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On The Menu: Wednesday, February 16, 2016

The first Duke-North Carolina game of the season is the biggest of the night, but there's also a crucial Big 5 matchup in Philadelphia, a tough road test for Syracuse, and important opportunities for bubble teams in the Big East, Big 12, and SEC.

Bob Donnan-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.

ACC

Syracuse Orange (18-8, 8-5) at No. 18 Louisville Cardinals (19-6, 8-4), 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Boston College Eagles (7-18, 0-12) at Clemson Tigers (15-10, 8-5), 7 p.m. (ACC RSNs/ESPN3)
No. 20 Duke Blue Devils (19-6, 8-4) at No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels (21-4, 10-2), 9 p.m. (ESPN/ACC Network Regional)
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (13-12, 3-9) at Florida State Seminoles (16-9, 6-7), 9 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)
Virginia Tech Hokies (13-12, 5-7) at Miami Hurricanes (20-4, 9-3), 9 p.m. (ACC RSNs/ESPN3)

The main attraction here is naturally the first Duke-UNC meeting of the season, with the Blue Devils winning the last three in the series. Of course, their last loss came on February 20, 2014 in Chapel Hill, and since it's an even year, that's where this year's pair of games begins. Tonight's game matches two of KenPom's top five squads in adjusted offensive efficiency (Duke is second, UNC fifth), but the Tar Heels have a significant advantage on the defensive side, which should only be magnified at home.

The undercard, Syracuse's visit to Louisville matches a team that's rising up the ACC standings with five straight wins (the Orange) with one that's scuffling a bit (the Cardinals, losers of two in a row). I'm curious to see how Syracuse copes with Louisville's defense tonight, since they'll provide more of a test than any of the outfits Jim Boeheim's team has defeated recently.

In the night's other games, Clemson will look to add yet another win over one of the conference's worst to its profile, as will Florida State. Miami also needs to hold serve at home against an average-at-best Virginia Tech squad.

Non-Conference

No. 1 Villanova Wildcats (22-3, 12-1 Big East) at Temple Owls (16-8, 10-3 American), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Win or lose tonight, the Owls will still lead the American Athletic Conference, but defeating the Wildcats for the first time since 2013, coincidentally the last time Temple made the NCAA Tournament, would do wonders for their at-large hopes, which could use a quality non-conference win

Big 12

No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners (20-4, 8-4) at Texas Tech Red Raiders (15-9, 5-7), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

The Red Raiders have gotten back into the at-large picture by topping two ranked foes in a row. They'll be front and center if they can add a third tonight. Of course, the Sooners defeated Tech by a 91-67 count in Norman on January 26th and Tubby Smith's squad last defeated OU on February 12, 2014. Six straight losses followed that upset, which knocked a 13-11 Texas Tech squad out of the postseason picture.

Big East

No. 23 Providence Friars (19-7, 7-6) at No. 8 Xavier Musketeers (22-3, 10-3), 7 p.m. (FS1)
DePaul Blue Demons (8-16, 2-10) at St. John's Red Storm (7-19, 0-13), 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
Seton Hall Pirates (17-7, 7-5) at Georgetown Hoyas (14-12, 7-6), 9 p.m. (FS1)

The Friars head to Cincinnati looking to avoid a sweep that would knock them back down to .500 in the Big East and send them tumbling out of the rankings and further down the seed list. In the second game of the FS1 doubleheader, the Pirates can pick up their second win over the Hoyas in an 11-day span, which wouldn't do much for the Hall's profile, but would all but eliminate Georgetown from the bid picture.

In the middle tip of the night, it's the first of two meetings between the Blue Demons and Red Storm in the span of eight days. Playing at Carnesecca Arena, it might be St. John's best chance to finally win a conference game.

Big Ten

No. 4 Iowa Hawkeyes (20-5, 11-2) at Penn State Nittany Lions (12-13, 3-9), 6:30 p.m. (BTN)
Nebraska Cornhuskers (14-12, 6-7) at No. 22 Indiana Hoosiers (20-6, 10-3), 8:30 p.m. (BTN)

It's possible that there will be a tie for the Big Ten lead at the end of the night. If the Hawkeyes play like they did against Minnesota on Sunday, they might struggle in State College, where the Nittany Lions have already upset Indiana. Speaking of the Hoosiers, they'll look to knock of the Cornhuskers for the second time this season. Indiana moved to 2-0 in Big Ten play with a 79-69 win in Lincoln back on January 2nd.

Pac-12

Arizona State Sun Devils (14-12, 4-9) at No. 12 Arizona Wildcats (21-5, 9-4), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Colorado Buffaloes (19-7, 8-5) at USC Trojans (18-7, 7-5), 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

Both Pac-12 co-leaders, Arizona and Oregon, play just once this week, so the Wildcats can keep themselves in at least a tie for first by repeating their January 3rd win over their archrivals from Tempe. Next week, Sean Miller's team travels to the Rocky Mountain schools, who are in Los Angeles this weekend. Colorado starts their week by visiting a USC squad that's reeling a bit after being swept out of ... Arizona last week. One season ago, the Buffaloes won on their visit to the Galen Center, after three overtimes. And both squads are better than they were back in 2014.

SEC

Auburn Tigers (9-15, 3-9) at Arkansas Razorbacks (12-13, 5-7), 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Alabama Crimson Tide (15-9, 6-6) at LSU Tigers (16-9, 9-3), 9 p.m. (SEC Network)

There's little reason to watch the first SEC Network game tonight, but the second has major bid implications. The Tigers must keep winning SEC games since their non-conference results are still deflating their computer numbers, but the Crimson Tide will be a difficult test, as they've won four in a row. The pair already played an entertaining game back on January 23rd in Tuscaloosa, a 72-70 Bayou Bengal win.

Atlantic 10

No. 15 Dayton Flyers (21-3, 11-1) at Saint Joseph's Hawks (21-4, 10-2), 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
George Washington Colonials (18-7, 7-5) at Duquesne Dukes (15-10, 5-7), 7 p.m. (Atlantic 10 webcast)

With VCU already at 11-2, we could have a three-way tie at the top of the Atlantic 10 if the Hawks knock off the Flyers at Hagan tonight. That's a definite possibility, considering how Dayton has struggled in its last two (a pair of wins, but by four total points) and how the Hawks have been flying (three wins in a row, all by double-digit margins).

As for GW, the Colonials, currently looking like they're on the outside looking in, a win in Pittsburgh is vital.

Elsewhere

Stony Brook Seawolves (22-4, 13-0) at Albany Great Danes (21-7, 10-3), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

In each of the last three seasons (the last two in the America East final), the Great Danes ended the Seawolves' NCAA hopes. Tonight, they can end Stony Brook's perfect America East season.

Boise State Broncos (17-9, 8-5) at New Mexico Lobos (15-10, 8-4), 10 p.m. (CBSSN)

The Lobos can move one step closer to claiming the two seed in the Mountain West Tournament by knocking off the Broncos for the second time this season.

Lehigh Mountain Hawks (11-14, 9-5) at Navy Midshipmen (18-9, 9-5), 7 p.m. (Campus Insiders)

Two of the three squads a game behind Bucknell in the Patriot League meet in Annapolis. The Middies are going for a season sweep.

Viewing Picks

Early Evening Tips

Villanova at Temple, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Syracuse at Louisville, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Dayton at Saint Joseph's, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
Providence at Xavier, 7 p.m. (FS1)
Stony Brook at Albany, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Lehigh at Navy, 7 p.m. (Campus Insiders)
Iowa at Penn State, 6:30 p.m. (BTN)
George Washington at Duquesne, 7 p.m. (Atlantic 10)
Boston College at Clemson, 7 p.m. (ACC RSNs/ESPN3)
Auburn at Arkansas, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
DePaul at St. John's, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)

Late Evening Tips

Duke at North Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN/ACC Network Regional)
Alabama at LSU, 9 p.m. (SEC Network)
Colorado at USC, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Oklahoma at Texas Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Seton Hall at Georgetown, 9 p.m. (FS1)
Arizona State at Arizona, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Nebraska at Indiana, 8:30 p.m. (BTN)
Boise State at New Mexico, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)
Georgia Tech at Florida State, 9 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)
Virginia Tech at Miami, 9 p.m. (ACC RSNs/ESPN3)

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