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Wednesday’s slate and what to watch for


Mike Miller

All times ET. Television guide via here.

Game of the Night: New Mexico @ San Diego State, 10 p.m. (CBSSports Network)

Thanks to UNLV’s misstep at TCU on Tuesday night, the Lobos and the Aztecs will be squaring off for the right to call themselves the team to beat in the Mountain West. Now, SDSU already owns a win over New Mexico, soundly beating Steve Alford’s club in Albequerque back in January. But this is a different New Mexico team now, one that just may be the best team in the conference. Seriously. While head-to-head losses to both SDSU and UNLV make that a tough notion to believe, John Gasaway is not a man easily argued with, and with games against both the Aztecs and the Runnin’ Rebels this week, New Mexico will have a chance to showcase just what they are capable of.

Who’s getting upset?: North Carolina @ Miami, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

I like this Miami team, probably more than I should, rationally. But they have a hoss on the block in Reggie Johnson, they have a trio of talented guards, they have one of the most improved players in the country in the suddenly-lights out Kenny Kadji and they have a couple of athletes coming off of their bench. The Hurricanes had a five-game winning streak -- which included a victory at Duke in overtime -- with a five-point loss at Florida State over the weekend. With work left to do to get themselves into the NCAA Tournament, a win over UNC would go a long way. What to watch for: Tyler Zeller destroying whoever gets matched up with him. Johnson won’t be able to keep pace up and down the court and Kadji isn’t big enough to handle him on the block.

Mid-major matchup of the Night: Loyola Marymount @ St. Mary’s, 10:30 p.m. (CSN California)

Now that LMU is finally healthy, they are starting to show some folks why college basketball scribes have been touting this team for the past two years. They have quite a bit of talent on their roster, enough that they were able to knock off BYU in the Marriot Center. But St. Mary’s needs to win out to win the first league title that doesn’t include Gonzaga in 13 years. The Lions will be their toughest test.

Bubble Banter:

- Northwestern @ Indiana, 6:30 p.m. (Big Ten): This is a huge game for Northwestern. Well, at this point in the season, every game is a huge game. They’ve played the “close, but not enough” game for the NCAA Tournament too many times.

- Temple @ St. Bonaventure, 8 p.m. (CBSSports Network): Temple should be feeling pretty good about their chances to not only get into the NCAA Tournament, but to win the conference as well. The Bonnies, however, are a good team at home and have arguably the best player in the league in Andrew Nicholson.

- Arkansas @ Tennessee, 8 p.m. (SEC Network): We’re still waiting for Arkansas to win a game on the road, while Tennessee has won just enough to get themselves into the end of the bubble discussion.

- Purdue @ Illinois, 8:30 p.m. (Big Ten): Isn’t this what February basketball is all about? Two well-known programs fighting it out to try and remain in bubble consideration.

- Providence @ Cincinnati, 9 p.m. (ESPN3): What’s more surprising: that Cincinnati is still very much on the bubble ...

- Colorado State @ Boise State, 10 p.m. (MTN): ... or that Colorado State is?

Also keep an eye on:

- Delaware State @ Norfolk State, 7:30 p.m.: First place Norfolk State to take on the hottest team in the league in Delaware State.

- 8:00 pm: Tulsa @ Southern Miss, 8 p.m.: USM is currently tied with Memphis for first in Conference USA, but the Golden Hurricane have been creeping up lately.

- Oklahoma State @ Missouri, 9 p.m. (ESPN): The last time these two teams played, LeBryan Nash went for 27 points as the Pokes knocked off the Tigers. Wonder who remembers that?

Other notable games:

- Rutgers @ Notre Dame, 7 p.m.
- DePaul @ UConn, 7 p.m.
- Villanova @ South Florida, 7 p.m.
- Murray State @ SE Missouri St., 8 p.m.
- Richmond @ St. Louis, 8 p.m.
- UT-Arlington @ Stephen F. Austin, 8 p.m.
- Memphis @ Tulane, 8 p.m.
- Missouri State @ Wichita State, 8:05 p.m.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.