Obviously college basketball will be overshadowed by the BCS Championship Game (I like Texas) but there are some important conference battles to check in on during commercial breaks. Michigan visits Happy Valley to take on the Nittany Lions and it's a shame that a game featuring Manny Harris and Talor Battle will be pushed to the backburner. Both have the ability to fill it up and Harris enjoys the help of a capable frontcourt presence in DeShawn Sims. The key for both teams: what will they get from their "supporting casts"? The team that receives more help from its role players will pick up the Big Ten victory.
There are also solid games in the Atlantic 10, CAA, NEC and Sun Belt on Thursday, including first-place George Mason taking on CAA contender Northeastern and Xavier visiting a dangerous La Salle squad. Rodney Green is one of the best guards in America that isn't the subject of constant media attention, averaging just a shade under nineteen points per game for the Explorers. Both teams are deep and have versatile players, which should make for an entertaining ballgame. So while most of your focus is on the final college football game of the season try not to completely ignore college hoops.
6p FSS Western Kentucky at South Alabama
7p TCN George Mason at Northeastern
7p ESPN2 Michigan at Penn State
7p CBS-College Xavier at La Salle
8p FCS Oakland at Oral Roberts
7p Vermont at Maine
7:30p Robert Morris at Long Island
8:05p Middle Tennessee at Arkansas St
8:05p South Dakota St at UMKC
9:05p Weber St at Northern Colorado
10:05p Long Beach St at Cal-State Fullerton
Penn State over Michigan: The Wolverines are 0-3 in true road games this season and their offense is rather reliant upon their success from behind the arc. That can be the recipe for falling behind the proverbial 8-ball on the road if those shots aren't falling. Look for this game to be played in the mid-high 60s with the Nittany Lions pulling out the close victory.