Sunday’s Pregame Shootaround: Wisconsin hosts Michigan State

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 9 Michigan State vs. Wisconsin,1 p.m. (CBS)

Adreian Payne returned to the Michigan State lineup on Feb. 6, after a seven-game absence, to score 12 points, grabbing three rebounds in 18 minutes of action in a win over Penn State. While Payne is back in the lineup, the status of senior point guard Keith Appling is still in question. Appling made the trip to Wisconsin but Michigan State Tom Izzo is uncertain when Appling will play again.

Michigan got pummeled by Iowa on Saturday, meaning Michigan State can take sole control of first place in the Big Ten standings with a win.

The Badgers sit at 5-5 in conference play, dropping five of their last seven games. Wisconsin has lost three consecutive games inside the Kohl Center.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET? No. 12 Creighton vs. St. John’s. 7 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)

Less than two weeks ago, Doug McDermott hit a game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds to defeat an upset-minded St. John’s. Dougie McBuckets scored 39 of Creighton’s 63 points. The Johnnies erased an 18-point second half deficit but had a defensive lapse, leaving McDermott open for his last-second heroics. The Red Storm get the Bluejays on their home floor on Sunday, and if they keep it close, maybe keep an eye on the national player of the year favorite.

MID-MAJOR GAME OF THE DAY: Iona vs. Canisius, 2 p.m.

Iona and Canisius meet for the second time this season with the Gaels leading the Golden Griffins by a game in the MAAC standings. These two teams first shared the floor on Jan. 17 with Canisius picked up an 85-83 win on the road, however Canisius had blown a 20-point lead. The Golden Griffins suffered an 11-point loss to Manhattan on Friday night.


1) The top two teams in the nation are in action at roughly the same time. Top-ranked Syracuse hosts Clemson at 6 p.m. No. 2 Arizona has Oregon State in Tuscon, beginning at 7 p.m.

2) Southern Miss can make it a two-way tie atop the Conference-USA standings with a win over Charlotte. The Golden Eagles trail UTEP by half a game.

3) UConn is fifth in the American Athletic Conference, heading to UCF in one of two American games on Sunday. Temple is at Houston in the first of the two games.

4) Arizona State landed a big win over Oregon at home on Saturday afternoon. The Sun Devils are in third place in the Pac-12 standings. Colorado can tie them with a win over Washington.

5) UMass has struggled in Atlantic 10 play, but had a promising outing against La Salle on Wednesday. Rhode Island has lost three of four, but the Rams are more than capable of pulling off the upset.

Florida Gulf Coast’s Demetris Morant out 3-4 months

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Florida Gulf Coast redshirt junior forward Demetris Morant is expected to miss the next 3-4 months after undergoing surgery last week to repair a stress fracture in his right shin, the school announced on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 4.5 points, 4.4 blocks and 1.3 blocks per game in 33 appearances (18 starts) for the Eagles during the 2014-15 season.

“This is obviously an unfortunate setback for Demetris, but it was a procedure that needed to be done,” Florida Gulf Coast head coach Dooley said in a statement. “We decided it would be best to have it completed now to hopefully get him back for A-Sun play. It’s an opportunity now for other guys to step up in his absence, and I have confidence they’ll get the job done.”

The Eagles have the top frontline in the Atlantic Sun, one that returns Marc-Eddy Norelia and Filip Cvjeticanin, a 3-point shooter who missed all of last season recovering from back surgery. VCU transfer Antravious Simmons becomes eligible in the second semester.

Florida Gulf Coast begins the 2015-16 season on Nov. 14 against Ohio.

Bill Self on Cheick Diallo: ‘It may be a couple of more weeks’

2015 McDonald's All American Game
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Cheick Diallo is currently practicing with Kansas, but his eligibility still remains in question.

On Monday, Kansas head coach Bill Self appeared on “The Border Patrol” on WHB-AM 810 and was asked to update the status of his freshman big man.

“He’s been cleared to practice,” Self told hosts Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty. “(His status) is depending on what they find throughout from the information we submit to them whenever we get it all together.

“A lot of people think, ‘Well, why wouldn’t it all be together?’ Well there’s a lot of reasons why. It’s because they told us recently some things that they just wanted. Instead of just throwing it to them piece by piece, they requested we to just submit it all together, so it may be a couple of more weeks before we’re able to submit everything when you’re talking about getting information from schools in Mali and everything like that.

“But we hope in two weeks, maybe three weeks, before we have a definite answer. But right now, Cheick is like everybody else. He’s practicing.”

Diallo, a 6-foot-9 forward from Mali is allowed to practice with the Jayhawks, but has been waiting to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center despite enrolling in classes over the summer and earning six credits. Self anticipated this would be a long process, but has remained confident Diallo, the top-5 recruit in Class of 2015, will eventually be cleared to play this season.

For three years, Diallo attended Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York, which is currently under NCAA review. In September, Pitt freshman Damon Wilson, Diallo’s teammate at OSNA, was cleared to play.

Kansas opens the season on Nov. 13 against Northern Colorado.