College basketball Saturday television viewing guide


A top 15 showdown between Ohio State and Illinois headlines another full Saturday of college basketball.

All times EST.

No. 24 Pittsburgh at Rutgers (11 a.m./ESPN2)

Last season's 62-39 loss to Rutgers wasn't only the most lopsided Panther defeat ever at the Petersen Events Center, it was the lowest point of the lowest season of the Jamie Dixon era. Pitt will be out for revenge and their first Big East win on Saturday, in a game that the scheduling folks at ESPN apparently thought was going to be played on the gridiron.

Wake Forest at No. 1 Duke (Noon/ESPNU)

Six of the nine players in Wake Forest's regular rotation will be playing at Cameron Indoor Stadium for the first time. The Demon Deacons haven't won in Durham since 1997. Not the best of combinations.

Purdue at No. 18 Michigan State (Noon/Big Ten Network)

After a disappointing 6-6 performance in non-conference play, Purdue has a chance to start the Big Ten season 2-0 with a pair of wins over top 20 opponents. It's hard to see that happening, however, as there isn't one area in which they match up favorably with Michigan State.

Seton Hall at No. 21 Notre Dame (Noon/SNY/MASN)

In one of the more odd scheduling situations in the country, the Irish open Big East play after having been off since a Dec. 21 victory over Niagara. Seton Hall, which beat DePaul by a point earlier this week, will have to hope that the extended time off has a negative effect on Mike Brey's club.

No. 22 Oklahoma State at No. 25 Kansas State (1:30 p.m./YES/Altitude)

The first of two showdowns between top 25 teams on this Saturday. Oklahoma State and Kansas State have been conference foe decades, but they haven't played a game in which both have been ranked in nearly 55 years. The big question for this game is the health of K-State point guard Angel Rodrigues and his backup, Martavious Irving. Both players have missed the last two games because of injuries.

Texas at Baylor (2 p.m./ESPNU)

The Big 12 mission for Texas has become to put itself in a position where it can make a run at the NCAA Tournament once Myck Kabongo becomes eligible on Feb. 13. A road win over a Baylor team whom the computers are going to love because of their tough non-conference schedule would be a tremendous start.

George Mason at William & Mary (2 p.m./CSS/Comcast)

Comcast is reallly regretting that CAA TV deal right about now. George Mason, easily the league's biggest remaining name, began conference play with a 10-point loss to Northeastern during the week. William & Mary, meanwhile, has the best overall record in the league at 7-5.

No. 15 Georgetown at Marquette (2 p.m./MASN/SNY)

A well-rested Georgetown team takes the floor for the first time since Dec. 22 in their Big Priest East opener against Marquette. The Golden Eagles are still riding high after opening league play with an emotional overtime victory over Connecticut on Tuesday.

No. 8 Ohio State at No. 11 Illinois (2:15 p.m./Big Ten Network)

The day's showcase game lost a little bit of luster when the Illini were stunned by Purdue on Wednesday. Buckeye stoppers Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott ought to be extra motivated to slow down Illinois star Brandon Paul. The early national Player of the Year candidate torched OSU for 43 points a season ago.

No. 23 NC State at Boston College (4 p.m./ESPN2)

After a somewhat disappointing start, NC State heads into ACC play leading the nation in field goal percentage at 53.5 percent. The Wolfpack's 55.5 percent shooting over its past six games is their best in any six-game span since the start of the 1996-97 season. Boston College has won five straight and has the college basketball world thinking they might not be as awful as previously thought.

St. John's at No. 14 Cincinnati (4 p.m./ESPNU)

The Bearcats are a victory away from becoming the first team ranked 16th in SB Nation's weekly power poll to not lose that same week. Can't imagine the pressure Mick Cronin is feeling right now.

Bucknell at No. 12 Missouri (4 p.m./Fox Sports Regional)

The loss at Princeton on Dec. 22 may have ended it anyway, but the Bison definitely need to pull the upset here to have any legitimate at-large claim come early March. Not that they should have much of a problem running through the Patriot League tournament.

Oklahoma at West Virginia (4 p.m./MASN/SNY)

If this is somehow your only other option, you have my permission to watch football during this time.

Lehigh at VCU (5 p.m./NBC Sports Network)

Mid-Majorgasm. It doesn't get all that much better than the nation's leading scorer (Lehigh's C.J. McCollum) against a guy who's drilled 20 three-pointers over the last two games (VCU's Troy Daniels).

Murray State at Southeastern Missouri State (6 p.m./ESPNU)

Mid-Majorsemi. Isaiah Canaan is cool, too.

UNC-Asheville at Liberty (6 p.m./MASN/CSS)

Mid-Majorflacid. The Big South is baaaad this year.

DePaul at Providence (8 p.m./SNY/MASN)

A huge early tilt in the race not to finish last in the Big East. These two will not meet again, so this is your only chance, America.

Washington at Washington State (9:30 p.m./ESPNU)

Brock Motum is Saturday night fun for the whole family. Man, today's schedule is really front-heavy.

California at USC (11 p.m./Fox Sports)

Anybody but USC. I love the late-night Pac-12 game with nothing else on as much as the next insane person, but I think I speak for all of America when I say that we've already been subjected to far too much USC on national television this season. I'm not...I just can' more.

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