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On The Menu: Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A pair of Big 12 Top 25 showdowns and several crucial games for SEC bid hopefuls highlight Tuesday night's schedule.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Game information courtesy Matt College Sports on TV Website, which has even more games listed and more specific info on coverage for regional sports networks and American Sports Network telecasts.

All times listed are Eastern, adjust accordingly.


Wake Forest Demon Deacons (10-15, 1-12) at Pittsburgh Panthers (17-7, 6-6), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

After getting blown out in Chapel Hill on Sunday, a visit from the struggling Deacons might just be what the doctor ordered for the Panthers, who have dropped three in a row and face three difficult opponents in an eight-day stretch that starts on Saturday.

Big 12

No. 10 West Virginia Mountaineers (20-5, 9-3) at No. 24 Texas Longhorns (16-9, 7-5), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Kansas State Wildcats (14-11, 3-9) at TCU Horned Frogs (11-14, 2-10), 8 p.m. (ESPNEWS)
No. 13 Iowa State Cyclones (18-7, 7-5) at No. 25 Baylor Bears (18-7, 7-5), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

While the Mountaineers can tie Kansas for the Big 12 lead with a victory in Austin, the Longhorns are aiming for a sweep, having won a hard-fought 56-49 decision in Morgantown back on January 20th. Hopefully tonight's meeting will have a little more flow.

The Wildcats have dropped two in a row since their win over Oklahoma, and their NCAA hopes have faded with those losses. They'll be all but finished with a loss in Fort Worth.

The conference's second Top 25 matchup of the night takes place in Waco, where the Cyclones will look to avenge a rare home loss. The Bears were immune to Hilton Magic back on January 9th, when they got 27 from Jonathan Motley in a 94-89 win.

Big East

Creighton Bluejays (17-9, 8-5) at Butler Bulldogs (17-8, 6-7), 7 p.m. (FS1)

The Bluejays are currently below the Bulldogs in the bid pecking order, despite being two losses up in the conference standings, due to their non-conference results. However, Creighton already defeated Butler in Omaha by eight on January 23rd. The Jays have won three in a row, while the Bulldogs' own streak of that length ended at the hands of Xavier on Saturday.

Big Ten

Michigan Wolverines (19-7, 9-4) at Ohio State Buckeyes (16-10, 8-5), 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Northwestern Wildcats (17-9, 5-8) at No. 17 Purdue Boilermakers (20-6, 8-5), 7 p.m. (BTN)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-19, 0-12) at Illinois Fighting Illini (11-14, 3-9), 9 p.m. (BTN)

The Wolverines' got their campaign back on track by narrowly defeating Purdue on Saturday, but they'll face a challenge tonight in Columbus as they face a Buckeye squad that basically needs to run the table to earn a bid. As for the Boilermakers, they'll look to rebound by taking down a Wildcat team that's won two of three, though those wins came over Minnesota and Illinois. The Illini, meanwhile, welcome the Scarlet Knights to Champaign with the hope that they won't need three overtimes to send Rutgers back East with a loss.


South Carolina Gamecocks (21-4, 8-4) at Missouri Tigers (9-16, 2-10), 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Florida Gators (16-9, 7-5) at Georgia Bulldogs (14-9, 7-5), 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Ole Miss Rebels (16-9, 6-6) at Texas A&M Aggies (18-7, 7-5), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Vanderbilt Commodores (15-10, 7-5) at Mississippi State Bulldogs (10-14, 3-9), 9 p.m. (SEC Network)

It's a pretty big night for SEC bid hopefuls. Yes, the Gamecocks should complete a season sweep of Mizzou in Columbia, Mo., but Carolina only defeated the Tigers by nine in Columbia, S.C. one month ago. Likewise, the Commodores should win in Starkville, but they'll be tested by Ben Howland's Bulldogs.

But the other two 9 p.m. Eastern tips could have serious repercussions. Back on January 2nd, the Gators had a relatively easy time in taking down Georgia in Gainesville to open SEC play. But Florida has struggled on offense of late and hasn't won on the road since topping Ole Miss exactly a month ago. So trends point toward a Georgia win tonight, which would send Mike White's team closer to the bubble, with another road trip—to South Carolina—lurking for the weekend.

If Texas A&M doesn't stop its losing streak at four tonight by defeating Ole Miss in College Station, it could run to six before the Aggies close out this three-game homestand with a visit from Mississippi State next Wednesday. That's because resurgent Kentucky, who looks to be the clear SEC favorite again, visits Saturday night.

Atlantic 10

Rhode Island Rams (14-11, 6-6) at VCU Rams (18-7, 10-2), 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)

VCU dropped out of my Tuesday projection simply because they were passed by Wisconsin Badgers and Alabama Crimson Tide. Losing to URI at home would definitely not increase their prospects of a return.


Valparaiso Crusaders (21-5, 11-2) at Cleveland State Vikings (8-18, 3-10), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

The Crusaders' RPI and at-large hopes both took a hit with Saturday's home loss to Wright State Raiders, so the Horizon leaders must rebound by repeating their January 28th 25-point home win over the Vikings to stay in the picture.

Buffalo Bulls (14-11, 7-5) at Akron Zips (20-5, 9-3), 7 p.m. (Akron webcast)

The Zips host one of the five teams that's in the five-loss pack chasing them for the MAC crown. Akron took down the Bulls by a 75-71 score to open conference play back on January 5th.

Viewing Picks

Early Evening Tips

West Virginia at Texas, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Creighton at Butler, 7 p.m. (FS1)
Michigan at Ohio State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Rhode Island at VCU, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
Northwestern at Purdue, 7 p.m. (BTN)
Wake Forest at Pitt, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Buffalo at Akron, 7 p.m. (Akron webcast)
South Carolina at Missouri, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Valparaiso at Cleveland State, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

Late Evening Tips

Iowa State at Baylor, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Florida at Georgia, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Ole Miss at Texas A&M, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Vanderbilt at Mississippi State, 9 p.m. (SEC Network)
Kansas State at TCU, 8 p.m. (ESPNEWS)
Rutgers at Illinois, 9 p.m. (BTN)

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