Baylor, Virginia Face Off in Battle of Recent Champs

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Happy Friday! This weekend in the sports world should be a busy one, and I can’t wait.

Tonight’s slate is basketball-centric: Three men’s college hoops games that are well worth your time headline things, including a pair of top-20 matchups in Las Vegas. That leads us into a Saturday full of college football before Week 11 of the NFL season on Sunday.

Here’s what I’m watching today.

MUST WATCH:

Chris Jones/USA TODAY Sports

Men’s CBB: No. 16 Virginia vs. No. 5 Baylor

Winners of two of the last three men’s national titles will face off to begin a weekend filled with high-profile matchups in college hoops. Virginia is trying to get back into the championship picture after missing the NCAA tournament a season ago. They are one of the rare teams that returns all five starters, including star wing Jayden Gardner. Meanwhile, Baylor has one of the most dynamic young players in college hoops in Keyonte George, a projected top-10 pick in Jeremy Woo’s most recent mock draft. This game pits two of the best coaches in the country and two teams that play very contrasting styles, so this one should be a blast to watch.

7 p.m. ET, ESPN2, watch on fuboTV

READ MORE:

  • The Five Best Feast Week Men’s Tournaments—With Our Picks to Win (Kevin Sweeney)
  • Preseason Bracketology: SI’s Way-Too-Early Men’s NCAA Tournament Field (Kevin Sweeney)
  • SI’s Preseason Expert Predictions: Men’s Final Four, National Champ and More (SI Staff)

LINEUP:

• Men’s CBB: No. 12 Indiana at Xavier | Excitement is sky-high for both these teams this season. Coach Sean Miller is back at Xavier for a second stint with the Musketeers and is trying to return the program to prominence, while Indiana has Big Ten title aspirations in its second season under Mike Woodson. The atmosphere in Cincinnati should be electric. 6 p.m. ET, FS1, watch on fuboTV

• Boston Celtics at New Orleans Pelicans | Joe Mazzulla is off to one of the best starts by a Celtics coach ever with Boston sitting atop the Eastern Conference with a 12–3 record. Chris Mannix has some concerns about Boston’s defense, but this team looks like a title contender. 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Boston/Bally Sports New Orleans, watch on fuboTV

• Men’s CBB: No. 19 Illinois vs. No. 8 UCLA | Pac-12 favorite UCLA takes on SI’s pick to win the Big Ten in Illinois. This one should be fun: The Bruins have a potential All-American in Jaime Jaquez Jr. who decided to return for his senior season instead of heading to the NBA, while Illinois remade its roster with transfers this offseason including star wing Terrence Shannon Jr. 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU, watch on fuboTV

HIDDEN GEM:

Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers

Neither of these teams are at full strength: Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday are working their way back from injuries for the Bucks, while the Sixers are waiting on James Harden to return from a foot injury. But any chance to watch Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid on the same court is worth taking. The Bucks got a big win over the Cavs on Wednesday behind 50 combined points from Brook Lopez and Jordan Nwora, and they’ll need big contributions again from unlikely sources to win tonight.

7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, watch on fuboTV

Think we missed something worth watching? Reply to guide@si.com and let us know what we should be looking out for and why.

Happy streaming!

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