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On The Menu: Saturday, February 20, 2016

Five Top 25 matchups are scattered throughout a very busy Saturday schedule. Just three more Saturdays remain before Selection Sunday.

Mark Dolejs-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

No. 20 Duke Blue Devils (20-6, 9-4) at No. 18 Louisville Cardinals (20-6, 9-4), 12 p.m. (ESPN)
No. 11 Miami Hurricanes (21-4, 10-3) at No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels (21-5, 10-3), 1 p.m. (CBS)
Pittsburgh Panthers (18-7, 7-6) at Syracuse Orange (18-9, 8-6), 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Florida State Seminoles (16-10, 6-8) at Virginia Tech Hokies (13-13, 5-8), 3 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)
Clemson Tigers (16-10, 9-5) at North Carolina State Wolfpack (13-13, 3-10), 3 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)
No. 19 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (18-7, 9-4) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (14-12, 4-9), 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

Today's ACC slate has a little something for everyone. There's not one but two all-Top 25 showdowns, with the Blue Devils looking to sweep the Cardinals, though that task will become that much more difficult if Matt Jones is missing for Duke, and the Hurricanes and Tar Heels battling for first place in Chapel Hill. (Note that Miami hosts Virginia on Big Monday, so the race won't be settled even with a Canes win today). Elsewhere, the Panthers and Orange meet with bubble positioning on the line, and Cuse aiming for revenge for a 72-61 loss at the Pete back on January 2nd. The Seminoles and Tigers, both on the outside looking in of my Friday projection, can't afford road losses to teams out of the picture, while the Fighting Irish will aim to defend their homecourt against the Yellow Jackets.

Big 12

No. 25 Baylor Bears (19-7, 8-5) at No. 24 Texas Longhorns (17-9, 8-5), 2 p.m. (ESPN)
No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners (20-5, 8-5) at No. 10 West Virginia Mountaineers (20-6, 9-4), 4 p.m. (ESPN)
No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks (22-4, 10-3) at Kansas State Wildcats (15-11, 4-9), 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
TCU Horned Frogs (11-15, 2-11) at No. 13 Iowa State Cyclones (18-8, 7-6), 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Texas Tech Red Raiders (16-9, 6-7) at Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-14, 3-10), 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

The Big 12 matches the ACC with a pair of Top 25 matchups, neatly placed in the middle to latter stages of the afternoon on the East Coast. The Longhorns can sweep the Bears with a home win, a result that might help push Texas closer to the four line, while the Sooners might find it difficult to replicate their 70-68 home win from January 18th in Morgantown, where the Mountaineers have lost just once this season (to Texas).

If you thought K-State's hopes were done, well, they can resuscitate them by knocking off the Jayhawks. Later in the evening, don't expect the Horned Frogs to catch the Cyclones by surprise in Ames, while the Red Raiders might undo all of the good work they've done of late if they mess around in Stillwater. Tech needed OT to beat the Cowboys in Lubbock on February 3rd.

Big East

No. 8 Xavier Musketeers (23-3, 11-3) at Georgetown Hoyas (14-13, 7-7), 12 p.m. (FOX)
Butler Bulldogs (18-8, 7-7) at No. 1 Villanova Wildcats (23-3, 12-1), 2:30 p.m. (FOX)
Marquette Golden Eagles (16-10, 5-8) at DePaul Blue Demons (8-17, 2-11), 2 p.m. (select FSN outlets)

With the Hoyas all but out of the picture and a win in Rosemont not likely to boost the Golden Eagles' chances all that much, the center of the Big East on Saturday will be the Pavilion in Villanova, Pa. There, the Bulldogs, the very last team in my Friday bracket, could improve their chances dramatically by shocking the Wildcats. However, Villanova already won the first meeting at Hinkle by a 60-55 score on January 10th, and the Cats haven't lost on campus all season.

Big Ten

Penn State Nittany Lions (13-13, 4-9) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-20, 0-13), 1 p.m. (ESPNU)
Ohio State Buckeyes (17-10, 9-5) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (14-13, 6-8), 7 p.m. (BTN)
No. 17 Purdue Boilermakers (21-6, 9-5) at No. 22 Indiana Hoosiers (21-6, 11-3), 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

With Minnesota's stunning win over Maryland on Thursday, much of the drama has been removed from the first game of the day, as we can no longer have an 0-14 vs. 0-14 battle for last on Tuesday night. Oh well.

As for the other two, more tourney-pertinent matchups, the Buckeyes can't afford a slip up in Lincoln, not with three games that could potentially get them back in the bubble picture coming up. Later, the lone meeting of the season between the Hoosiers and Boilermakers (and seriously, how is that allowed to happen?) will have a significant impact on the conference title chase, and you can bet Purdue would love to knock Indiana out of a tie for first. Matt Painter's team swept both games last season and has won three in a row in the series.

Pac-12

Stanford Cardinal (13-11, 6-7) at Washington State Cougars (9-17, 1-13), 8 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks National, Bay Area, Washington)
Oregon State Beavers (15-9, 6-7) at No. 16 Oregon Ducks (20-6, 9-4), 10 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks National and Oregon)
Colorado Buffaloes (19-8, 8-6) at UCLA Bruins (14-12, 5-8), 11 p.m. (FS1)

Again, you can safely ignore the first game of the night, as the Cougars are out of things and the Cardinal are fading. The second game of the Pac-12 Networks doubleheader is crucial for both squads, as the Ducks can tie Arizona for first if they can earn a split of the season series with the Beavers, who would love to complete a season sweep, given their precarious position. Oregon State last won in Eugene back in 2012.

At Pauley, the Bruins, all but eliminated from at-large contention with their Thursday night loss to Utah, will look to remain perfect against the Buffaloes in Pac-12 home games. Of course, Thursday night's Ute win was their first ever at Pauley.

SEC

Florida Gators (17-9, 8-5) at South Carolina Gamecocks (21-5, 8-5), 12 p.m. (SEC Network)
Georgia Bulldogs (14-10, 7-6) at Vanderbilt Commodores (15-11, 7-6), 12 p.m. (ESPN2)
Mississippi State Bulldogs (11-14, 4-9) at Alabama Crimson Tide (16-9, 7-6), 2:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
Ole Miss Rebels (16-10, 6-7) at Auburn Tigers (10-15, 4-9), 5 p.m. (SEC Network)
No. 14 Kentucky Wildcats (20-6, 10-3) at Texas A&M Aggies (19-7, 8-5), 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)
LSU Tigers (16-10, 9-4) at Tennessee Volunteers (12-14, 5-8), 5:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Missouri Tigers (10-16, 3-10) at Arkansas Razorbacks (12-14, 5-8), 7:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

All but the last game on this list has an impact on the at-large race, though the Rebels are rather far from the cut line. In the noon ET tips, the Gators will look to pick up their second big road win in a row over a Gamecock team that's reeling a bit following two straight losses, while the loser of the Bulldogs-Commodores game in Nashville is probably out of the NCAA hunt. The same goes for Ole Miss if it falls in Auburn.

Like Texas Tech in the Big 12, the Crimson Tide must be wary of their opponent for the day, a Miss. State squad that just handed Vandy a costly loss Tuesday. Good thing Bama gets the Bulldogs at Coleman Coliseum.

The game of the day will be in College Station, where the Aggies can get their season back on track by knocking off the Wildcats for the first time since January 12, 2013 (though A&M took UK to double OT at Reed Arena last season).

Later, the Bayou Bengals cannot follow up their home loss to Alabama with a loss in Knoxville, even if Kentucky, Florida, and South Carolina have all lost their previously. Those three teams are playing with a lot more rope than LSU is.

American Athletic

Connecticut Huskies (19-7, 9-4) at Cincinnati Bearcats (19-8, 9-5), 4 p.m. (ESPN2)

After losing at Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Thursday, the Bearcats really need to pick up a second win over the Huskies, who are a bit safer in terms of at-large positioning. Cincy topped UConn by a 58-57 score in Hartford back on January 28th. As for Kevin Ollie's team, a win would keep them a loss back of both SMU and Temple in the race for the conference title.

Atlantic 10

St. Bonaventure Bonnies (17-7, 9-4) at No. 15 Dayton Flyers (21-4, 11-2), 12 p.m. (NBCSN)
Saint Joseph's Hawks (22-4, 11-2) at Davidson Wildcats (15-9, 7-6), 2 p.m. (NBCSN)

On Wednesday night, the Bonnies picked up the dreaded bad loss, falling at La Salle Explorers by seven. But the Atlantic 10 schedule provides Bona with an opportunity, as they must visit UD Arena today, where the Flyers will look to avoid a second consecutive loss (after playing with fire for a couple of games before falling at Saint Joe's). Speaking of the Hawks, while their win over Dayton boosted their case a loss at Davidson or UMass on Wednesday might send them tumbling back toward the cut line.

Elsewhere

NJIT Highlanders (16-12, 7-5) at Jacksonville Dolphins (16-13, 8-4), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Kennesaw State Fighting Owls (10-18, 6-6) at Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (16-12, 7-5), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
USC Upstate Spartans (9-20, 3-9) at North Florida Ospreys (19-10, 8-4), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

With a pair of wins, the Jacksonville schools can move one step closer to locking up the top two seeds in the A-Sun tournament.

UNC Asheville Bulldogs (18-9, 11-4) at Winthrop Eagles (19-7, 11-4), 12 p.m. (ASN/MASN/NESNplus)
High Point Panthers (17-9, 10-5) at Radford Highlanders (15-12, 8-7), 4:30 p.m. (BigSouthSports.com)

First place in the Big South is on the line in Rock Hill. The Bulldogs won a January 6th meeting at home by just one. With a win over the Highlanders, the Panthers would be in position to tie the UNCA-Winthrop loser for second.

Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors (21-3, 10-1) at UC Irvine Anteaters (20-7, 9-2), 11:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

Just nine days ago, the Rainbow Warriors dropped the Anteaters by 18 in Honolulu. The Big West leaders might find it tough to repeat that performance on the mainland.

Elon Phoenix (15-13, 6-9) at Towson Tigers (18-10, 9-6), 12 p.m. (select CSN outlets)
Drexel Dragons (3-23, 1-14) at William & Mary Tribe (18-8, 10-5), 2 p.m. (select CSN outlets)
Delaware Blue Hens (7-19, 2-13) at James Madison Dukes (19-9, 9-6), 4 p.m. (select CSN outlets)
UNC Wilmington Seahawks (20-6, 12-3) at College of Charleston Cougars (16-10, 8-7), 6 p.m. (ASN)

Eight of the 10 CAA teams are in action today, with leaders UNCW facing the most difficult game out of all of the contenders.

Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (18-8, 10-3) at Belmont Bruins (19-9, 11-3), 6 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)

First place in the OVC is on the line in Nashville, where the Bruins will look to repeat their 89-79 road win over the Golden Eagles from back on January 30th.

Army Black Knights (16-11, 7-8) at Navy Midshipmen (18-10, 9-6), 1:30 p.m. (CBSSN)

The old rivals meet with a potential home game in the Patriot League Tournament on the line. The Middies won the first meeting on February 1st at West Point, a game originally scheduled to take place at Madison Square Garden. A snowstorm disrupted those plans.

ETSU Buccaneers (18-10, 11-4) at Mercer Bears (18-10, 8-7), 4:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
UNC Greensboro Spartans (11-17, 7-8) at Chattanooga Mocs (24-4, 13-2), 5 p.m. (SoCon Digital Network)
Furman Paladins (17-11, 11-4) at Wofford Terriers (14-14, 10-5), 7 p.m. (SoCon Digital Network)

With just three games left in the SoCon season, seeding is on the line for the conference tournament. The Mocs can clinch at least a tie for the regular season conference title with a home win over UNCG today.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits (20-7, 9-4) at Western Illinois Leathernecks (9-15, 2-11), 3 p.m. (ESPN3)
IUPUI Jaguars (12-16, 8-5) at North Dakota State Bison (17-10, 7-6), 5 p.m. (NBC North Dakota/ESPN3)

New Summit leader IPFW hosts third-place Omaha in a non-televised game during a Saturday when seeding for Sioux Falls (and qualification for the conference tournament, in WIU's case) is on the line.

San Diego Toreros (8-18, 3-12) at BYU Cougars (20-8, 11-4), 9 p.m. (BYU TV)
Saint Mary's Gaels (21-4, 12-3) at Gonzaga Bulldogs (21-6, 13-2), 10 p.m. (ESPN2)

If the Bulldogs sweep the Gaels, they'll all but sew up the WCC regular season crown, but this game is vital for both squads' at-large hopes. The Cougars are still alive, barely, as they only defeated the Toreros by two on Thursday night. They should be able to record a bigger win in Provo, however.

Seattle Redhawks (12-13, 6-5) at New Mexico State Aggies (19-9, 10-1), 9 p.m. (AggieVision/ESPN3)

With a win over the Redhawks, the Aggies, who've swept third place (and likely second seed, since Grand Canyon is ineligible) Cal State Bakersfield already, will lock up the top seed in the WAC Tournament and the bye to the semifinals that goes with it.

Viewing Picks

Early Afternoon Tips

Miami at North Carolina, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Duke at Louisville, 12 p.m. (ESPN)
Florida at South Carolina, 12 p.m. (SEC Network)
St. Bonaventure at Dayton, 12 p.m. (NBCSN)
Xavier at Georgetown, 12 p.m. (FOX)
Georgia at Vanderbilt, 12 p.m. (ESPN2)
UNC Asheville at Winthrop, 12 p.m. (ASN/MASN/NESNplus)
Elon at Towson, 12 p.m. (select CSN outlets)
Penn State at Rutgers, 1 p.m. (ESPNU)

Mid-Afternoon Tips

Baylor at Texas, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
Pittsburgh at Syracuse, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Butler at Villanova, 2:30 p.m. (FOX)
Army at Navy, 1:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
Saint Joseph's at Davidson, 2 p.m. (NBCSN)
Florida State at Virginia Tech, 3 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)
Clemson at North Carolina State, 3 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)
Mississippi State at Alabama, 2:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
Marquette at DePaul, 2 p.m. (select FSN outlets)
South Dakota State at Western Illinois, 3 p.m. (ESPN3)
Drexel at William & Mary, 2 p.m. (select CSN outlets)

Late Afternoon Tips

Oklahoma at West Virginia, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
UConn at Cincinnati, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
ETSU at Mercer, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
Ole Miss at Auburn, 5 p.m. (SEC Network)
High Point at Radford, 4:30 p.m. (BigSouthSports.com)
IUPUI at North Dakota State, 5 p.m. (NBC North Dakota/ESPN3)
Delaware at James Madison, 4 p.m. (select CSN outlets)
UNC Greensboro at Chattanooga, 5 p.m. (SoCon Digital Network)

Early Evening Tips

Kentucky at Texas A&M, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Kansas at Kansas State, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
Tennessee Tech at Belmont, 6 p.m. (OVC Digital Network)
LSU at Tennessee, 5:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Ohio State at Nebraska, 7 p.m. (BTN)
Yale at Penn, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
NJIT at Jacksonville, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Kennesaw State at Florida Gulf Coast, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
UNC Upstate at North Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Furman at Wofford, 7 p.m. (SoCon Digital Network)
UNC Wilmington at College of Charleston, 6 p.m. (ASN)

Mid-Evening Tips

Purdue at Indiana, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Notre Dame at Georgia Tech, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
TCU at Iowa State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
San Diego at BYU, 9 p.m. (BYU TV)
Stanford at Washington State, 8 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks National, Bay Area, Washington)
Seattle at New Mexico State, 9 p.m. (AggieVision/ESPN3)
Missouri at Arkansas, 7:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

Late Evening Tips

Oregon State at Oregon, 10 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks National and Oregon)
Saint Mary's at Gonzaga, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
Hawai'i at UC Irvine, 11:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Colorado at UCLA, 11 p.m. (FS1)
Texas Tech at Oklahoma State, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

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