Friday, February 7, 2014

Weekend College Basketball Viewer's Guide: 2/7/14 - 2/9/14

For the next three to four weeks, I'll do the viewers guides in two batches each week.  One will be for the weekday games and another batch for the weekend.  Since schools usually play one weeknight game then a weekend game, the guide can be more relevant by the time the weekend comes around.

Michigan at Iowa (ESPN, 2pm ET) - There is a three game divide between the two Michigan schools at the top of the Big Ten and third place Iowa.  The Hawkeyes have been uneven as of late and the loss to Ohio St. brought them closer to the logjam at the middle of the conference standings instead of providing some separation.  The Hawkeyes need the game a lot more to continue to build on their resume.

Providence at Xavier (FOX Sports 1, 3pm ET) - At this stage, its a bit of an elimination game for the Big East, which as of right now may only get three teams into the 68.  Both looked better coming into the week before both schools lost by double digits during the week.  Only Villanova and Creighton look to be safe.

UNF at Florida Gulf Coast (ESPN3, 7pm ET) - The importance of this game in the A-Sun is different for each school.  UNF is trying to remain separated from what is currently a three school grouping one game behind them in the A-Sun standing, which if tiebreakers fell the wrong way, could mean the difference between hosting a quarterfinal game at home in the conference tournament or traveling for one.  

Florida Gulf Coast is just trying to keep pace with Mercer as both schools are tied at the top standings and meet each other two Fridays from today.  The importance of finishing first in the regular season means even more in the A-Sun because of the postseason guarantee provided by the NIT in the event the top seed loses in the conference tournament.

Cincinnati at SMU (ESPNU, 7:30pm ET) - The Bearcats are running away with the American regular season title at the moment, but SMU is on the bubble and a signature win vs. a top ten ranked school can only help their cause.  SMU is undefeated in home games this year though and Moody Coliseum is starting to sell out.

Gonzaga at Memphis (ESPN, 9pm ET) - It is the only other game on Saturday pitting two ranked teams, though only Gonzaga is at the top of their conference.  The national reputation of the Zags took a bit of a hit with their NCAA tournament meltdown this year and Memphis looks to be a NCAA tournament team, but the Tigers best wins, in conference (Louisville) and out of conference (Oklahoma St.), are losing a little bit of luster.  Both sides need this as a resume boost.

San Francisco at BYU (BYUtv, 9pm ET) - Both are tied for 2nd in the WCC standings and BYU won the earlier meeting at Gersten, so it helps the Cougars get an outright advantage at the end of the year in the event both finish tied in the standings.  Where a loss hurts is it could drop either school into the mix for seeds 3-5 and its starting to matter when it comes to positioning & seeding for the conference tournament.  The 4 & 5 seeds would then likely get Gonzaga in the semifinals instead of the finals.

Michigan St. at Wisconsin (CBS, 1pm ET) - Wisconsin is in a bit of a funk, losing five of their last seven.  Including this game, three of their next four are against ranked teams with the last two on the road vs. Michigan and Iowa.  So this is kind of a big deal for them, at least from a NCAA seeding perspective.

Washington at Colorado (ESPNU, 8pm ET) - Colorado needs this one in the worst way.   Since losing Spencer Dinwiddle vs. Washington just under a month ago, CU's has been 3-4 including that game with the closest loss by 12 points.  Getting a split vs. Washington isn't likely to help out any computer metrics very much, but avenging the loss without Dinwiddle might help them in the "eye test".

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