Thursday’s slate and what to watch

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Cal’s chances to win the Pac-12 took a significant hit when forward Richard Solomon was ruled academically ineligible this week. The 6-10 sophomore didn’t play a huge role for the Bears (15-4), but their already thin frontcourt will miss him for rebounding and for depth.

Can Harper Kamp really be the only reliable scoring threat in the post for a team with league title expectations? If it were any other conference than the Pac-12, maybe…

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

Cal at Washington, 8:30 p.m. (Root Sports)
Solomon’s absence isn’t the only thing making Cal’s trip to Seattle a little tougher. Just getting to the game will be a chore. Beyond that, the Huskies (11-6) are a decent matchup for Cal because they’re also not loaded with tall post players. That’ll place an even larger emphasis on guys like Tony Wroten and Terrence Ross to find seams in the Cal defense, manned  by two of the game’s best and smartest defenders in Allen Crabbe and Jorge Gutierrez.

Vanderbilt at Alabama,7 p.m. (ESPN2)
The Commodores (13-4) shrugged off a 6-4 start and haven’t lost since Dec. 19. The offense has just one game where they’ve posted an efficiency rating of less than 1.06 PPP, meaning this is the Vandy team most expected to see this season. The return of center Festus Ezeli has been huge, though John Jenkins’ hot shooting hasn’t hurt either. It’ll be tested against the Tide (13-4) who continue to play outstanding defense and mediocre offense.

North Carolina at Virginia Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
How do the Tar Heels (15-3) respond to a 33-point shellacking? Hard to tell. Roy Williams would almost certainly rather be in the Dean Dome to face Virginia Tech, which has lost three straight but remains one of the nation’s toughest outs. The Hokies (11-6) are probably headed for another season on the bubble, but they’ll be fighting the whole way.

College of Charleston at Davidson, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Meet the Southern Conference’s two best teams – by far. Bobby Cremins’ Charleston team is 12-5 and has beaten Clemson and Tennessee. Bob McKillop’s Wildcats (12-4) can top that (that win over Kansas remains a bright spot) thanks to their efficient offense. Davidson should win going away, but that goes out the window in games like these.

EAST
Hartford at Maine, 7 p.m.
Bryant at CCSU, 7 p.m.
Robert Morris at Fairleigh Dickinson, 7 p.m.
Lafayette at Holy Cross, 7 p.m.
Mount St. Mary’s at LIU, 7 p.m.
St. Francis (Pa.) at Monmouth (NJ), 7 p.m.
Houston Baptist at NJIT, 7 p.m.
Boston U. at New Hampshire, 7 p.m.
Quinnipiac at Sacred Heart, 7 p.m.
Wagner at St. Francis (NY), 7 p.m.
Fairfield at St. Peter’s, 7 p.m.
Binghamton at UMBC, 7 p.m.
Albany (NY) at Vermont, 7 p.m.
Siena at Loyola (Md.), 7:30 p.m.
Niagara at Canisius, 8:30 p.m.
Illinois at Penn St., 9 p.m.

SOUTH
Vanderbilt at Alabama, 7 p.m.
Coll. of Charleston at Davidson, 7 p.m.
Wake Forest at Duke, 7 p.m.
UT-Martin at E. Kentucky, 7 p.m.
Samford at Elon, 7 p.m.
Georgia Southern at Furman, 7 p.m.
Campbell at Radford, 7 p.m.
Charleston Southern at UNC Asheville, 7 p.m.
Chattanooga at UNC Greensboro, 7 p.m.
High Point at VMI, 7 p.m.
Gardner-Webb at Winthrop, 7 p.m.
Appalachian St. at Wofford, 7 p.m.
Virginia at Georgia Tech, 8 p.m.
Arkansas St. at Middle Tennessee, 8 p.m.
Boston College at NC State, 8 p.m.
Jacksonville St. at Tennessee Tech, 8 p.m.
William & Mary at VCU, 8 p.m.
FIU at South Alabama, 8:05 p.m.
Denver at Louisiana-Monroe, 8:30 p.m.
FAU at Troy, 8:30 p.m.
North Carolina at Virginia Tech, 9 p.m.

MIDWEST
Milwaukee at Youngstown St., 7:05 p.m.
Tennessee St. at E. Illinois, 8 p.m.
Valparaiso at Loyola of Chicago, 8 p.m.
Austin Peay at SIU-Edwardsville, 8 p.m.
IUPUI at South Dakota, 8 p.m.
Texas-Pan American at Chicago St., 8:05 p.m.
W. Illinois at UMKC, 8:05 p.m.
Butler at Ill.-Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

SOUTHWEST
Louisiana-Lafayette at UALR, 8 p.m.
IPFW at Oral Roberts, 8:05 p.m.

FAR WEST
Arizona St. at Colorado, 8:30 p.m.
Southern Cal at Oregon, 8:30 p.m.
California at Washington, 8:30 p.m.
Loyola Marymount at BYU, 9 p.m.
N. Colorado at Montana, 9 p.m.
Sacramento St. at Montana St., 9 p.m.
Oakland at S. Utah, 9 p.m.
Arizona at Utah, 9 p.m.
N. Arizona at Weber St., 9 p.m.
Long Beach St. at Cal Poly, 10 p.m.
San Francisco at Gonzaga, 10 p.m.
San Diego at Portland, 10 p.m.
Pepperdine at Saint Mary’s (Cal), 10 p.m.
CS Northridge at UC Santa Barbara, 10 p.m.
Stanford at Washington St., 10:05 p.m.
Utah St. at Seattle, 10:10 p.m.
UCLA at Oregon St., 10:30 p.m.
New Mexico St. at San Jose St., 10:30 p.m.
Louisiana Tech at Hawaii, Mid

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