Friday’s slate and what to watch

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Friday’s are usually quiet during the hoops season. Generally just Ivy League games and the occasional mid-major matchup. But that’s after the holidays. Until then, it’s a nice mix of matchups – even if there are only nine games scheduled.

Best big-time game: Kansas State at Washington State

The Wildcats have the lofty ranking (5), the star player (Jacob Pullen) and the Final Four aspirations, but this is far from a gimme game. In fact, the unbeaten Cougars (5-0) score just as efficiently as the Wildcats and have a star player in their own right. Klay Thompson’s averaging 22.2 points a game and making 54 percent of his shots. And if K-State focuses on him, Wazzu guard Faisal Aden (20.8 ppg) can step up. Pity it’s not on TV. Just click here around 10 p.m. for the full details.

Pay heed to the Big Five: St. Joe’s at Villanova

Any Big Five showdown is worth your time. This one may not be close given that the Hawks are still rebuilding (and can’t score) and Villanova gets to play at “home.” (Home being a relative term for a Big Five game.) Still, it’s the Big Five. Show some respect.

Beware the red-line upset: UAB at Georgia

Georgia has future NBA players in Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, but the Dawgs also play defense like an NBA team. That bodes well for UAB, which can shoot and take care of the ball. Blazers will keep this close. (Unsure what the red line is? Click here)

Friday’s lineup
(all times ET)

EAST
UMBC vs. Connecticut at the XL Center, Hartford, Conn., 7 p.m.
Canisius at Iona, 7:30 p.m.
Niagara at Marist, 7:30 p.m.
Saint Joseph’s at Villanova, 8:30 p.m.

SOUTH
UAB at Georgia, 7 p.m.

FAR WEST
Monmouth, N.J. vs. E. Michigan at Memorial Gym, Moscow, Idaho, 8:30 p.m.
Portland at Montana, 9 p.m.
North Dakota at Idaho, 11 p.m.
Kansas St. at Washington St., 11 p.m.  

Want more? I’m also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller.