North Carolina And Duke Both Take The Floor In ACC Action

CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 07: North Carolina Tar Heels cheerleaders perform during a game against the Boston College Eagles at the Dean Smith Center on January 7, 2012 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

North Carolina will look to bounce back from its worst loss under Roy Williams when it takes on Virginia Tech Thursday night.

Not the complete lineup that Wednesday presented us, but they're not all going to be nights you can bring home to mom. Unless your mom hates you, in which case, who cares? Right?

Wake Forest at Duke (7:00/ESPN)

The fourth-ranked Blue Devils have won 44 consecutive games at Cameron Indoor Stadium and 63 straight games at home against unranked opponents. Who do you guys think will be calling this game?

Vanderbilt at Alabama (7:00/ESPN2)

Probably the best game of the night, even though neither team has a little number next to their name. Vandy finally has a healthy Festus Ezeli and has won sevens straight while the Tide has taken five-of-six since its mini-slide in December.

Despite a healthy amount of talent in the post, this game could very well be won or lost on the perimeter. The Commodores, led by preseason All-American John Jenkins, have made nearly 40 percent of their 3-point shots heading into Thursday night. Alabama opponents have made barely more than 25 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.

Lafayette at Holy Cross (7:00/CBS Sports Network)

A matchup of two of the three one-loss Patriot League teams currently chasing 4-0 Bucknell.

William & Mary at VCU (8:00/ESPNU)

All VCU fans want to talk about is this weekend's showdown with hated rival Old Dominion, but the Rams first have to take care of business tonight against Bill and Mary. Shaka Smart didn't deny that getting caught looking ahead could be an issue.

"It's a challenge because (ODU is) such a big game," Smart said. "It's a game that our guys look forward to in terms of the excitement. But William and Mary is a rivalry, too. They're less than an hour away. They've played us tough, beat us two years ago at their place."

The Tribe is just 2-4 in the CAA and 4-14 overall.

Boston College at NC State (8:00/YES/ESPN FullCourt)

Since a 5-9 start and a 23-point loss at North Carolina to open conference play, Boston College has reeled off two straight ACC wins (Clemson and Virginia Tech). That means the decided underdogs will actually carry an identical 2-1 ACC record into tonight's game at NC State.

IPFW at Oral Roberts (8:00/FCS Central)

Oral Roberts (16-4, 8-0) is the heavy favorite, but the Golden Eagles have dropped two in a row to IPFW. A surprising follow-up stat: the Summit League (that's the conference these two play in, fyi) has the 12th-best RPI of any conference in Division-I. That's higher than the Horizon League (13th), Western Athletic Conference (14th) and Mid-American Conferences (15th), and well ahead of the Ohio Valley Conference (21st) that lays claim to No. 10 Murray State.

Arizona at Utah (8:30/Fox Sports)

Utah (4-13, 1-4) was already up against it before it kicked leading scorer Jiggy Watkins to the curb on Wednesday.

USC at Oregon (8:30/CSN/CSS)

Thursday will mark the 107th meeting between these two programs, with USC holding a 62-46 edge. Oregon, however, has won the last four contests and is a heavy favorite against a USC (5-13, 0-5) squad that has yet to taste Pac-12 victory. They're really not missing much. It tastes kind of like a sugar-free popsicle.

North Carolina at Virginia Tech (9:00/ESPN)

Picking up its first ACC victory will be a tall-task for a Virginia Tech (11-6, 0-3) facing a North Carolina squad looking to rebound from a 33-point loss to Florida State last Saturday. It's a bit reminiscent of the team that had to play the Ducks/USA after the infamous Iceland debacle at the 1994 (or whenever D2: The Mighty Ducks came out) Goodwill Games.

Illinois at Penn State (9:00/ESPN2)

Suddenly the Illini find themselves alone atop the Big Ten standings. This is the type of game they can't afford to drop in order to have any hope of being there at the end of the regular season.

San Francisco at Gonzaga (10:00/ESPNU)

The Dons (12-8, 2-4) have probably been the biggest disappointment in the WCC. Any sort of miraculous midseason turn-around probably needs to start tonight.

UCLA at Oregon State (10:30/Fox Sports)

It'll be a battle between this and the Australian Open for sleep timer duty. The Americans are getting sent home faster than a hobbit at Hogwarts (really wish my delete button wasn't broken right now) at the Open, so the patriotic thing to do is go Bruins/Beavers.

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