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Your College Basketball Saturday Viewing Guide: January 5, 2019

The NFL playoffs are denying us a very full slate of games.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 06 Louisville at Clemson
I didn’t realize how creepy Clemson’s mascot is before now.
Photo by Doug Buffington/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Every year, I celebrate the end of the college football season because it means that there’s suddenly a ton of television space for college basketball.

Without fail, every year, I forget about a few road bumps. First it’s bowl games popping in to take up time. Then we get what we have today, which is the NFL Playoffs taking up time. ESPN tricking the NFL into giving them a playoff game is a net loss for college basketball fans, as everything between 2pm Central and 7pm Central is taken up by either Colts-Texans pregame, the actual Colts-Texans game, and Colts-Texans postgame/filling time until 7pm when a basketball game starts again. To make matters worse, Fox has the late playoff game, thus occupying Fox with Seahawks-Cowboys from 6:30pm through 10pm.

In total, that’s space for at least three games, maybe four, occupied by football. I’d prefer that it be college hoops because I like college hoops infinitely more than the NFL, but I understand what does and does not get great ratings. Alas.

We get eight games with a ranked team on national TV today, so that’s pretty good. Two of those games feature ranked foes going at it. When your lesser game is #8 Michigan State visiting #14 Ohio State, then things are going pretty well for you. That has the 11am CT tipoff time, and if you give that 2.5 hours to finish, it leaves you enough time for a quick snacks and/or beer run before #9 Florida State at #4 Virginia tips off at 2pm CT. Look, I’m likely not going to watch a single square inch of that game. Sorry/not sorry Virginia, and hooray for your efficiency, but I’m not watching it. Maaaaaaaybe I’ll watch the final few minutes if it’s close. Any game within five points with five minutes or less remaining is worth watching, no matter how terribly both teams may or may not be playing, and I’ll be able to tolerate Virginia’s pace for that little bit of time. It’s a top 10 matchup! If it’s close, you have to watch, right? Right??

There are three other ranked teams going on the road. #13 Kentucky visits Alabama, #5 Kansas visits Iowa State, and in what is a sneaky important game, #6 Nevada is at The Pit to face New Mexico. The Wolf Pack are up to a 17.8% chance to go undefeated per KenPom.com and there’s always a larger margin of doubt as to whether they (or any team) can win when they go on the road.

Here’s what’s what on national television today! Enjoy!

CBB Viewing Guide: 1/5/19

Time (CT) Game Television
Time (CT) Game Television
11:00 AM #8 Michigan State at #14 Ohio State Fox
Creighton at Butler FS1
UCF at Connecticut ESPN News
12:00 PM #13 Kentucky at Alabama ESPN
Cincinnati at East Carolina CBS Sports Network
St. John's at Georgetown CBS
La Salle at UMass NBC Sports Network
1:00 PM Kansas State at #11 Texas Tech ESPNU
Maryland at Rutgers Big Ten Network
Villanova at Providence FS1
2:00 PM #9 Florida State at #4 Virginia ESPN2
2:30 PM Georgia at #3 Tennessee SEC Network
3:00 PM Baylor at TCU ESPNU
4:00 PM #5 Kansas at Iowa State ESPN2
5:00 PM Arkansas at Texas A&M SEC Network
South Florida at Tulsa ESPNU
Duquesne at Davidson NBC Sports Network
6:00 PM South Carolina at Florida ESPN2
7:00 PM Clemson at #1 Duke ESPN
#6 Nevada at New Mexico ESPNU
7:30 PM Ole Miss at Vanderbilt SEC Network
8:00 PM West Virginia at Texas ESPN2
9:00 PM San Diego State at Boise State CBS Sports Network
Wyoming at UNLV ESPNU
10:00 PM BYU at Saint Mary's ESPN2