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Friday’s slate and what to watch


Mike Miller

Go west, college hoops fan. Go west (specifically Las Vegas). That’s where you’ll find all of Friday’s good games.

And yeah, the day kicks off with a stinker in the Diamond Head tourney, but maybe you can finish up your Christmas shopping, then get home in time for the marquee events.

(All times ET; TV info courtesy of

Cal at UNLV, 5 p.m. (CBSSports Network)
The Rebels (12-2) have already beaten one Pac-12 team this season (USC), along with UNC and Illinois. Cal (10-2) has already lost to a MWC team (SDSU). But enough with coincidences. This game’s notable because both are NCAA tournament teams that are excellent on offense, will get up and down the court and feature balanced, mobile lineups. It’s a can’t miss.

Baylor vs. West Virginia, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
The Bears (11-0) maintained their perfect record by pulling away from St. Mary’s on Thursday night, while West Virginia held off Missouri State and gave Bob Huggins his 700th career coaching victory. Both teams could have tired legs, which would seem to favor Baylor. The Bears feature a deeper rotation, not to mention superior talent.

Missouri State vs. St. Mary’s, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
Poor Missouri State. The Bears (7-4) were all set to open a tough three-game stretch (it opens MWC play at Creighton next week) with a win over a Big East team, when the Mountaineers rallied from a five-point deficit with 45 seconds left in regulation. Perhaps that’ll provide a little motivation against the Gaels, who couldn’t hold the Bears’ big men in check. Both are evenly matched in terms of talent. Except a good one.

Dartmouth at Albany (NY), 2 p.m.
Maine at Brown, 2 p.m.
Norfolk St. at St. Francis (NY), 2 p.m.
Marist at Penn, 7 p.m.
Providence at Rhode Island, 7 p.m.
St. Francis (Pa.) at St. Bonaventure, 7 p.m.
Vermont at Towson, 7 p.m.
Wagner at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m.

Ball St. at Morehead St., 6 p.m.
Manhattan at George Mason, 7 p.m.
Furman at Georgia, 7 p.m.
Seton Hall at Longwood, 7 p.m.
W. Kentucky at Louisville, 7 p.m.
ETSU at Tennessee, 7 p.m.
Radford at Maryland, 8 p.m.

Valparaiso at IUPUI, 1 p.m.
MVSU at Wisconsin, 5:30 p.m.
Chicago St. at Cincinnati, 7 p.m.
Ill.-Chicago at Dayton, 7 p.m.
W. Michigan at Oakland, 7 p.m.
NC A&T at Ohio, 7 p.m.

Texas A&M-CC vs. Kennesaw St. at Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, 3 p.m.
California at UNLV, 5 p.m.
Bethune-Cookman vs. Tennessee Tech at Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, 5:30 p.m.
Baylor vs. West Virginia at Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, 9 p.m.
Richmond at UCLA, 10:30 p.m.
Saint Mary’s (Cal) vs. Missouri St. at Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, 11:30 p.m.

Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic
At Honolulu
UTEP vs. Kansas St, 5:30 p.m.
Long Beach St. vs. Auburn, 11 p.m.

Consolation Bracket
Clemson vs. S. Illinois, 3 p.m.
Xavier loser vs. Hawaii, 1:30 a.m.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.