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Monday’s slate and what to watch

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Admit it. You probably watched college football games most of Monday. No worries. I got the Rose Bowl on in the background right now.

But if you can tear yourself away from the bowls, there is a handful of games you should pay attention to tonight. Normally I’d say “watch” but three of ‘em aren’t on TV. So hunt down a stream or two.

(All times ET; TV info from HDSportsGuide.com)

Virginia at LSU, 7 p.m. (SEC CSS; CSN California; Bright House Sports)
Tony Bennett’s team has won 10 straight games  and closes its non-conference schedule with a trip to Baton Rouge. Mike Scott & Co. should be a factor in the ACC race and make it back to the Big Dance this season … but the Cavs are coming off a seven-point win against Towson, a team that has lost 32 straight games. Perfect chance for the Tigers to pull off a W.

Northeastern at Towson, 7 p.m.
Speaking of Towson! A home game against Northeastern is a great opportunity to break that losing streak. Two more losses would tie Sacramento State’s D-I record. (NJIT lost 51 straight, but was making the move to D-I, so it’s not on the books.)

VCU at Hofstra, 7 p.m. (FiOS1 Long Island)
The Rams (10-3) are coming off an OT win at Akron, the best win yet for Shaka Smart’s squad. Hitting the road to resume CAA play should make things interesting, though the real tests come after this when Georgia State and Drexel come around.

Drexel at Georgia State, 7 p.m.
Well lookee here. The Dragons were perhaps the CAA team to beat before the season began, but the Panthers are 9-3 and haven’t lost since Nov. 14. Do yourself a favor and read this to find out how this has happened.

Texas A&M at Baylor, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Big Monday is here and it features an unbeaten team in Baylor playing host to one of its biggest challengers in the Big 12. The Bears (13-0) have more NBA talent than anyone else in the conference, but don’t always play like it. Close wins against BYU, West Virginia and Miss State are an indication that Baylor will have issues against the Big 12’s best teams. Just not sure the Aggies are one of those teams.

Robert Morris at Ohio, 7 p.m.
Check it out. The Bobcats (12-1) didn’t lose in December and they get the NEC’s best team before MAC play begins. Go track down a stream for this one.

EAST
Rhode Island at Boston College, 1 p.m.
American U. at Brown, 1 p.m.
Hartford at Albany (NY), 7 p.m.
Maine at Binghamton, 7 p.m.
Fairleigh Dickinson at Columbia, 7 p.m.
VCU at Hofstra, 7 p.m.
Rider at Manhattan, 7 p.m.
St. Peter’s at Marist, 7 p.m.
Lafayette at NJIT, 7 p.m.
UMBC at New Hampshire, 7 p.m.
Vermont at Stony Brook, 7 p.m.
Northeastern at Towson, 7 p.m.
Niagara at Loyola (Md.), 7:30 p.m.

SOUTH
William & Mary at George Mason, Noon
Old Dominion at James Madison, 3 p.m.
Drexel at Georgia St., 7 p.m.
Charleston Southern at High Point, 7 p.m.
Stetson at Kennesaw St., 7 p.m.
Virginia at LSU, 7 p.m.
Presbyterian at Liberty, 7 p.m.
UNC Asheville at Radford, 7 p.m.
Chattanooga at Tennessee, 7 p.m.
Delaware at UNC Wilmington, 7 p.m.
Gardner-Webb at VMI, 7 p.m.
Wofford at Wake Forest, 7 p.m.
Virginia-Wise at The Citadel, 7:05 p.m.
Lipscomb at Jacksonville, 7:15 p.m.
Brewton-Parker at Georgia Southern, 7:30 p.m.
Florida Gulf Coast at Mercer, 7:30 p.m.
Coastal Carolina at Campbell, 7:45 p.m.
Belmont at North Florida, 7:45 p.m.
Bethune-Cookman at Auburn, 8 p.m.
Miami (Ohio) at Vanderbilt, 8 p.m.
UNC Greensboro at Miami, 9 p.m.

MIDWEST
Shawnee St. at Kent St., 7 p.m.
Robert Morris at Ohio, 7 p.m.
Jacksonville St. at SE Missouri, 8:30 p.m.

SOUTHWEST
Texas A&M at Baylor, 7 p.m.
Jarvis Christian at Sam Houston St., 8 p.m.

FAR WEST
Idaho St. at N. Colorado, 9:05 p.m.
New Mexico St. at CS Bakersfield, 10 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Cal Poly, 10 p.m.
Boise St. at Fresno St., 10 p.m.
Long Beach St. at UC Irvine, 10 p.m.
CS Northridge at UC Riverside, 10 p.m.
Pacific at Cal St.-Fullerton, 10:05 p.m.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell suspended

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 26:  Sindarius Thornwell #0 of the South Carolina Gamecocks drives to the basket defended by Tyler Lydon #20 of the Syracuse Orange in the second half during the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational at Barclays Center on November 26, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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South Carolina senior guard Sindarius Thornwell has been suspended indefinitely due to a violation of athletic department policy, the school announced on Sunday.

Thornwell is averaging 18.7 points, 6.7 boards and 4.1 assists for the Gamecocks, who are undefeated and sitting at No. 20 nationally. Thornwell is the reigning SEC Player of the Week.

South Carolina plays FIU in Columbia at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Melo Trimble’s heroics get him a shout-out from Wale in a song

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 26:  Melo Trimble #2 of the Maryland Terrapins celebrates after hitting the game winning shot as they defeated the Kansas State Wildcats 69-68 during the championship game of the Barclays Center Classic at Barclays Center on November 26, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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For the fourth time in the first three weeks of the college basketball season, Melo Trimble won a game for Maryland.

His two free throws in the final ten seconds gave the Terps a come-from-behind, 71-70 win over Oklahoma State in College Park, and the win not only was the sixth time this season that the Terps have won a game decided by six points or less, it improved Trimble’s record in those games to 26-5.

26-5!

That’s an insane statistic, one that should allow Maryland fans to truly appreciate just how valuable their junior point guard is.

At least one Maryland fan does. Rapper Wale, who hails from Maryland, just outside DC, made sure to name-drop his favorite Terp in a verse in a song he released on Saturday night:

And you better believe that Trimble is aware of it:

"My therapist terrible , I'm uh Terp Melo Trimbling" @wale

A photo posted by Melo Trimble (@olem__) on

Rick Pitino on Grand Canyon: ‘The toughest crowd I’ve ever faced’

Rick Pitino
AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley
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Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said after his No. 14 Cardinals struggled to put away a tough Grand Canyon team on the road had some kind – and hyperbolic – words to say about the atmosphere.

“This, in college basketball in my 40 plus year, was the toughest crowd I’ve ever faced,” he said.

Umm, but Rick, you’ve coached in the Big East and the ACC! This was tougher than any of those crowds?

“Whether we go to Duke, Kentucky, nothing was as tough as that crowd tonight,” he said.

Well, now.

That seems like a bit much, but to be fair, the atmosphere there was, shall we say, lit:

POSTERIZED: Charlotte’s Najee Garvin nearly jumpers over defender

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This is what you don’t try to take charges.

Providence beats No. 21 Rhode Island 63-60

RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 19:  Head coach Ed Cooley of the Providence Friars  reacts in the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at PNC Arena on March 19, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley knew the Rams were in for a tough one against Providence, which had won the matchup of cross-state rivals six straight times.

He didn’t see this coming, though.

Kyron Cartwright, who had made four 3-pointers all season, hit four of five from beyond the arc in the first half. The Providence point guard finished with 19 points and eight assists to lead the Friars to a 63-60 victory over No. 21 Rhode Island on Saturday.

“That’s sports, and that’s the type of thing that makes coaches go gray and lose their hair,” Hurley said after his team lost for the third time in four games. “Four 3-pointers in seven games and he made four today – all in the first half.”

Rodney Bullock scored 17 points for the Friars (6-2). Cartwright had 15 in the first half and Jalen Lindsey scored nine of his 13 points in the second, five during a 7-0 run that erased a seven-point deficit.

“My teammates were telling me, `You need to take those shots to open up the defense,”‘ Cartwright said. “(And) we don’t shoot the ball to not make it.”

Hassan Martin had 14 points and 17 rebounds for Rhode Island (5-3), which lost at unranked Valparaiso and Providence a week after falling to No. 1 Duke. E.C. Matthews scored nine points and went 1 for 8 from 3-point range, airballing a 3 with 2 seconds left with a chance for the Rams to tie it.

“Games like this might help us down the stretch,” Martin said. `’So you just tell everybody to keep their head up.”

The Rams led 47-40 with 12:15 left when Cartwright’s arm appeared to catch Christion Thompson in the left eye. Thompson went to the court, flailing his arms in the air looking for a call, but the teams played on until Lindsey hit a 3-pointer to make it a four-point game at 11:00.

Lindsey’s free throws brought the Friars within two points, and Ryan Fazekas scored on a fast-break goaltending call to tie it. From there, there were three more ties and kept the game within one possession until Lindsey hit a fallaway jumper with 43 seconds left to give Providence a 59-55 lead.

“We beat a tournament team today,” Providence coach Ed Cooley said.

POLL IMPLICATONS

It will be difficult for Rhode Island to stay in The Associated Press Top 25 after its stumbles.

Hurley said he isn’t concerned.

The goal at the beginning of the season was to win the Atlantic 10 and play in the NCAA Tournament.

That’s all still in play.

“We expect to have a long and great season. Nothing’s changed for us,” he said. “We lost two tough road games in a long season.”

BULLOCK’S BOUNCE-BACK

Bullock scored a career-high 36 points against New Hampshire on Wednesday, but he missed all three shots from the field in the first half and had only three points on six free throws at the break.

Cooley told him not to worry about the shooting and to try to make something happen with rebounding or defense.

“Somebody coming of a great scoring game like he did there’s going to be a lot of attention on him,” Cooley said. “I thought he showed some definite grit in the second half.”

TIP-INS

Rhode Island: Martin hit all three of his 3-point attempts in the first half. … Martin surpassed the 1,000-point milestone against Valparaiso on Tuesday. … The Rams have lost nine straight to Big East teams.

Providence: The Friars lead the all-time series 73-56, including a buzzer-beating victory last year in Kingston. … They are 1-1 against ranked teams this season, having lost to then-No. 7 Virginia on Nov. 26.

UP NEXT

Rhode Island: Hosts Old Dominion on Tuesday.

Providence: Hosts Brown on Tuesday.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25.