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College hoops weekend viewing guide: Big East, Big Ten, Big 12 all host Top 25 clashes

The first weekend of February features a number of conference showdowns that will play a large part in determining which teams host their league's regular season trophies a month from now.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

All times ET


No. 3 Villanova at No. 11 Providence (Sat., 2:30 p.m./FS1)

The first meeting between these two was one of the best games of the season, with Providence pulling out an 82-76 road win in overtime. The Friars have since dropped two of three, including Tuesday night's embarrassing loss at DePaul.

No. 18 Purdue at No. 4 Maryland (Sat., 4 p.m./ESPN)

According to Ken Pomeroy's "effective height" metrics, this tilt will pit college basketball's fourth-biggest team (Maryland) against its sixth. The issue for Maryland is that the Boilermaker big men have a bit more width to go along with their height.

No. 2 North Carolina at Notre Dame (Sat., 7 p.m./ESPN)

Even though it's on the road, Notre Dame should be the perfect bounceback opponent for North Carolina, which suffered its first ACC loss of the season Monday night at Louisville. Defense will be optional in this one, and the offensive talent will be abundant.

No. 15 Baylor at No. 14 West Virginia (Sat., 8 p.m./ESPN2)

Turnovers doomed Baylor in a bad home loss to Texas on Monday, and history will repeat itself if the Bears don't take better care of the ball in Morgantown. West Virginia leads the country in both steals (10.6) and turnovers forced (19.4) per game.


No. 9 Virginia at Pittsburgh (Sat., 12 p.m./ACC Regional Network/ESPN3)

This is a big game for a pair of teams which both have four overall losses and three conference defeats, but it feels just a bit bigger for Pitt, which is beginning arguably the most critical stretch of its season. The Panthers will follow up today's game with road tilts at No. 17 Miami and at No. 2 North Carolina.

No. 10 Michigan State at Michigan (Sat., 2 p.m./CBS)

I would advise against John Beilein punting if the game appears to be well in hand with just a few seconds remaining.

No. 25 South Carolina at No. 8 Texas A&M (Sat., 4 p.m./ESPNU)

This is an interesting matchup of a South Carolina team that has fallen back to earth (hard), and a Texas A&M team that has to be doubting itself just a bit after being hammered by Vanderbilt earlier this week. It also has huge SEC regular season championship ramifications, a fact I'm not sure many of us would have predicted at the start of the season.

Utah at No. 16 Oregon (Sun., 4 p.m./ESPN2)

The Utes have an immediate opportunity to make up for the dumbest foul of the college basketball season to date.


No. 7 Kansas at TCU (Sat., 12 p.m./ESPN)

These types of games now feel like must-wins for Kansas if the Jayhawks want to keep their consecutive Big 12 regular season titles streak alive.

Marquette at No. 6 Xavier (Sat., 12 p.m./FS1)

Raise your hand if you had Xavier as the first Division-I squad to reach 20 wins this season. They'll shoot for 21 against Henry Ellenson and the Golden Eagles.

Florida at No. 20 Kentucky (Sat., 4 p.m./CBS)

For all of Kentucky's issues so far this season, fouling might be its biggest. Heading into Saturday's game, the Wildcats have shot 510 free throws to their opponents' 515. UK hasn't committed more fouls than its opponents in a season since 2003-04, and hasn't been outshot from the charity stripe by its opponents since 2007-08.

No. 23 Arizona at Washington (Sat., 4:30 p.m./Fox)

Arizona is just 6-4 in the Pac-12, but might still have a shot at the league's regular season title if it can knock off the 7-3 Huskies on the road. After Saturday, Sean Miller's team will play five of its last seven games at home, where the Wildcats have won 50 games in 51 tries.

No. 1 Oklahoma at Kansas State (Sat., 6 p.m./ESPNU)

Buddy Hield is 0-3 at Bramlage Coliseum, a building which has also sent the last two No. 1 teams that visited home with a loss.


Boston College at No. 19 Louisville (Sat., 12 p.m./ACC Regional Network/ESPN3)

It will be interesting to see how Louisville's players react in their first game since Friday's announcement that the team will not participate in the 2016 postseason.

Cincinnati at Memphis (Sat., 12 p.m./ESPN2)

Cincinnati has won seven of their last eight, while the calls for Josh Pastner's head have never been louder in Memphis.

Florida State at Wake Forest (Sat., 12 p.m./ACC Regional Network)

Dwayne Bacon has bounced back from a midseason freshman slump to post back-to-back games with at least 20 points. Florida State will need a similar performance in a game the Seminoles need to win in order to stay on the right side of the (early) NCAA Tournament bubble.

No. 13 Iowa State at Oklahoma State (Sat., 2 p.m./ESPN2)

Riding high this time a week ago, Iowa State suddenly finds itself in a proverbial fight or flight moment after suffering consecutive losses.

NC State at Duke (Sat., 2 p.m./ESPN)

Anthony "Cat" Barber was slowed by a knee injury early in the second half of NC State's 88-78 loss to Duke last month, but he's been one of the hottest players in college basketball since. The same could be said for the Blue Devils' Grayson Allen.

Texas Tech at Texas (Sat., 2 p.m./Longhorn Network)

Texas has won six out of its last seven games, a streak which includes three victories over top 25 opponents. They'll be looking to avenge an 82-74 loss to Texas Tech in a game that was the Big 12 opener for both teams last month.

Stanford at California (Sat., 4 p.m./ESPN2)

Cal will be looking to stay unbeaten at home by moving to 14-0 with a win over rival Stanford. The issue for the Bears has been on the road, where they're just 1-8.

Mississippi State at LSU (Sat., 6 p.m./ESPN2)

Ben. Simmons.

No. 24 Dayton at George Mason (Sat., 6 p.m./MASN)

These road games against seemingly overmatched conference opponents have plagued Dayton for years. For reference, see the Flyers' difficult-to-explain loss to La Salle earlier this season.

Vanderbilt at Ole Miss (Sat., 8 p.m./ESPNU)

Vanderbilt reportedly held one of those famous "closed door, players-only meetings" after its loss to Texas last weekend. They then responded with the program's biggest victory in nearly four years, a 77-60 throttling of No. 8 Texas A&M on Thursday. We'll see if the magic of the meeting will follow the Commodores to Oxford.

No. 22 Indiana at Penn State (Sat., 8 p.m./Big Ten Network)

The Hoosiers will be shooting to become the first Big Ten team to 10 wins, a feat Iowa could match a day later.

Georgetown at Seton Hall (Sat., 9 p.m./CBS Sports Network)

It'll be the 100th all-time meeting between these two old Big East rivals. The Hoyas currently lead the series 56-43.

No. 21 Wichita State at Illinois State (Sat., 10 p.m./ESPN2)

If you haven't been paying attention to the Shockers since the early part of the season, they have been just straight whomping on fools since the full return of Fred VanVleet.

Gonzaga at Pepperdine (Sat., 11:59 p.m./ESPN2)

Because Saturday Night Live isn't getting any better.

East Carolina at Connecticut (Sun., 12 p.m./CBS Sports Network)

Amida Brimah is back, and the Huskies are looking like a team that could take advantage of an NCAA Tournament field that might be as weak as the ones in, say, 2011 and 2014.

No. 5 Iowa at Illinois (Sun., 1 p.m./Big Ten Network)

The Hawkeyes will likely need to win this one to keep pace with Indiana in the Big Ten race.

No. 17 Miami at Georgia Tech (Sun., 1 p.m./ESPNU)

Probably the most important athletic event taking place on Sunday.

No. 12 SMU at South Florida (Sun., 2 p.m./CBS Sports Network)

The Mustangs won't be in the postseason, but they still have an AAC regular season title to play for. They'll need to win on Sunday in order to preserve their advantage in the standings over the three-loss trio of Cincinnati, Temple and UConn.