The Villanova Wildcats will host the Butler Bulldogs today at 2:00 EST on FOX, and Nova Nation will be out in droves for their team’s final home game of the season. But why stop there? Here are 10 games to keep an eye on (plus a few more) as you flip through the channels to catch all the college basketball action.
#6 Michigan State Spartans at Indiana Hoosiers, Noon EST
Root For: Indiana | Nova Impact: Small | KenPom: Michigan State -8 | TV: FOX
Not only has Indiana beaten Sparty on the road, they also beat Marquette and played Michigan twice. A season sweep of Izzo’s group gives a small but not insignificant boost to arguably the two best teams on Nova’s schedule. Go Hoosiers!
#13 LSU Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide, Noon EST
Root For: LSU | Nova Impact: Small | KenPom: LSU -3 | TV: ESPN
Since Villanova isn’t competing with the Tigers for a 4 seed anytime soon, we’re going to go ahead and root for them. It’s a simple equation: NOVA beat FSU and OKS; FSU and OKS beat LSU; therefore LSU win helps NOVA. Oh and we both played Furman too, but we don’t need to talk about that. Go Tigers!
North Carolina State Wolfpack at #18 Florida State Seminoles, Noon EST
Root For: FSU | Nova Impact: Medium | KenPom: FSU -6 | TV: ESPN2
This is now Nova’s second best win of the season, but still a very important one. Besides, do I really need to give Nova fans a reason root against NC State? I didn’t think so. Go Noles!
Penn State Nittany Lions at #19 Wisconsin Badgers, 1:00 EST
Root For: Wisconsin | Nova Impact: Medium | KenPom: Wisconsin -9 | TV: BTN
There are a lot of sentimental reasons to root for Penn State or against Wisconsin. But as far as benefiting this season, Wisconsin played both Xavier and Marquette in the non-con. A win for them helps bolster the Big East and Villanova’s biggest win of the season. Go Badgers!
#4 Kentucky Wildcats at #7 Tennessee Volunteers, 2:00 EST
Root For: Kentucky | Nova Impact: Small | KenPom: Tennessee -3 | TV: CBS
This is probably the biggest game of the weekend in terms of the two best teams facing each other. For a second weekend in a row, Nova fans should pull for their fellow Wildcats and root on the Kentucky team that fell to Seton Hall once upon a time. Go Cats!
Miami Hurricanes at #3 Duke Blue Devils, 4:00 EST
Root For: Miami | Nova Impact: Medium | KenPom: Duke -21 | TV: CBS
This would be a HUGE upset, but a Miami win would be pretty great for the Wildcats. The Hurricanes play FSU twice, and they lost to Seton Hall and Penn. Penn is starting to fall into the danger zone of dropping to a Q3 loss for Villanova, and avoiding that would be ideal. Go Canes!
Rutgers Scarlet Knights at #22 Iowa Hawkeyes, 5:00 EST
Root For: Rutgers | Nova Impact: Small | KenPom: Iowa -9 | TV: BTN
Rutgers is another team that played against two Big East schools in the non-con. Time to pull out those old Big East ties and root for Rutgers. Go Knights!
#5 North Carolina Tar Heels at Clemson Tigers, 6:00 EST
Root For: Clemson | Nova Impact: Small | KenPom: UNC -5 | TV: ESPN
Clemson lost to Creighton and plays FSU twice. Plus I oddly have a lot of friends and family that went to Clemson, so what the hell. Besides, UNC doesn’t need us to cheer them on. Go Tigers!
Seton Hall Pirates at Georgetown Hoyas, 6:30 EST
Root For: Seton Hall| Nova Impact: Large | KenPom: Georgetown -2 | TV: CBSSN
This is a tough one because Georgetown is getting dangerously close to dropping Villanova’s loss to Q2 and their win to Q3. That said, the chances to pull another Q1 win at Seton Hall outweigh the negatives. So we all get to collectively sigh before continuing to hate on Georgetown. Go Pirates!
Baylor Bears at #16 Kansas State Wildcats, 8:00 EST
Root For: KSU | Nova Impact: Small | KenPom: KSU -4 | TV: ESPN2
Not only would a Wildcat win help Villanova, it puts Kansas one step closer to losing their Big 12 Title streak. Nova dominated that conference last year anyway, so it’s time for the streak to end. Go Cats!
Other Teams To Root For
Oklahoma State over #15 Kansas, Noon EST on CBS
#2 Virginia over Pitt, 2:00 EST on ACCNE
Ohio State over #14 Purdue, 2:00 EST on ESPN
#24 Wofford over Samford, 2:00 EST on ESPN3
#8 Houston over UCF, 4:00 EST on ESPN
#11 Texas Tech over TCU, 4:00 EST on ESPN2
#23 Cincinnati over Memphis, 8:00 EST on ESPNU
Utah State over #12 Nevada, 8:30 EST on CBSSN
#1 Gonzaga over St. Mary’s, 10:00 EST on ESPN