It’s not exactly a night that will keep you glued to the couch, which might seem obvious when Ohio State and Illinois play in the headliner…
Top 25 Action
Ohio State (13-3 overall, 3-2 Big 10) at #25 Illinois (15-3, 3-2) | 7 PM ET, ESPN
Bruce Weber and the Illini have bounced back from an awful 2007-08 season much faster than anyone might have expected, but a tough stretch to open conference play has left them in the middle of the standings. Ohio State finds itself in the middle of that same pack, but enters tonight’s game in Champaign as winners of five straight against Illinois. The Buckeyes will have their work cut out for them, however, as they are ranked 250th in the country in offensive rebounding and are facing the nation’s 10th-ranked defense.
North Carolina State (10-5 overall, 1-2 ACC) at #2 Duke (16-1, 3-0) | 8 ET, ESPN Full Court
Duke has been playing absolutely lights out as of late, most recently shutting down Georgetown on Saturday afternoon at Cameron Indoor. They are sporting an NCAA-best +0.345 efficiency differential, just ahead of their Tobacco Road rival, North Carolina. In simpler terms, the Blue Devils outscore their opponents by 0.345 points per possession, which means that even if the Wolfpack can slow things down to their tempo, they will only lose by……approximately 22 points. Uh oh.
Big 12 Games
Colorado (8-8 overall, 0-2 Big 12) at Texas Tech (10-7, 0-2) | 8 PM ET, ESPN Full Court
It’s a game matching two teams that have the potential to be the absolute worst squads in the Big 12! If that doesn’t scream “must watch,” I’m not sure what else does. Perhaps a marathon of the Ryan Seacrest-produced reality show, Momma’s Boys?
Around the country
Tennessee (11-5 overall, 2-1 SEC) at Vanderbilt (12-5, 1-2) | 9 PM ET, ESPN
Last year, these two teams put on one of the most exciting games of the season, as the Commodores eked out a three-point win over their cross-state rivals, who had just reached No. 1 for the first time in school history. This year, there’s not nearly as much on the line, but excitement is still on tap. Just ask stat guru Ken Pomeroy, who hopes his new FanMatch feature can pinpoint the most intriguing match-ups of the night. And according to Mr. Pomeroy’s brand-spanking-new ranking system, this particular Battle of Tennessee has a 71.7% chance of kicking major ass. Guaranteed.