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Monday’s Pregame Shootaround: Florida-UConn square off

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 15 Florida at No. 13 UConn, 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)

The Gators picked up a nice win over Florida State over the weekend, the first big win they’ve had this season. But Florida is still not at full strength right now, with Kasey Hill dealing with an ankle injury, Eli Carter still coming back from his broken leg and Damontre Harris seemingly never returning from his suspension. This UConn games kicks off a three-week stretch where the Gators lock horns with three top 15 teams, including Kansas and Memphis.

UConn, on the other hand, is playing really well right now, with Shabazz Napier tossing his name into the National Player of the Year conversation as the Huskies sit at 7-0 with a win over Indiana in Madison Square Garden. This matchup is made all the more intriguing by the fact that UConn has a terrific back court while Florida’s front line should overpower the Huskies.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: Mercer at Oklahoma, 9:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Oklahoma has played well early on this season and looks like they could end up being the fifth-best team in the Big 12 this season, but Mercer is a good team. Led by Langston Hall, the Bears are actually the favorite to repeat as champs of the Atlantic Sun over Florida-Gulf Coast.

MID-MAJOR GAME OF THE DAY: Boston U. at Quinnipiac, 7:00 p.m.

The Terriers back court, led by Mo Watson and D.J. Irving, is quite talented, but Quinnipiac has a couple of talented pieces on their roster as well. Ike Azotam and Zaid Hearst make up one of the nation’s best mid-major 1-2 punches.


1) Cal better come ready to play against UC-Irvine tonight. Irvine already has a double-digit win at Washington on their resume and counts 7-foot-6 Mamadou N’Diaye on their roster.

2) No. 17 Iowa State puts their perfect record on the line at home against Auburn. The Cyclones better hope Auburn’s magic wore off on Jordan Hare Field on Saturday night.

3) West Virginia hosts Loyola (MD), who has one of the nation’s best scorers on their roster in Dylon Cormier.

4) Vanderbilt squares off against one of the more surprising teams in the country in Texas.

5) Georgia is currently sitting at 2-4 on the season. They host Chattanooga in a game that Mark Fox really, really needs to win.

#CBTtop100: Counting down the Top 100 Players in college basketball

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We’ll be counting down the top 100 players in college basketball all week long. Be sure to check back here throughout the week as the countdown continues over @CBTonNBC.

Jalen Coleman-Lands cleared to practice

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Jarrod Uthoff #20 of the Iowa Hawkeyes defends against Jalen Coleman-Lands #5 of the Illinois Fighting Illini in the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 10, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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When Illinois takes on Southeast Missouri State in the opener of the 2016-17 season, the Fighting Illini should have it’s starting backcourt out on the floor.

According to Jon Rothstein, Jalen Coleman-Lands has been cleared for all basketball activities. The sophomore two-guard has been recovering from a broken bone in his right hand.

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.

Coleman-Lands will team up with Tracy Abrams, a point guard who was granted a sixth year of eligibility after missing the past two seasons due to injuries.

This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.

The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.

NBC Sports projected Illinois to finish eighth in the Big Ten this season.

Curtis Jones jumps over Tom Crean

Tom Crean
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Indiana held its annual Hoosier Hysteria on Saturday night.

One of the highlights from the team’s dunk contest was when freshman guard Curtis Jones jumped over Indiana head coach Tom Crean.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a newcomer us his coach as a dunk contest prop. Last week, Rawle Alkins cleared Arizona head coach Sean Miller en route to a reverse jam.

Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.

WATCH: Edmond Sumner take off from the foul line

CINCINNATI, OH - FEBRUARY 03:  Edmond Sumner #4 of the Xavier Musketeers dunks the ball during the game against the St. John's Red Storm at Cintas Center on February 3, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Edmond Sumner is a big reason why Xavier is likely going to be a preseason top-10 team.

On Saturday night, during Musketeer Madness, Sumner won the team’s dunk contest when he took off from the foul line.

Sumner defeated freshmen Tyrique Jones and Quentin Goodin. J.P. Macura, the reigning Big East Sixth Man of the Year, took home the honors last year.

The 6-foot-6 redshirt sophomore is coming off a debut season in which he averaged 11.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

WATCH: Duke goes crazy for Chase Jeter’s bottle flip

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Chase Jeter #2 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on in the second half against the North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The bottle flip has become an international sensation in recent months.

It’s as simple as it sounds: flipping a water bottle in the air, attempting to have it land upright.

Duke sophomore forward Chase Jeter, in front of 9,300-plus fans, successfully pulled off the bottle flip on Saturday night at Duke’s Craziness.

Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.