Thanksgiving Hoops: Your Guide to a Hardwood Holiday

Thanksgiving is for a lot of things – family, turkey, breaking down the door at a superstore at 6 p.m. because you need to save $25 on your kid’s toy truck – but most importantly, it’s for hoops.

You need to know in advance when and where to find all the best basketball on Turkey Day. It’s not easy to sneak out on your family to catch the final few minutes of that marquee matchup you can’t miss, but it’s made possible through careful planning and accurate priorities. That’s where we come in.

Here at Nothing But Nylon, we want you to enjoy your Thanksgiving and your hoops, so we’ve put together the ultimate guide for you to navigate November’s holy day with basketball on your mind, one step at a time.

All times Eastern.

Late Morning/Early Afternoon

Top Game: (M) #5 Maryland vs Temple (11 a.m., ESPN2)

The Terps entered the season with tons of hype, and so far, they’ve generally lived up to it. But this is another early test for Maryland to prove its expectations are correct against a Temple team that took care of USC, 70-61, last week and enters the game 4-0. The Owls are led by first-year head coach Aaron McKie, who replaced Fran Dunphy after he retired following his 13 seasons at Temple, and this opening game of the Orlando Invitational will be his first opportunity against a highly-ranked opponent.

Other Games

(W) South Dakota State vs #21 South Florida (11 a.m., FloHoops)

(M) Texas A&M vs Harvard (1 p.m., ESPN2)

(W) UT Arlington vs #8 Louisville (1 p.m., FloHoops)

(W) Florida Gulf Coast vs Notre Dame (1:30 p.m., FloHoops)

Mid-Afternoon

Top Game: (M) North Carolina State vs #16 Memphis (4 p.m., ESPN2)

Both programs have been in the headlines for violations lately, but this Thanksgiving, it’ll be about hoops. Memphis is 5-1 with a lone loss to No. 11 Oregon and just knocked off Ole Miss last week by one point in a heated rivalry matchup. Precious Achiuwa and the rest of the talented freshman class – minus James Wiseman, whom the NCAA suspended until January last week – will aim their sights at NC State, which has rattled off five-straight victories against minor competition after falling to Georgia Tech at home in the second game of the season, 82-81. This is the Wolfpack’s shot at redemption as they get the Tigers at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as part of the Barclays Center Classic.

Other Games:

(M) Providence vs Long Beach State (2 p.m., ESPNU)

(W) Boston College vs Tulane (2:30 p.m., FloHoops)

(W) Vanderbilt vs Rutgers (3 p.m., FloHoops)

(W) Oklahoma State vs #1 Oregon (3:15 p.m., FloHoops)

Late Afternoon/Evening

Top Game: (W) #23 West Virginia vs Creighton (6:30 p.m., FloHoops)

West Virginia is 4-0, though, none of those wins have been against anyone of note. But the team has taken care of business, smashing the cupcakes in front of it like it should. This will be WVU’s first test of the season and it will meet the Bluejays in its opening game of the Cancun Challenge in Cancun, Mexico. Creighton is 4-1 with a loss at Drake, but the Big East team just took care of business in its in-state rivalry showdown with Nebraska on Sunday, 79-74. Head coach Jim Flanery should have his team up and ready for this one to challenge the Mountaineers on Thanksgiving.

Other Games:

(M) Wake Forest vs College of Charleston (4:30 p.m., ESPNEWS)

(W) #10 Mississippi State vs San Francisco (4:30 p.m., FloHoops)

(W) Seton Hall vs Georgia Tech (5:15 p.m., FloHoops)

(W) Washington State vs #2 Baylor (5:45 p.m., FloHoops)

Night

Top Game: (W) #17 Indiana vs #5 South Carolina (8 p.m., FloHoops)

In the only ranked matchup of the day, two undefeateds will do battle in the U.S. Virgin Islands as part of the Paradise Jam. The Gamecocks have had a stellar start to yet another season, running through the competition it should and handling a top-10 Maryland team, 63-54, on the road Nov. 10, but Indiana stands in their way. The Hoosiers have won four blowouts: three against lower competition and a 73-49 thrashing of Florida in Gainesville on Friday. This team has some hype around it with plenty of last year’s rotation returning, and South Carolina will provide a solid test of where this program stands right now.

Other Games:

(M) #12 Texas Tech vs Iowa (8 p.m., FS1)

(W) #18 Syracuse vs Houston (8 p.m., FloHoops)

(M) UCF vs Penn (8:30 p.m., ESPNU)

(W) Temple vs North Carolina (9 p.m., FloHoops)

(W) #3 Stanford vs California Baptist (10:30 p.m., FloHoops)

(M) Pepperdine vs #14 Arizona (11 p.m., ESPN2)

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