clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

College Basketball Viewing Guide for Thursday, February 25, 2021

Thursday’s slate features a top-five showdown in the Big Ten, crucial Mountain West and Pac-12 matchups, another very late non-conference game, and the first four Championship Fortnight games of the season.

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at Southern California
The Pac-12’s top two teams, USC and UCLA, begin their respective Rocky Mountain road swings tonight.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Note: Before the breakdown by Quadrant, you’ll find a lineup broken down by telecast window. Within each window, I’ve listed games by tip time with the quadrants on the left.

Reminders of the different groupings are in the table below.

NET Quadrants

A game falls under this quadrant For the home team when the visiting team ranks between For the visiting team when the home team ranks between
A game falls under this quadrant For the home team when the visiting team ranks between For the visiting team when the home team ranks between
1 1–30 1–75
2 31–75 76–135
3 76–160 136–240
4 161–353 241–353

All NET rankings are from the NCAA’s website and reflect games played against D1 opposition only through Wednesday, February 24, 2021. Records reflect all games played through the same date.

Games are presented in relative order of importance. All times are Eastern. All times and broadcast information is CoVID-dependent. For a more complete schedule, including games without tournament/at-large impact, visit MattSarzSports.com’s daily schedule.

Chronological Schedule

02/25/2021 Early

Tip Time (ET) Host/ Visitor Quads Matchup Outlet
Tip Time (ET) Host/ Visitor Quads Matchup Outlet
7 p.m. 1/1 5. Iowa at 3. Michigan ESPN
8 p.m. 2/2 40. UCLA at 97. Utah Pac-12 Networks
7 p.m. 3/1 76. Western Kentucky at 6. Houston ESPN2
7 p.m. 3/1 151. Santa Clara at 1. Gonzaga CBSSN
7 p.m. 3/1 143. Nebraska at 4. Illinois B1G Network
8 p.m. 2/3 63. Belmont at 167. Eastern Kentucky ESPN+ ($)
7 p.m. No. 12. Robert Morris at No. 5. Detroit Mercy (Horizon Rd. 1) ESPN+ ($)
8 p.m. No. 11. UIC at No. 6. Youngstown State (Horizon Rd. 1) ESPN+ ($)
8 p.m. No. 10. Purdue Fort Wayne at No. 7. Green Bay (Horizon Rd. 1) ESPN+ ($)
8 p.m. No. 9. IUPUI at No. 8. Milwaukee (Horizon Rd. 1) ESPN+ ($)

02/25/2021 Late

Tip Time (ET) Host/ Visitor Quads Matchup Outlet
Tip Time (ET) Host/ Visitor Quads Matchup Outlet
9 p.m. 1/1 13. USC at 24. Colorado ESPN2
9 p.m. 2/1 32. Boise State at 25. San Diego State FS1
9 p.m. 2/1 47. Oregon at 58. Stanford ESPNU
9 p.m. 3/1 96. Northwestern at 61. Minnesota B1G Network
9 p.m. 3/1 109. San Francisco at 22. BYU CBSSN
11 p.m. 3/1 127. Pacific at 69. Saint Mary's ESPN2
11 p.m. 3/1 94. Washington State at 42. Arizona FS1

Quad 1 For Both Teams (1/1: 2 Games)

Top 30 at Top 75

5. Iowa (17-6, 11-5 Big Ten) at 3. Michigan (16-1, 11-1). 7 p.m. (ESPN)
13. USC (19-4, 13-3 Pac-12) at 24. Colorado (17-7, 11-6), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

Michigan begins a stretch of five games in 11 days with a visit from Iowa, a team that can make a solid case of its own for a spot on the top line—provided the Hawkeyes win both tonight and at Ohio State on Sunday. In the Pac-12, meanwhile, USC, a half-game up on UCLA in the race for the No. 1 seed in Vegas, faces the more difficult opponent in this week’s trip to the Rockies. However, Colorado has dropped two of its last three, both of which were on the road. The Buffaloes’ final three-game stretch should be to their advantage, with all three games set for the CU Events Center.

Quad 2 For Host/Quad 1 For Visitor (2/1: 2 Games)

31–75 at Top 75

32. Boise State (18-4, 14-3 MW) at 25. San Diego State (17-4, 11-3), 9 p.m. (FS1)
47. Oregon (14-5, 9-4 Pac-12) at 58. Stanford (14-9, 10-7), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

While Oregon will look to defeat Stanford for a second time, a result that could further damage the Cardinal’s bubble hopes, the Mountain West game in this group has even bigger at-large implications. Boise State travels to Viejas Arena having won four in a row at home, including last week’s sweep of Utah State. SDSU, meanwhile, has won eight straight since being swept at USU. While both the Aztecs and Broncos are in better selection shape than either the Aggies or Colorado State, this week’s series winner (should there be one) would become a near lock.

Quad 2 For Both Teams (2/2: 1 Game)

31–75 at 76–135

40. UCLA (16-5, 12-3 Pac-12) at 97. Utah (9-10, 6-9), 8 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)

Even though the Salt Lake City leg of the Rockies trip is theoretically the easier one, UCLA only defeated Utah by two in the pair’s meeting at Pauley on New Year’s Eve.

Quad 3 For Host/Quad 1 For Visitor (3/1: 7 Games)

76–160 at Top 75

76. Western Kentucky (15-4, 8-2 C-USA) at 6. Houston (18-3, 12-3 American), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
151. Santa Clara (10-6, 4-4 WCC) at 1. Gonzaga (22-0, 13-0), 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
143. Nebraska (5-16, 1-13 Big Ten) at 4. Illinois (16-6, 12-4), 7 p.m. (B1G Network)
96. Northwestern (6-14, 3-13 Big Ten) at 61. Minnesota (13-10, 6-10), 9 p.m. (B1G Network)
109. San Francisco (10-11, 4-7 WCC) at 22. BYU (17-5, 8-3), 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
127. Pacific (8-7, 5-6 WCC) at 69. Saint Mary’s (12-7, 3-5), 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
94. Washington State (14-10, 7-10 Pac-12) at 42. Arizona (15-8, 9-8), 11 p.m. (FS1)

Most of these games should be waltzes for the home teams, though Illinois did struggle mightily at Nebraska and Minnesota’s last home performance resembled its road ones, but the same can’t be said for the first game on this list. With Western Kentucky’s top of C-USA clashes at North Texas canceled due to last week’s winter storm and the Hilltoppers not scheduled to play again until a home set with FIU begins Sunday, Rick Stansbury and Kelvin Sampson decided to match their teams up in Houston. Should WKU add a win over the Cougars to a profile that already includes a win at Alabama and over Memphis in Sioux Falls, the Hilltoppers will put themselves right in the thick of the cut line conversation.

Quad 2 For Host/Quad 3 For Visitor (2/3: 1 Game)

31–75 at 136–240

63. Belmont (24-1, 18-0 OVC) at 167. Eastern Kentucky (19-6, 13-5), 8 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))

All that stands between Belmont and a 20-0 OVC record are this week’s road games against EKU and Morehead State.

Horizon League First Round

ESPN+ ($) will stream all four games.

No. 12. Robert Morris (4-14, 3-12) at No. 5. Detroit Mercy (11-9, 10-6), 7 p.m.
The Titans defeated the Colonials twice at home.
No. 11. UIC (9-12, 6-10) at No. 6. Youngstown State (14-11, 9-11), 8 p.m.
The pair split a series in Youngstown.
No. 10. Purdue Fort Wayne (7-14, 6-14) at No. 7. Green Bay (8-16, 8-12), 8 p.m.
The Phoenix defeated the Mastodons twice at home.
No. 9. IUPUI (8-9, 7-9) at No. 8. Milwaukee (8-11, 7-10), 8 p.m.
The pair split a series in Indianapolis.

Yes, it’s February for a few more days, but March officially begins tonight with this quartet of Horizon League Tournament matchups. Tonight’s winners advance to Tuesday’s quarterfinals, where they’ll be re-seeded and paired up for trips to the top four seeds.