Each day, CollegeBasketballTalk brings you the “Pregame Shootaround,” which will be posted at 2 p.m. ET and lay out a preview for the slate of games that night. We’ll take a look at some key match-ups and important games, as well as make some predictions and point out what you need to watch for. Take a look below at today’s edition:
Note: The weekend editions of Pregame Shootaround will be published half an hour prior to tip-off of the day’s first game.
Game of the Day: Valparaiso vs. Saint Louis (4:30 p.m. ET)
This game won’t be about what happens on the court, but rather the circumstances surrounding the game itself. Former coach Rick Majerus passed away Saturday and the Billikens will have less than 24 hours before taking the floor against Valparaiso. Expect an emotional pregame and words from players and coaches postgame about their desire to play in Majerus’ memory after his passing.
The fact that the game takes place in St. Louis is likely another factor that could make for an especially emotional night Sunday.
Who’s getting upset?: California against Wisconsin (4:00 p.m. ET)
Considering that Cal has to visit the Kohl Center, this might not actually be an upset, were it to happen. But, with the Badgers at 4-3 and Cal at a perfect 6-0, this might be the only legitimate upset call we can make on a dry Sunday. Cal’s scoring is concentrated at the top with Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs (both averagin 20+ points per game), while Wisconsin has four players averaging in double figures.
Mid-Major Match-Up of the Day: Wichita State vs. Air Force (5:00 p.m. ET)
Wichita State showed that they are a legitimate threat when they beat Virginia Commonwealth earlier this season. They sit at 7-0, but face an Air Force team, led by Michael Lyons, that is 6-1. The frontcourt of Cleanthony Early and Carl Hall will provide a good chunk of the scoring for the Shockers, but keep an eye on what Lyons can do. The senior is averaging just over 20 points per game.
Five Things to Watch For:
1) It’s a slow day in college hoops, likely because many will have an eye on NFL football, but the few games above and below should be able to hold you over until Monday.
2) The Battle for South Carolina is the game today with the most significance, as Clemson takes on South Carolina. Clemson is coming off a loss to Purdue, while South Carolina dropped its last game to St. John’s.
3) Florida State was a borderline Top 25 team coming into the season, with help from guard Michael Snaer, but the Seminoles now sit at 4-2 after a loss to a tough Minnesota team. They’ll look to bounce back against Mercer.
4) Mike Montgomery has the Cal Bears off to a 6-0 start, but walking into the Kohl Center is no easy task. Bo Ryan and the Wisconsin Badgers will be waiting.
5) Boise State surprised many by beating No. 11 Creighton this week, and they’ll look to keep the momentum rolling against Seattle.
The Rest of the Top 25:
No Top 25 Games
Other Notable Games:
Clemson vs. South Carolina (12:00 p.m. ET)
George Mason vs. Maryland (2:30 p.m. ET)
California vs. Wisconsin (4:00 p.m. ET)