Viewer’s guide: What’s on tap for Utah college basketball this week

Week 9 of the college basketball season is set up to be a crucial one for several Division I Utah teams, particularly on the men’s side.

Here’s a look at the schedule, plus three national games with significant implications:

Thursday

  • Utah men’s basketball vs. Stanford, 3 p.m. MST (ESPN2)
    The Utes have played some good first halves lately, but need to string together a full game to snap their four-game losing skid. The Cardinal come to Salt Lake City on a three-game winning streak, albeit all against teams in the bottom half of the Pac-12 standings.
  • BYU women’s basketball vs. Saint Mary’s, 6 p.m. (BYUtv)
  • Utah State men’s basketball vs. San Diego State, 7 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
    The Aggies’ two games at home against SDSU this weekend will have a big impact on the Mountain West Conference standings. USU has roared out to a 6-0 start in MWC play as part of an eight-game win streak, though the three teams the Aggies have beaten in league play have a combined one conference win. The defending MWC regular-season champ Aztecs dropped a game to Colorado State, when the Rams rallied from 26 down, but are talented and were ranked earlier this year.
  • Southern Utah men’s basketball at Eastern Washington, 7 p.m. (Pluto TV)
  • Utah State women’s basketball at San Diego State, 7 p.m.
  • BYU men’s basketball at Saint Mary’s, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
    The Cougars historically have had a tough time winning at Saint Mary’s, and this game will help gauge where BYU sits in the conference race. Both teams are searching for their first West Coast Conference win after COVID-19 postponements have interrupted their play the past two weeks.

Friday

  • Utah women’s basketball vs. No. 1 Stanford, 1:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)
    The Utes have had a rough go of it since beating Oregon State in the season’s second game and enter the matchup with the nation’s No. 1 team with a 2-7 Pac-12 record. The Cardinal are winning games by an average of 31 points per game and will test the young Utah squad.
  • UVU women’s basketball vs. Seattle, 5:30 p.m. (WAC Digital Network)
  • Dixie State men’s basketball at UT Rio Grande Valley, 6 p.m. (WAC Digital Network)
    The Trailblazers’ Western Athletic Conference opener was delayed because of COVID-19 issues, but Dixie State, which lost 72-63 to New Mexico on Wednesday in a quickly scheduled matchup, will have the chance to pick up a league win or two when it heads to Texas for a pair of games against the Vaqueros.
  • UVU men’s basketball at Seattle, 7 p.m. (WAC Digital Network)

Saturday

  • Utah State men’s basketball vs. San Diego State, 11:30 a.m. (CBS)
    The Aggies’ rubber match with SDSU will tip off early and be telecast to a national audience.
  • Utah State women’s basketball at San Diego State, 1 p.m.
  • Southern Utah men’s basketball at Eastern Washington, 1 p.m. (Pluto TV)
    The T-Birds have won a Division I school-best nine straight after falling by two in their season opener and are 4-0 so far in Big Sky play. Their next big test is the Eagles, the preseason league favorite, with an afternoon tip in the second game. Eastern Washington is 1-0 in Big Sky play, but its past two weeks of games have been canceled.
  • BYU women’s basketball vs. Pacific, 2 p.m. (BYUtv)
    The Cougars will try to stay near the top of the WCC standings when they host Pacific, which sits at 2-2 in league play.
  • Weber State men’s basketball vs. Yellowstone Christian College, 2 p.m. (Pluto TV)
  • UVU women’s basketball vs. Seattle, 5:30 p.m. (WAC Digital Network)
  • Dixie State men’s basketball at UT Rio Grande Valley, 6 p.m. (WAC Digital Network)
  • UVU men’s basketball at Seattle, 7 p.m. (WAC Digital Network)
  • BYU men’s basketball at San Francisco, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
    The back half of the Cougars’ two-game California swing takes them to San Francisco, where a Dons team that’s shown plenty of promise — like a victory over then-No. 4 Virginia — awaits.
  • Utah men’s basketball vs. California, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
    Like Utah, the Golden Bears’ lone Pac-12 win so far came against Washington, which sits at the bottom of the league standings. It looks like a solid matchup, and a key opportunity to pick up a conference win, for both teams.

Sunday

  • Utah women’s basketball vs. California, noon (Pac-12 Networks)
    The Utes will have one of their best chances for a win with winless California coming to town.
  • Southern Utah women’s basketball vs. UT Rio Grande Valley, 3 p.m. (Pluto TV)
  • Weber State men’s basketball vs. Tarleton State, 7 p.m. (Pluto TV)

3 national games to watch

  • No. 10 Oregon at No. 11 Arizona, women’s basketball

Thursday, 5 p.m. (ESPN)
One of the top 25 matchups this week pairs programs with two Pac-12 losses each trying to keep pace in the league race. Oregon lost by a combined nine points to No. 1 Stanford and No. 11 UCLA, while Arizona is coming off a close loss to previously unranked Washington State.

  • No. 7 Michigan at No. 23 Minnesota, men’s basketball

Saturday, noon (ESPN)
The Wolverines already won a top 25 matchup this week, blitzing No. 9 Wisconsin 77-54 to stay unbeaten and atop the Big Ten with a 6-0 league mark. If Michigan wins, it will be its fourth straight win over a top 25 opponent. The Golden Gophers, meanwhile, already lost big to Michigan once and are trying to stay in the league race, with a 3-4 Big Ten record.

  • No. 2 Baylor at No. 15 Texas Tech, men’s basketball

Saturday, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
The Red Raiders are coming off another game against a top 5 team — they rallied to edge No. 4 Texas on Wednesday behind 22 points from Mac McClung. The Bears, meanwhile, are one of the country’s most dominant teams. They are undefeated at 11-0 and their 27-point margin of victory leads the nation.