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On The Menu: Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A rare late February Top 5 matchup highlights the Wednesday schedule, which also features games with NCAA impact in every likely multi-bid conference.

Eric Hartline-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. 11 Louisville Cardinals (21-6, 10-4) at Pittsburgh Panthers (19-7, 8-6), 8 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)
No. 7 North Carolina Tar Heels (22-5, 11-3) at North Carolina State Wolfpack (14-13, 4-10), 8 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)
No. 23 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (18-8, 9-5) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (11-16, 2-13), 9 p.m. (ACC RSNs/ESPN3)

With both the Tar Heels and Fighting Irish facing road opposition they should defeat, the game to focus on is in Pittsburgh. The host Panthers earned themselves a bit of breathing room by sweeping the season series from Syracuse Orange on Saturday, but they can further boost their seed by knocking the Cardinals two games out of the ACC lead. But Louisville has been quite motivated to claim that ACC regular season title (which technically doesn't exist) in a season where their postseason dreams were rudely shattered.

Big 12

Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-15, 3-11) at No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners (21-5, 9-5), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

The Sooners only won the Stillwater edition of Bedlam by two back on January 13th, but I don't think the Cowboys, fighting to stay out of the Big 12 cellar, will have such an easy time in Norman.

Big East

No. 1 Villanova Wildcats (24-3, 13-1) at No. 5 Xavier Musketeers (24-3, 12-3), 7 p.m. (FS1)
Marquette Golden Eagles (17-10, 6-8) at Creighton Bluejays (17-10, 8-6), 8 p.m. (CBSSN)

The game of the night is in Cincinnati, as the new Big East has its first ever Top 5 matchup. The stakes are pretty high, as the Wildcats can clinch the top seed at Madison Square Garden by sweeping the Musketeers. Meanwhile, Xavier would love to show that they're not the same team that lost to Nova by 31 on New Year's Eve. Of course, Edmond Sumner should hopefully be available for the entirety of this one.

Later, the Golden Eagles and Bluejays meet for the second time in a week and a half. Creighton can destroy Marquette's already slender hopes by completing the sweep, as they won the meeting in Milwaukee by a 65-62 score.

Big Ten

Northwestern Wildcats (17-10, 5-9) at Michigan Wolverines (19-9, 9-6), 7 p.m. (BTN)
Wisconsin Badgers (17-10, 9-5) at No. 8 Iowa Hawkeyes (20-6, 11-3), 9 p.m. (BTN)

The Wolverines will look to dispose of the Wildcats in Ann Arbor before moving on to their final two, at Wisconsin and back at Crisler against Iowa, contests that might very well determine the Wolverines' seeding.

Of course, Michigan's next two opponents meet in Iowa City in the second game of the doubleheader. I'm most interested to see if the Hawkeyes got their legs back after having a full week off. If they haven't, the Badgers might be able to pick up another win for their profile.

Pac-12

No. 9 Arizona Wildcats (22-5, 10-4) at Colorado Buffaloes (19-9, 8-7), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Washington State Cougars (9-18, 1-14) at No. 13 Oregon Ducks (21-6, 10-4), 10 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks National, Oregon, Washington)
Washington Huskies (16-11, 8-7) at Oregon State Beavers (15-10, 6-8), 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

With the Ducks overwhelming favorites to defeat the Cougars in Eugene, the onus will be on the Wildcats to keep up. Of course, Arizona faces one of the more difficult road challenges in the Pac-12 this evening, a trip to Boulder's altitude. Making things more interesting is the fact the Buffaloes were swept out of L.A. and are, therefore, in dire need of a win for their case.

In the late tip, the Beavers will look to snap a two-game skid of their own as they welcome the Huskies, who have fallen down the bid pecking order by dropping four of their last six, to Corvallis.

SEC

Mississippi State Bulldogs (12-14, 5-9) at No. 21 Texas A&M Aggies (20-7, 9-5), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Georgia Bulldogs (14-11, 7-7) at Auburn Tigers (10-16, 4-10), 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Tennessee Volunteers (13-14, 6-8) at South Carolina Gamecocks (22-5, 9-5), 9 p.m. (SEC Network)

It's "Takin' Care of Business" night in the SEC, especially for the Aggies and Gamecocks, who face beatable opponents at home (even if the Vols defeated Carolina in Knoxville). As for Georgia, their already slim hopes will be completely gone with a loss on the Plains. The Bulldogs already defeated the Tigers by 10 in Athens, however.

Atlantic 10

George Washington Colonials (20-7, 9-5) at Richmond Spiders (14-12, 6-8), 7 p.m. (ASN)
VCU Rams (20-7, 12-2) at George Mason Patriots (9-18, 3-11), 7 p.m. (MASN)
Duquesne Dukes (15-12, 5-9) at St. Bonaventure Bonnies (18-7, 10-4), 7 p.m. (TWCS New York)

Amazingly, all three A 10 games tonight are rematches, but the conference-leading Rams are the only one of the bid contenders looking to claim a sweep. VCU crushed GMU in Richmond by a 71-47 count to start conference play. Conversely, the Dukes topped the Bonnies by seven in Pittsburgh on January 16th and the Colonials dropped a double OT thriller to the Spiders at the Smith Center on January 28th.

Elsewhere

Wichita State Shockers (21-7, 14-2) at Loyola of Chicago Ramblers (14-14, 7-9), 9 p.m. (COX Kansas/CSN Chicago Plus/ESPN3)

Having already clinched the MVC regular season title, the Shockers' goal tonight is to avoid putting another bad conference loss on their profile.

San Diego State Aztecs (20-7, 13-1) at Wyoming Cowboys (13-15, 6-9), 10 p.m. (CBSSN)

The Aztecs can claim the Mountain West regular season crown with a win in Laramie tonight.

Viewing Picks

Early Evening Tips

Villanova at Xavier, 7 p.m. (FS1)
George Washington at Richmond, 7 p.m. (ASN)
VCU at George Mason, 7 p.m. (MASN)
Georgia at Auburn, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Northwestern at Michigan, 7 p.m. (BTN)
Mississippi State at Texas A&M, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Duquesne at St. Bonaventure, 7 p.m. (TWCS New York)

Mid-Evening Tips

Louisville at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)
Marquette at Creighton, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
North Carolina at North Carolina State, 8 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)

Late Evening Tips

Arizona at Colorado, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Wisconsin at Iowa, 9 p.m. (BTN)
Washington at Oregon State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Notre Dame at Wake Forest, 9 p.m. (ACC RSNs/ESPN3)
Oklahoma State at Oklahoma, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Tennessee at South Carolina, 9 p.m. (SEC Network)
San Diego State at Wyoming, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)
Wichita State at Loyola of Chicago, 9 p.m. (COX Kansas/CSN Chicago Plus/ESPN3)
Washington State at Oregon, 10 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks National, Oregon, Washington)

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