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Top Secret Fyles column: College basketball games worth watching

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From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:

March Madness is four months away, but the bevy of nonconference and later conference games in college basketball can produce plenty of excitement and drama for fans.

There’s a tasty menu of games before conference postseason tournaments begin in mid-March.

Here are dates to circle for can’t-miss, regional-flavored games in the coming months:

n Dec. 3 — Indiana at Syracuse and Michigan at Duke;

n Dec. 14 — Arizona at Michigan; Kentucky at North Carolina;

n Dec. 21 — Georgetown at Kansas;

n Dec. 28 — Villanova at Syracuse; Louisville at Kentucky;

n Jan. 11 — North Carolina at Syracuse;

n Jan. 18 — Pittsburgh at Syracuse;

n Feb. 1 — Duke at Syracuse;

n Feb. 12 — Syracuse at Pittsburgh;

n Feb. 22 — Syracuse at Duke;

n Feb. 23 — Michigan State at Michigan;

n March 1 — Kansas at Oklahoma State; Louisville at Memphis;

n March 2— Ohio State at Indiana;

n March 8 — Connecticut at Louisville; North Carolina at Duke; Georgetown at Villanova; Kentucky at Florida;

n March 9 — Michigan State at Ohio State.

Channel surfing: With the NFL season heading toward the three-quarters pole, it’s recommended viewing to check NFL RedZone, channel 311 on area Time Warner Cable systems.

It’s seven hours of commercial-free football, beginning at 1 p.m. on Sundays during the regular season.

Host Scott Hanson does a wonderful job guiding viewers to the quickest updates of multiple games.

The RedZone channel — a product of the NFL Network — is at its best when tight games that began at either 1 or 4:25 p.m. are nearing conclusion, and viewers can immediately learn the final outcome.

Innovative technology, along with betting, fantasy leagues and controlled aggression are big reasons why the NFL is the No. 1 most-watched sport in this country.

Richie Rich’s Top 10 in college football: 1. Alabama; 2. Florida State (close to becoming 1A); 3. Ohio State; 4. Baylor; 5. Oregon; 6. Auburn; 7. Clemson; 8. Missouri; 9. Oklahoma State; 10. Texas A&M.

Richie Rich’s Top 10 in the NFL: 1. Seahawks; 2. Broncos; 3. Saints; 4. Patriots (played Monday night); 5. Chiefs; 6. Panthers (played Monday night); 7. 49ers; 8. Bengals; 9. Colts; 10. Eagles.

Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at

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