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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.

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW

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.

POSTERIZED: Texas A&M-CC with an off-the-backboard dunk

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This is pretty nice from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, who has made a habit out of getting themselves on the highlight reel.

Here’s another angle of the dunk:

UNLV’s Stephen Zimmerman out with a knee injury

UNLV forward Stephen Zimmerman Jr. shoots against San Diego State during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
(L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
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The injury Stephen Zimmerman suffered on Saturday will keep the star UNLV freshman out for at least a week, a source told NBC Sports.

The injury is not thought to be serious, however. Zimmerman may be kept out for longer as a precaution, but that’s a result of the Runnin’ Rebels being in a situation where the rest of their regular season is relatively meaningless.

They’re not getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of how they finish out league play. With back-up center Ben Carter out with a torn ACL, it’s more important to make sure that Zimmerman, who is averaging 10.6 points and 9.1 boards this season, is totally healthy for the Mountain West tournament.

That tournament, mind you, will be played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.

So the Runnin’ Rebels, regardless of how poor they’ve played this season, will always have a chance to land an automatic bid.

Anyway, the more interesting aspect of this story is how Zimmerman injured the knee. It was a completely avoidable play that came after the whistle, but I’m not sure it was what you would call a “dirty play”. You tell me: