Big East Conference Play Heats Up As No. 9 Georgetown And No. 20 Marquette Square Off

Four Big East conference games - including a top 20 battle between Georgetown and Marquette - highlight Wednesday night's action.

Here are your excuses to ignore loved ones on Wednesday night:

Xavier at LaSalle (6:00/FS Ohio)

The Musketeers have been a team in chaos ever since their brawl with Cincinnati. They'll attempt to get their footing back with the start of A-10 play tonight.

Duke at Temple (7:00/ESPN2)

The Blue Devils have won the last nine meetings with Temple, and 15 of the last 18 overall.

Marquette at Georgetown (7:00/ESPNU)

A very interesting battle of teams that have spent time in the top ten this season but have been heading in opposite directions recently. The Hoyas are 8-0 and not an especially good matchup for a Marquette team that has looked out-of-sync for the past three weeks.

Illinois at Northwestern (7:00/Big Ten Network)

Is this the game they're playing on Wrigley Field with only one goal? Oh. Well, I'd probably watch if they were.

Notre Dame at Cincinnati (7:00/Fox Sports Regional/MSG)

The big story is obviously the return of Yancy Gates who has been suspended for UC's last six games following his actions during last month's nasty brawl with Xavier. The Bearcats have gone 6-0 without Gates leading many to wonder not only whether or not he'll start, but just how much he'll actually play.

West Virginia at Rutgers (7:00/SNY/MASN)

It's a pivotal early conference bounce back game for West Virginia, which suffered a tough loss to Seton Hall last Friday. Star forward Kevin Jones sprained his ankle in that game, but is expected to play tonight. Rutgers, meanwhile, followed up its huge double overtime victory over Florida with a disappointing loss to South Florida. Both teams would like to avid recording their second Big East loss this early in the new year.

Tulane at UCF (7:00/CSS)

Yes, CSS is a thing.

Tennessee at Memphis (8:00/FSN)

This will be the second meeting this season between the in-state rivals, who played a double-overtime thriller at the Maui Invitational in November. The Tigers prevailed by two, which means the Vols will be out for blood tonight.

UTEP at Marshall (8:00/CBS Sports Network)

UTEP has dominated the all-time series with Marshall, winning 7-of-8 in the series. The Miners are 3-0 in Huntington and have not lost to Marshall since the two became conference rivals. UTEP is 6-0 in C-USA openers coming into tonight.

Texas at Iowa State (9:00/ESPNU)

It's the Big 12 opener for a pair of teams with pleasantly surprising records, but not a lot of wins to thump their chests about.

Iowa at Minnesota (9:00/Big Ten Network)

Iowa, which won at Wisconsin on New Year's Eve, will look to pull another road upset against a Minnesota team that is a perfect 10-0 at home.

Syracuse at Providence (9:00/SNY/MASN)

The No. 1 team in the country rounds out the televised action with a trip to Rhode Island to face a Providence squad they've beaten three straight times.

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