in Terre Haute last season and only defeated the Sycamores’ Valley rivals from Missouri State by three a week ago. As for the Trees, they followed up a big home win over Butler with a bad home loss to WKU on Sunday.

Chattanooga Mocs (8-2) at Vanderbilt Commodores (5-5), 8:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

The Commodores have played three in-state opponents so far, going 2-1 (with both wins coming at Memorial Gym). The Mocs, ranked four spots higher in KenPom at the time of writing) have only played Tennessee from the in-state Division I ranks—they won that game in Knoxville by 13.

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (6-4) vs. No. 22 Oregon Ducks (9-2) at Portland, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)

Don’t expect a repeat of the Rebels’ 80-69 home win from last season. UNLV has not yet won a game over a team ranked better than 200th in KenPom.

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