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NET Viewing Guide For Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Tonight’s schedule features just two all-Group 1 matchups, though six top 50 teams will hit the road.

NCAA Basketball: Alabama at Tennessee
Tennessee is one of the six NET top 50 squads that will encounter a road test on this particular January Wednesday.
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Reminders of the different groupings:

  • Group 1 (home games): Visitor is ranked 1-30
  • Group 1 (away games): Host is ranked 1-75
  • Group 2 (home games): Visitor is ranked 31-75
  • Group 2 (away games): Host is ranked 76-135
  • Group 3 (home games): Visitor is ranked 76-160
  • Group 3 (away games): Host is ranked 136-240
  • Group 4 (home games): Visitor is ranked 161-353
  • Group 4 (away games): Host is ranked 241-353

All NET numbers are from the NCAA’s website and reflect games played through Tuesday, January 22nd. Records reflect games played through the same date. All times are Eastern.

Top 30 at Top 75

Group 1 for both the host and visitor

No. 14 Purdue Boilermakers (12-6, 5-2) at No. 39 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-5, 2-4), 7 p.m. (BTN)
No. 28 Oklahoma Sooners (13-5, 2-4) at No. 72 Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-10, 2-4), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

The Boilermakers are one of the Big Ten’s hottest teams, having won sixth of their last seven and four of five in the second act of conference play. On the other hand, the Buckeyes are decidedly frigid, having lost four straight, with three of those by double digits. Note that the two will meet again at Mackey on March 2nd. In the Big 12, the Sooners head to Stillwater aiming to complete a season sweep of their Bedlam rivals, having won 74-64 in Norman back on January 5th.

31-75 at Top 75

Group 1 for the visitor only; Group 2 for the host

No. 44 Texas Longhorns (11-7, 3-3) at No. 29 TCU Horned Frogs (13-4, 2-3), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

The Horned Frogs are drifting toward the bubble thanks to their recent 1-3 run. Oddly enough, that’s the same record the Longhorns, who have a few more quality non-conference wins than TCU, have managed in their last four.

Top 30 at 76-135

Group 1 for the host only; Group 2 for the visitor

No. 4 Tennessee Volunteers (16-1, 5-0) at No. 87 Vanderbilt Commodores (9-8, 0-5), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
No. 16 Wisconsin Badgers (12-6, 4-3) at No. 112 Illinois Fighting Illini (5-13, 1-6), 9 p.m. (BTN)

It’s a first-versus-last battle in Nashville, while the Badgers will need to be wary of an Illini team that’s shown plenty of fight at home.

31-75 at 76-135

Group 2 for both the host and the visitor

No. 54 VCU Rams (13-5, 4-1) at No. 128 Rhode Island Rams (10-7, 3-2), 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
No. 75 Missouri Tigers (10-6, 1-3) at No. 82 Arkansas Razorbacks (10-7, 1-4), 9 p.m. (SECN)

Starting tonight in Kingston, VCU plays five of its next seven away from home. In other words, not only is this matchup key in the crowded Atlantic 10 race, but it’s going to be vital for Mike Rhoades’ club’s at-large hopes. Down in the Ozarks, Missouri and Arkansas really need to start distinguishing themselves in the SEC and national races. The Hogs have dropped four straight, while the Tigers just snapped a three-game skid on Saturday at Texas A&M.

31-75 at 136-240

Group 2 for the host only; Group 3 for the visitor

No. 66 Saint Louis Billikens (14-4, 5-0) at No. 152 Duquesne Dukes (13-5, 4-1), 8 p.m. (AT&T SN Pittsburgh/ESPN+)

Might the Billikens pick up their first conference defeat tonight? While the Dukes have won four straight, their next four matchups will be a significant step up in competition.

76-160 at Top 75

Group 1 for the visitor only; Group 3 for the host

No. 102 Georgia Bulldogs (9-8, 1-4) at No. 12 LSU Tigers (14-3, 4-0), 7 p.m. (SECN)
No. 95 DePaul Blue Demons (11-6, 3-3) at No. 21 Marquette Golden Eagles (16-3, 5-1), 8:30 p.m. (FS1)

Rebuilding Georgia shouldn’t pose much of a threat to a strong LSU squad in Baton Rouge, but DePaul has won its last two Big East road games (St. John’s and Seton Hall).

76-160 at 76-135

Group 2 for the visitor only; Group 3 for the host

No. 80 Providence Friars (11-7, 1-4) at No. 78 Xavier Musketeers (11-8, 3-3), 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
No. 139 George Mason Patriots (11-8, 5-1) at No. 83 Dayton Flyers (12-6, 4-1), 7 p.m. (ESPN+)

These aren’t quite bubble elimination games, but they’re pretty close, particularly for Providence.

161-353 at Top 75

Group 1 for the visitor only; Group 4 for the host

No. 261 George Washington Colonials (6-12, 2-3) at No. 71 Davidson Wildcats (13-5, 4-1), 7 p.m. (ESPN+)
No. 226 East Carolina Pirates (8-9, 1-4) at No. 7 Houston Cougars (18-1, 5-1), 8 p.m. (ESPN3)
No. 224 Colorado State Rams (7-11, 2-3) at No. 19 Nevada Wolf Pack (18-1, 5-1), 11 p.m. (CBSSN)

A trio of winnable games for conference title contenders. I’m particularly curious to see what Nevada does against Colorado State, given their continued early struggles, last encountered on Saturday against Air Force in Reno.

31-75 at 241-353

Group 2 for the host only; Group 4 for the visitor

No. 35 UCF Knights (14-3, 4-1) at No. 307 Tulane Green Wave (4-13, 0-5), 8 p.m. (ESPN3)

A loss to a terrible Tulane squad might torpedo UCF’s at-large hopes.

76-160 at 136-240

Group 3 for both the host and the visitor

No. 101 Loyola Chicago Ramblers (12-7, 5-1) at No. 194 Missouri State Bears (8-11, 2-4), 9 p.m. (CBSSN)

While the Ramblers won’t earn an at-large this season, they’re playing for a double Missouri Valley crown which would help their seeding should they earn it.

Chronological Schedule

In tip time order, then by quality.

Early Window

2/3 No. 80 Providence Friars (11-7, 1-4) at No. 78 Xavier Musketeers (11-8, 3-3), 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
1/1 No. 14 Purdue Boilermakers (12-6, 5-2) at No. 39 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-5, 2-4), 7 p.m. (BTN)
1/2 No. 44 Texas Longhorns (11-7, 3-3) at No. 29 TCU Horned Frogs (13-4, 2-3), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
2/1 No. 4 Tennessee Volunteers (16-1, 5-0) at No. 87 Vanderbilt Commodores (9-8, 0-5), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
2/2 No. 54 VCU Rams (13-5, 4-1) at No. 128 Rhode Island Rams (10-7, 3-2), 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
1/3 No. 102 Georgia Bulldogs (9-8, 1-4) at No. 12 LSU Tigers (14-3, 4-0), 7 p.m. (SECN)
2/3 No. 139 George Mason Patriots (11-8, 5-1) at No. 83 Dayton Flyers (12-6, 4-1), 7 p.m. (ESPN+)
1/4 No. 261 George Washington Colonials (6-12, 2-3) at No. 71 Davidson Wildcats (13-5, 4-1), 7 p.m. (ESPN+)

Later Windows

3/2 No. 66 Saint Louis Billikens (14-4, 5-0) at No. 152 Duquesne Dukes (13-5, 4-1), 8 p.m. (AT&T SN Pittsburgh/ESPN+)
1/4 No. 226 East Carolina Pirates (8-9, 1-4) at No. 7 Houston Cougars (18-1, 5-1), 8 p.m. (ESPN3)
4/2 No. 35 UCF Knights (14-3, 4-1) at No. 307 Tulane Green Wave (4-13, 0-5), 8 p.m. (ESPN3)
1/3 No. 95 DePaul Blue Demons (11-6, 3-3) at No. 21 Marquette Golden Eagles (16-3, 5-1), 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
1/1 No. 28 Oklahoma Sooners (13-5, 2-4) at No. 72 Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-10, 2-4), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
2/2 No. 75 Missouri Tigers (10-6, 1-3) at No. 82 Arkansas Razorbacks (10-7, 1-4), 9 p.m. (SECN)
2/1 No. 16 Wisconsin Badgers (12-6, 4-3) at No. 112 Illinois Fighting Illini (5-13, 1-6), 9 p.m. (BTN)
3/3 No. 101 Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (12-7, 5-1) at No. 194 Missouri State Bears (8-11, 2-4), 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
1/4 No. 224 Colorado State Rams (7-11, 2-3) at No. 19 Nevada Wolf Pack (18-1, 5-1), 11 p.m. (CBSSN)

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