WHEN/WHERE: 2; Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville, Ark.
TV/RADIO: Ch. 38; 620-AM.
RECORDS: UF _ 22-3, 8-3 SEC; Arkansas 16-8, 5-6.
COACHES: UF _ Billy Donovan (215-95, 10th season; 250-115 overall); Arkansas _ Stan Heath (55-55, fourth season; 85-61).
NOTABLE: Florida plays its second straight road game. The Gators have won five of the past six meetings against Arkansas but have won only twice at Bud Walton Arena. Florida forward Corey Brewer is coming off a career-best 26-point game and said his sprained ankle is nearly 100 percent. And though guard Lee Humphrey's injured shoulder still has him out of the starting lineup, he's again playing well. Arkansas is going for its fifth straight home win, led by the backcourt of Ronnie Brewer (a league-leading 18.6 ppg) and Jonathan Modica (15.5). "They are a very talented, physical, athletic team," Donovan said. "It's a really good basketball team who's got a great homecourt advantage. Bud Walton is one of the more difficult places to play in all of college basketball. So they've got a great thing going. They've been a very dominant team at home."
_ ANTONYA ENGLISH, Times staff writer
FLORIDA STATE VS. VIRGINIA
WHEN/WHERE: 4; Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee.
TV/RADIO: Ch. 44; 1470-AM.
RECORDS: Virginia 13-9, 6-5 ACC; FSU 15-7, 5-6.
COACHES: Virginia _ Dave Leitao (first season; 93-78 overall); FSU _ Leonard Hamilton (60-55, fourth season; 260-265).
NOTABLE: The Seminoles are coming off their worst showing all season, an 86-64 loss at North Carolina State on Wednesday. They had lost their other six games by a total of 25 points. But they're back home, where they're 10-2 this season, looking to sweep an ACC rival for the first time since 2000-01 (Clemson). FSU beat Virginia in Charlottesville, 87-82 in overtime, on Jan. 11.FSU senior guard Andrew Wilson, in his sixth season, will tie a school record for games (122). FSU forwards, Al Thornton (16.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and Alexander Johnson (12.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg), continue to be the offensive strength. Virginia counters with one of the ACC's top backcourt duos, Sean Singletary (18.4 ppg, 4.6 apg) and J.R. Reynolds (15.6 ppg, 3.5 apg). The Cavaliers are in fifth in the league, a game in the loss column behind third-place Boston College and a game in the loss column ahead of sixth-place Miami and seventh-place FSU and Maryland. The Cavaliers lead the series 16-13.
_ BRIAN LANDMAN, Times staff writer
USF VS. RUTGERS
WHEN/WHERE: 7; Sun Dome, Tampa.
TV/RADIO: Ch. 28; 620-AM.
RECORDS: Rutgers 14-11, 4-8 Big East; USF 6-18, 0-11.
COACHES: Rutgers _ Gary Waters (74-72, fifth season; 166-132overall); USF _ Robert McCullum (27-54, third season; 71-99).
NOTABLE: Right now, both teams would miss the Big East Tournament, with Rutgers in 13th and losing a tiebreaker to St. John's. The two will play twice in nine days, with the Bulls traveling to New Jersey for a game Feb. 26. USF's loss at Notre Dame was a school-record 13th in a row, a streak that matches Howard for the longest in the nation. Howard, incidentally, today hosts Bethune-Cookman, the school that started USF's skid in December. Rutgers has the Big East's leading scorer in 6-foot-3 junior guard Quincy Douby, averaging 24.3 points as the only Knights player in double figures. Three of Rutgers' four league wins have come against new teams from Conference USA, with victories against DePaul, Marquette and Louisville. Eight of USF's 12 league losses have been by seven points or fewer, and the missing ingredient for the Bulls might be getting their two perimeter scorers, senior James Holmes and junior Melvin Buckley, to shoot well on the same night. Holmes went for 18 against Notre Dame but Buckley went 2-of-13; in the Bulls' last home game against Seton Hall, Buckley scored 26 but Holmes went 1-of-11. A loss tonight would mathematically eliminate the Bulls from the conference tournament, where only the league's top 12 teams compete.
_ GREG AUMAN, Times staff writer