College basketball tip-off viewing guide: Schedule, TV Channel, How to watch

Believe it or not, college basketball season is finally upon us. Don’t worry, we know you’re still trying to comprehend what day of the week it is – my calendar still reads March 269th. 

Teams are having to navigate the coronavirus as much of the country is seeing a significant rise in cases. Many programs have paused activities (39 as of this writing) and there are 10 that will not have a season altogether. 

It’s led to massive schedule overhauls and changes happening within hours. In a single afternoon, VCU went from playing in Tennessee to playing in a tournament in South Dakota. 

Even through the cancelations, there are several nonconference games still to be played on the first day of the season. Barring any new COVID-19 issues, over 100 games involving Div. I teams will still be held on Day 1. Here are the best ones to watch for those with a Washington D.C. area interest with an eye on national games. 

12:00 p.m. ET – Oakland at Xavier (FS1)

12:00 p.m ET – George Washington at Navy (CBSSN)

1:30 p.m. ET – No. 4 Virginia vs. Towson (FloHoops)

2:00 p.m. ET – Illinois State at No. 23 Ohio State (ESPN)

2:00 p.m. ET – Old Dominion at Maryland (BTN+)

4:00 p.m. ET – Bowling Green at No. 25 Michigan (ESPN2)

4:00 p.m. ET – UMBC at Georgetown (FS1)

5:30 p.m. ET – Liberty vs. Purdue (CBSSN)

7:00 p.m. ET – No. 18 Arizona State vs. Rhode Island (ESPN)

 

8:00 p.m. ET – Clemson vs. Mississippi State (CBSSN)

9:00 p.m. ET – No. 3 Villanova vs. Boston College (ESPN)

9:30 p.m. ET – Utah State vs. VCU (ESPN2)

10:30 p.m. ET – No. 22 UCLA at San Diego State (CBSSN)

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Week 9 college football viewing guide, picks against the spread

Every week throughout the season we’ll give you a college football viewing guide by highlighting the five best games of the coming weekend. We will pick those five games against the spread and highlight some other matchups that caught our eye from a betting perspective.

The return of the Big Ten brought plenty of excitement and drama, and the conference again will be on center stage in Week 9. 

When the Big Ten’s schedule was released, Ohio State’s trip to Penn State was quickly circled as one of the most-anticipated games of the year. But it lost a lot of its luster last weekend when Penn State was upset by Indiana in a wild game that featured a controversial ending. 

PSU dropped from No. 8 to No. 18 in the rankings, but the Nittany Lions have consistently been the Buckeyes’ top challenger in the Big Ten East since James Franklin arrived. Despite it being played in empty Beaver Stadium, this game should still be one of the day’s best. 

But what about the rest of Week 9? Let’s dive in. 

(Note: All times ET, point spreads/totals from BetMGM)

Memphis at No. 7 Cincinnati

Time: Noon | TV: ESPN | Line: Cincinnati -6.5 | Total: 55.5

Cincinnati is sitting in the best position to represent the Group of Five conferences in a New Year’s Six bowl game. The Bearcats crushed No. 16 SMU on the road last week to improve to 4-0, but there’s still a long way to go in the American Athletic Conference. Along with UC, two other teams are 2-0 in AAC play: Houston and Tulsa. 

On top of that, three other teams have just one conference loss. That includes Memphis, which has had an up-and-down start to the year. The Tigers dealt with a COVID-19 outbreak and have had a few player defections, but have managed to amass a 3-1 record. The 50-49 come-from-behind win over UCF was a wild game, and the Tigers had to overcome a halftime deficit last week to beat Temple. To knock off Cincinnati, Memphis will need to play a much cleaner game. 

Sam Cooper: Cincinnati -6.5, Nick Bromberg: Memphis +6.5

No. 16 Kansas State at West Virginia

Time: Noon | TV: ESPN2 | Line: West Virginia -3.5 | Total: 46.5

Saturday could be a significant day of movement in the Big 12 standings. Kansas State is one of two Big 12 teams without a loss in league play. The Wildcats lost their opener to Arkansas State but have since gone 4-0 against Big 12 teams. K-State lost starting quarterback Skylar Thompson but has kept on winning with true freshman backup Will Howard running the offense. Another true freshman, 5-foot-5 running back Deuce Vaughn, has emerged as one of the Big 12’s most exciting players. 

This weekend, the Wildcats travel to West Virginia to go up against one of the nation’s top defenses — from a statistical perspective, at least. WVU hasn’t played very many strong offenses, but still

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