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On The Menu: Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tonight's highlights include crucial showdowns in the Big 12 title race; the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, and SEC bid hunts; and a strange late non-conference game for Maryland.

Ben Queen-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

Pittsburgh Panthers (17-5, 6-4) at No. 12 Miami Hurricanes (18-4, 7-3), 7 p.m (ESPNU)
Virginia Tech Hokies (13-11, 5-6) at No. 7 Virginia Cavaliers (19-4, 8-3), 8 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)
No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels (19-4, 8-2) at Boston College Eagles (7-16, 0-10), 8 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)

Tonight's three ACC games offer a little bit of everything. You have a likely blowout in Chestnut Hill, a game the very average Panthers need to win in Coral Gables (Pitt hasn't won two in a row since January 9th), and the Cavaliers' attempt at avenging the Hokies' January 4th win in Blacksburg. With the way Virginia has been rolling of late, don't expect Tech to sweep the season series.

Big 12

No. 10 West Virginia Mountaineers (19-4, 8-2) at No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks (19-4, 7-3), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

If the Mountaineers can complete an unexpected season sweep of the Jayhawks by winning at Phog Allen, they will take a big step toward claiming the Big 12 regular season title.

Big East

No. 5 Xavier Musketeers (21-2, 9-2) at Creighton Bluejays (15-9, 6-5), 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
No. 1 Villanova Wildcats (20-3, 10-1) at DePaul Blue Demons (8-15, 2-9), 8:30 p.m. (FS1)

The Bluejays and Musketeers meet for the first time this season, which is good news for Creighton, which needs the quality wins to stay in the bid picture and potentially bad for Xavier, who only clings to the last top seed in my Tuesday projection. Thanks to the weirdness of the Big East's schedule, this will also be the first meeting of the season between the nation's new No. 1 team and DePaul, who happened to beat Providence in their last home game exactly a week ago. Might they be able to pull off an even bigger shock tonight?

Big Ten

No. 8 Michigan State Spartans (20-4, 7-4) at No. 18 Purdue Boilermakers (19-5, 7-4), 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Northwestern Wildcats (16-8, 4-7) at Ohio State Buckeyes (14-10, 6-5), 8 p.m. (BTN)

With both the Spartans and Boilermakers three games behind Iowa Hawkeyes for the Big Ten lead, their lone meeting of the regular season will go further toward determining positioning for the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA seeding than the conference title. Michigan State has now won four in a row after dropping three, while Purdue is coming off a loss at Maryland.

The Buckeyes are still hanging around the bid picture, though a home loss to the Wildcats would further diminish their hopes.

Non-Conference

Bowie State Bulldogs (13-9, 6-5 CIAA) at No. 2 Maryland Terrapins (21-3, 10-2), 6 p.m. (BTN)

The Terps step out of conference to take on a middling Division II squad that happens to be full of players who will relish the opportunity to play on the biggest stage in their home state.

SEC

Auburn Tigers (9-13, 3-7) at Tennessee Volunteers (11-12, 4-6), 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Georgia Bulldogs (13-8, 6-4) at No. 22 Kentucky Wildcats (17-6, 7-3), 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Ole Miss Rebels (15-8, 5-5) at Florida Gators (15-8, 6-4), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Arkansas Razorbacks (12-11, 5-5) at Mississippi State Bulldogs (9-13, 2-8), 9 p.m. (SEC Network)

Just two of the four SEC games will impact the bid picture, with both the Bulldogs and Rebels looking for significant road wins to get their campaigns back on track. While Georgia and Kentucky have not yet met, Florida handed Ole Miss its first loss at its new Pavilion back on January 16th.

American Athletic

Cincinnati Bearcats (17-7, 7-4) at UCF Knights (11-10, 5-5), 7 p.m. (ESPNEWS)

The Bearcats are barely hanging on after Saturday's loss at Memphis and falling in Orlando would leave them with even more work to do the rest of the way.

Atlantic 10

Duquesne Dukes (15-8, 5-5) at No. 19 Dayton Flyers (19-3, 9-1), 7 p.m. (ASN)

The Flyers, back in the rankings and a four seed in Tuesday's projection, defeated the Dukes in Pittsburgh to open Atlantic 10 play on January 2nd.

Elsewhere

No. 25 Wichita State Shockers (17-6, 11-1) at Drake Bulldogs (6-18, 1-11), 8 p.m. (Cox Kansas/MC-22/ESPN3)

The Shockers dropped their first Missouri Valley game on Saturday night at Illinois State, so it could be a long night for the woeful Bulldogs.

New Mexico Lobos (14-9, 7-3) at Utah State Aggies (11-11, 3-8), 10 p.m. (CBSSN)

The Lobos are now three losses behind San Diego State Aztecs in the Mountain West race after Saturday's overtime loss at Viejas. They'll look to hold on to second by completing a sweep of the Aggies.

UT Arlington Mavericks (15-7, 6-5) at Texas State Bobcats (9-11, 3-8), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

This game would have meant more to the Sun Belt race had the Mavericks' Kevin Hervey torn his ACL. UTA is just 2-5 since he was lost for the year.

Viewing Picks

Early Evening Tips

West Virginia at Kansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Michigan State at Purdue, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Pitt at Miami, 7 p.m (ESPNU)
Cincinnati at UCF, 7 p.m. (ESPNEWS)
Duquesne at Dayton, 7 p.m. (ASN)
Auburn at Tennessee, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Bowie State at Maryland, 6 p.m. (BTN)

Late Evening Tips

Xavier at Creighton, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
Ole Miss at Florida, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Northwestern at Ohio State, 8 p.m. (BTN)
Georgia at Kentucky, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Virginia Tech at Virginia, 8 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)
Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
UT Arlington at Texas State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Wichita State at Drake, 8 p.m. (Cox Kansas/MC-22/ESPN3)
New Mexico at Utah State, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 9 p.m. (SEC Network)
North Carolina at Boston College, 8 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)

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