The Watch-O-Meter index is not as high as it could be on this fourth Monday in January with just 11 mid-major games to watch/stream.
But it’s college basketball, so it’s GOOD.
Here are three games to especially keep an eye as the conference season barrels on.
No. 3 Gonzaga at Portland | 8:00 PM ET | CampusInsiders.com
It’s not a misprint. After just playing Saturday, the two teams meet up again to make up a Jan. 7 game that was postponed due to weather.
The Zags’ 21-point victory had a caveat.
“It was kind of a choppy game,” Mark Few told the Spokesman-Review. “Portland did a nice job, especially being undermanned, of coming in here and fighting us, playing us physical and beating us to some balls.
The free-falling Pilots were indeed undermanned, playing their first game without senior point guard Alec Wintering, who tore an ACL last week against USF. But they battled Gonzaga for 30 minutes, and outrebounded them by seven.
It’ll likely be difficult to do that again just two days later. This year’s Zags are perpetually compelling, and plenty of attention will be on Nigel Williams-Goss. The junior injured his hip late on Saturday but is expected to play in the make up game.
I'm told Nigel Williams Goss (hip) is playing tonight for the Zags vs. Portland.— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) January 23, 2017
UT Arlington at Louisiana | 9:00 PM ET | American Sports Network/ESPN3
The Mavericks (4-2) and Ragin’ Cajuns (3-3) are both chasing Georgia Southern after its flying start (6-0) to Sun Belt play.
Both ended the non-con looking like two of the better teams in the league play. UT-Arlington dropped back-to-back road games, including one without Kevin Hervey. Meanwhile, Louisiana recently lost a pair of home games to the Georgia teams.
A loss would be especially devastating to the Ragin’ Cajuns, but neither team can afford to fall much further behind. The game pits one of the Sun Belt’s best offenses in league play (Louisiana) against one of its best defenses (UT-Arlington) over the same stretch.
Texas Southern at Mississippi Valley State | 9:00 PM ET | ESPNU
SWAC action (#SWACaction?) gets a rare dance in the spotlight.
The Tigers will more than likely be in the NCAA bracket this year, so are always worth a look. They’ve run out to a 6-0 SWAC start after their typically-brutal non-con.
And Texas Southern has done this without Derrick Griffin, who left the team in late December to enter the NFL draft. Kent State transfer Marvin Jones (12.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG in SWAC play) has kept up the pace inside, and Zach Lofton (20.7 PPG) leads a deep back court.
Here’s the rest of the schedule:
American at Holy Cross, 7:00 PM ET, CBS Sports Network
Cleveland State at Green Bay, 7:00 PM ET, American Sports Network/ESPN3
Canisius at Niagara, 7:00 PM ET, Spectrum Sports New York
Quinnipiac at Iona, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN3
Appalachian State at Georgia State, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN3
Coastal Carolina at Georgia Southern, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN3
Norfolk State at Coppin State, 7:30 PM ET, Ustream.tv
South Alabama at Arkansas State, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN3