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NET Viewing Guide For Thursday, February 7, 2019

Surprise! There are actually five all-Group 1 games on a Thursday slate that looks unimpressive at first glance. For a more traditional look at the schedule, visit MattSarzSports.com.

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Michigan State
Romeo Langford and the Hoosiers will look to build upon their Saturday win at Michigan State as they host Iowa.
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

At the bottom of the page, you’ll find a lineup broken down by telecast window with the group designations in bold to the left of the game. Instead of ordering these by tip time, however, I’ve grouped them by importance.

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 Wednesday, February 6. 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 (1/1)

No. 7 Houston Cougars (21-1, 8-1) at No. 42 UCF Knights (16-4, 6-2), 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
No. 25 Cincinnati Bearcats (19-3, 8-1) at No. 68 Memphis Tigers (13-9, 5-4), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
No. 29 Wofford Terriers (19-4, 11-0) at No. 65 ETSU Buccaneers (19-5, 9-2), 7 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))
No. 24 Iowa Hawkeyes (17-5, 6-5) at No. 44 Indiana Hoosiers (13-9, 4-7), 9 p.m. (ESPN)
No. 26 Washington Huskies (18-4, 9-0) at No. 64 Arizona Wildcats (14-8, 5-4), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

I bet you weren’t counting on this grouping including two games from the American and one out of the SoCon ... even the Pac-12 one feels like a bit of a surprise considering how that conference’s 2018-19 season has unfolded.

UCF is looking to pick up its first Group 1 win of the season, while Houston can boost its mark against that quadrant to 3-1. In the other American Athletic game of the night, Cincinnati will have to win in Memphis to keep pace with UH in the league title race.

Both Wofford and Washington face their biggest tests so far in their quests to keep their perfect conference records. The Huskies’ task is a bit more complex though, as this week’s road swing through the Grand Canyon State is vital not only for their Pac-12 title hopes but their at-large/seeding prospects as well. The combination of the conference’s lack of quality this year and its unbalanced schedule means Mike Hopkins’ squad won’t face another set of at-large contenders again until the season’s final homestand, which features the Oregon schools.

Indiana gets its first shot at Iowa in Bloomington, but not their last. This contest begins a five-games-in-15-days stretch for the Hoosiers, one that ends in Iowa City on February 22nd. The Hawkeyes also begin a similar stretch this evening, but theirs should be easier, as the middle three games only feature one at-large threat. All three of IU’s sandwich opponents are bubble threats at worst.

31-75 at Top 75

Group 1 for the visitor only; Group 2 for the host (1/2)

No. 50 San Francisco Dons (17-5, 5-3) at No. 2 Gonzaga Bulldogs (21-2, 8-0), 9 p.m. (KHQ/NBCS Bay Area/AT&T SN Rocky Mtn./Root Sports/TheW.tv)

The Dons wrap up a three-game road swing that hasn’t been a success by any stretch. They’ll need to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Zags to keep their fading at-large hopes alive.

31-75 at 76-135

Group 2 for both the host and the visitor (2/2)

No. 69 South Florida Bulls (15-6, 5-4) at No. 114 SMU Mustangs (12-9, 4-5), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

A victory for the Bulls, who’ve are riding a three-game win streak, would help in their push for respectability and (maybe) an NIT bid.

76-160 at Top 75

Group 1 for the visitor only; Group 3 for the host (1/3)

No. 77 Penn State Nittany Lions (8-14, 1-10) at No. 35 Ohio State Buckeyes (14-7, 4-6), 7 p.m. (ESPN)
No. 122 Stanford Cardinal (11-10, 4-5) at No. 72 Oregon State Beavers (14-7, 6-3), 10 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)

The Buckeyes and Beavers both face opponents they should be able to handle at home.

76-160 at 76-135

Group 2 for the visitor only; Group 3 for the host (2/3)

No. 151 Marshall Thundering Herd (13-10, 6-4) at No. 112 North Texas Mean Green (19-4, 7-3), 8 p.m. (BeIN Sports)

With Conference USA heading into “Bonus Play” in a couple of weeks, the teams crowded at the top of the standings really need to start separating themselves to get themselves into the best pod possible for the final three weeks of the season. The Mean Green are currently a half-game behind ODU for first, while the Thundering Herd sit one loss out. And neither team is alone in their respective predicaments.

31-75 at 136-240

Group 3 for the visitor; Group 2 for the host only (3/2)

No. 62 New Mexico State Aggies (18-4, 7-1) at No. 179 Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners (15-7, 6-2), 10 p.m. (ESPN3)

The Aggies begin their most difficult stretch of the conference season, back-to-back road games at second-place Bakersfield and co-leader Grand Canyon. NMSU won the first meeting by 11 in Las Cruces.

76-160 at 136-240

Group 3 for both the host and the visitor (3/3)

No. 88 Old Dominion Monarchs (18-6, 8-3) at No. 147 UAB Blazers (14-9, 6-4), 8 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))
No. 127 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (13-10, 6-4) at No. 193 Rice Owls (9-14, 4-6), 8 p.m. (CBSSN)

ODU leads both North Texas and UTSA by a half-game, while UAB is one of three teams one loss back, along with WKU and Marshall. On paper, the Hilltoppers have one of the easier tests the lead pack will encounter tonight.

31-75 at 241-353

Group 4 for the visitor; Group 2 for the host only (4/2)

No. 63 Belmont Bruins (17-4, 8-2) at No. 252 Eastern Kentucky Colonels (10-13, 3-7), 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))

The Bruins, an at-large candidate thanks in no small part to a season-sweep of Lipscomb, currently find themselves in a four-way tie at the top of the OVC.

76-160 at 241-353

Group 4 for the visitor; Group 3 for the host only (4/3)

No. 100 BYU Cougars (14-10, 6-3) at No. 314 Portland Pilots (7-17, 0-9), 11 p.m. (ESPN2)

The Cougars are playing for the two seed in the WCC Tournament, which earns a bye to the semifinals. They’ve already blown out the awful Pilots in Provo.

161-353 at 136-240

Group 3 for the visitor only; Group 4 for the host (3/4)

No. 201 FIU Golden Panthers (14-9, 5-5) at No. 144 UTSA Roadrunners (13-10, 7-3), 8 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))

The Roadrunners get a winnable home game in their quest to keep pace in the C-USA race.

161-353 at Top 75

Group 1 for the visitor only; Group 4 for the host (1/4)

No. 230 Washington State Cougars (8-14, 1-8) at No. 61 Arizona State Sun Devils (15-6, 6-3), 8 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)
No. 186 Pacific Tigers (13-11, 3-6) at No. 47 Saint Mary’s Gaels (14-9, 5-3), 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

The Sun Devils and Gaels can’t get caught looking ahead to their Saturday opponents—Washington and Gonzaga, respectively.

161-353 at 76-135

Group 2 for the visitor only; Group 4 for the host (2/4)

No. 192 UTRGV Vaqueros (12-12, 4-4) at No. 76 Grand Canyon Antelopes (14-7, 7-1), 9 p.m. (Yur AZ/CST/ESPN3)

It’s a similar story for Grand Canyon, who welcome NMSU to Phoenix on Saturday.

Chronological Schedule

Grouped by quality in each tip window.

Early Evening Tips

1/1 No. 7 Houston Cougars (21-1, 8-1) at No. 42 UCF Knights (16-4, 6-2), 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
1/1 No. 25 Cincinnati Bearcats (19-3, 8-1) at No. 68 Memphis Tigers (13-9, 5-4), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
1/1 No. 29 Wofford Terriers (19-4, 11-0) at No. 65 East Tennessee State Buccaneers (19-5, 9-2), 7 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))
1/3 No. 77 Penn State Nittany Lions (8-14, 1-10) at No. 35 Ohio State Buckeyes (14-7, 4-6), 7 p.m. (ESPN)
4/2 No. 63 Belmont Bruins (17-4, 8-2) at No. 252 Eastern Kentucky Colonels (10-13, 3-7), 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))

Mid-Evening Tips

2/3 No. 151 Marshall Thundering Herd (13-10, 6-4) at No. 112 North Texas Mean Green (19-4, 7-3), 8 p.m. (BeIN Sports)
3/3 No. 88 Old Dominion Monarchs (18-6, 8-3) at No. 147 UAB Blazers (14-9, 6-4), 8 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))
3/3 No. 127 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (13-10, 6-4) at No. 193 Rice Owls (9-14, 4-6), 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
3/4 No. 201 FIU Golden Panthers (14-9, 5-5) at No. 144 Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners (13-10, 7-5), 8 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))
1/4 No. 230 Washington State Cougars (8-14, 1-8) at No. 61 Arizona State Sun Devils (15-6, 6-3), 8 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)

Late Evening Tips

1/1 No. 24 Iowa Hawkeyes (17-5, 6-5) at No. 44 Indiana Hoosiers (13-9, 4-7), 9 p.m. (ESPN)
1/1 No. 26 Washington Huskies (18-4, 9-0) at No. 64 Arizona Wildcats (14-8, 5-4), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
1/2 No. 50 San Francisco Dons (17-5, 5-3) at No. 2 Gonzaga Bulldogs (21-2, 8-0), 9 p.m. (KHQ/NBCS Bay Area/AT&T SN Rocky Mtn./Root Sports/TheW.tv)
2/2 No. 69 South Florida Bulls (15-6, 5-4) at No. 114 SMU Mustangs (12-9, 4-5), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
2/4 No. 192 Texas-Pan American Broncos (12-12, 4-4) at No. 76 Grand Canyon Antelopes (14-7, 7-1), 9 p.m. (Yur AZ/CST/ESPN3)

Late Night Tips

1/2 No. 122 Stanford Cardinal (11-10, 4-5) at No. 72 Oregon State Beavers (14-7, 6-3), 10 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)
3/2 No. 62 New Mexico State Aggies (18-4, 7-1) at No. 179 CS-Bakersfield Roadrunners (15-7, 6-2), 10 p.m. (ESPN3)
4/3 No. 100 BYU Cougars (14-10, 6-3) at No. 314 Portland Pilots (7-17, 0-9), 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
1/4 No. 186 Pacific Tigers (13-11, 3-6) at No. 47 St Marys-CA Gaels (14-9, 5-3), 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

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