Wednesday night college hoops viewing guide: Five top 10 teams take the floor


The busiest night of the basketball work week will feature eleven ranked teams in action, although none will be squaring off against another top 25 team.

It's easy to look at this schedule and dismiss it as a forgettable Wednesday night in college hoops, but the first two months of the season have taught us that these nights tend to wind up being the most eventful. No one is safe in 2012-13, and that makes it exciting when half of the top 10 is in action against unranked foes.

Here's your full Wednesday television lineup.

Villanova at Notre Dame (6 p.m./ESPN2)

Couldn't be a bigger fan of the 6 p.m. start time. An extra hour of quality college basketball in late January should be treated with the maximum amount of love and respect.

'Nova enters the evening as arguably the hottest team in the country following a week in which it upset a pair of top five teams (Louisville and Syracuse). They can keep that title by winning inside what has (statistically) been the toughest place to play in the Big East over the past five years.

Northwestern at No. 1 Michigan (6:30 p.m./Big Ten Network)

Northwestern wins this game and "nobody wants to be No. 1" stops being a joke. The Wildcats have finally become well adjusted enough to life without Drew Crawford that they can be competitive, but they don't have anywhere near the horses to make this a game.

Oklahoma at Baylor (7 p.m./ESPNU)

The Bears look to stay just a game behind Kansas by beating an Oklahoma team that desperately needs some quality wins to consolidate its thumbs-up-worthy record.

Rutgers at No. 24 Cincinnati (7 p.m./SNY/Fox Sports Ohio)

The Bearcats haven't played since taking a brutal 57-55 loss to Syracuse eight days ago. The good news is that the time off has given Cincy star Cashmere Wright an opportunity to rest his sprained knee. The injury forced the guard to miss the team's overtime win over Marquette and give a lackluster performance in the loss to the Orange. Cincinnati, whose three Big East losses have come by a total of nine points, has taken six of the last seven meetings with Rutgers.

Seton Hall at Georgetown (7 p.m./MASN/MSG)

Seton Hall has dropped five of six and doesn't appear to have any advantages to exploit against the Hoyas. Their best hope is that Georgetown overlooks this game after Saturday's big win over Louisville.

Missouri State at No. 21 Creighton (8 p.m./Fox Sports Midwest)

Thanks to Wichita State's loss last night, Creighton is a now a win over the Bears away from moving back into a tie for first place in The Valley.

Texas at No. 18 Kansas State (8 p.m./ESPN2)

K-State is looking to avoid its first three-game losing streak in four years against a Texas squad that just snapped the longest losing streak of the 15-year Rick Barnes era. The Wildcats are 14-0 when outrebounding opponents this season, but just 1-4 when they lose the battle on the glass.

No. 17 Missouri at LSU (8 p.m./Fox Sports Southwest)

LSU is still yet to win a true road game this season and currently finds itself alone in last place in the SEC standings, which was a much more respectable place to be when the league was using divisions. These two teams will be playing for the first time since 1980.

No. 3 Indiana at Purdue (8:30 p.m./Big Ten Network)

Hammer and Rails has a great read on the last 25 years of this rivalry. I'll let you dive into that instead of trudging through three lines from me.

DePaul at St. John's (9 p.m./ESPNU)

Duke and Miami will both be playing non-nationally televised games while this showstopper is going down on The U. Just sayin'.

Dayton at Xavier (9 p.m./CBS Sports Network)

Prediction of the night: The Flyers get their first victory at Xavier since Jan. 10, 1981. It's going down.

No. 20 New Mexico at Wyoming (9 p.m./ROOT Sports)

The Lobos look to bounce back from their most disappointing effort of the season - a 55-34 loss to San Diego State - by taking care of a Wyoming team that desperately needs a W. After starting the season 13-0, the Pokes suddenly find themselves at 2-4 in Mountain West play and ahead of only 1-5 Fresno State in the league standings.

No. 10 Oregon at Stanford (11 p.m./ESPNU)

If I'm voting today (I'm not voting ever), Dana Altman is my coach of the year. With so many players expressing concern and walking away from the program, the Altman era at Oregon looked like an absolute train wreck just 14 months ago. It's almost unfathomable that I just typed "No. 10" in front of their name.

UC Santa Barbara at Long Beach State (Midnight/ESPNews)

So midnight games on ESPNews are a thing now? I'm not saying I hate it, I just wish this phenomenon was around when Casper Ware was still launching inside Walter Pyramid.

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