Aaron Craft, Keith Appling

Sunday’s Pregame Shootaround: Michigan State-Ohio State rematch, Wichita State eyes 34-0

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 22 Michigan State vs. Ohio State, 4:30 p.m. (CBS)

The Spartans were the top-ranked team in the nation for several weeks earlier this season. Michigan State is now toward the bottom of the top-25 with a rivalry game against Ohio State rounding out its regular season on Sunday. Can Sparty prove its recent slide was just a hiccup in what could be another deep tournament run for Tom Izzo.

It won’t be easy though. Michigan State had to hold off Ohio State in overtime, after blowing a double-digit lead, back on Jan. 7. The Buckeyes have lost back-to-back Big Ten games. A win here could potentially bump Ohio State into a tie for fourth place with Nebraska in the conference standings, depending on how the Cornhuskers fare with No. 9 Wisconsin on Sunday.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET? No. 7 Syracuse vs. Florida State, 2 p.m. (ESPN3)

Previous No. 1 Syracuse has lost four of five games. The Orange are averaging 68.1 points per game this season, but in their last nine games they are under that total. To make matters worse, Cuse faces a tough Florida State defense on the road on Sunday afternoon. The Seminoles are fighting to get on the right side of the bubble with a week before Selection Sunday.

MID-MAJOR GAME OF THE DAY: No. 2 Wichita State vs. Indiana State, 2:05 p.m. (CBS)

The Shockers are looking to continue their pursuit of perfection, entering the NCAA tournament with a 34-0 record if they can get past Indiana State in the Missouri Valley Conference championship game.

MORE: Our latest bracket projections — is your team in?

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW

1) The Colonial Athletic Association semifinals are on NBC Sports Network:

  • Northeastern vs. Delaware, 2:30 p.m.
  • William & Mary vs. Towson, 5 p.m.

2)  Winthrop and Coastal Carolina battle for a bid to the NCAA tournament in the Big South final at noon.

3) Can Dunk City make a return trip to the Big Dance? We’ll find out this afternoon as Florida Gulf Coast takes on Mercer in the Atlantic Sun championship game.

4) Nebraska has not lost a game at home in its last seven tries. An eighth straight home victory will greatly improve the Cornhuskers tournament chances as they welcome in Wisconsin.

5) The Atlantic 10 tournament is shaping up to be a wild one. Saint Louis and UMass go head-to-head in Amherst with a preview of what’s to come next week in Brooklyn.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25:

  • No. 5 Virginia vs. Maryland, noon (CBS)
  • No. 17 Saint Louis vs. UMass, 2 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

NOTABLES:

  • Canisius vs. Iona, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Albany vs. Vermont, 5 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Penn State vs. Minnesota, 5:15 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
  • Boston College vs. N.C. State, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
  • Quinnipiac vs. Manhattan, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Hartford vs. Stony Brook, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Georgia Southern vs. Wofford, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Western Illinois vs. South Dakota State, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN3)

Top-100 guard commits to Xavier

Chris Mack has Xavier back in the Sweet 16 (AP Photo)
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Xavier has added a top-100 prospect into its 2017 recruiting class Wednesday.

Elias Harden, a shooting guard from Georgia, pledged to the Musketeers via social media to become the second member of Chris Mack’s next class.

“The recruiting process was not EASY AT ALL,” Harden wrote on Twitter. “I wanna thank all the coaches that took time to recruit me.

“WIth that being said I will continue my academic and athletic career at Xavier University.”

The 6-foot-6 guard is ranked 92nd overall by 247Sports and had offers from Auburn, Maryland, Texas Tech and Ole Miss. He joins Jared Ridder, a Missouri guard, as part of the 2017 Xavier class.

The Musketeers return the bulk of last year’s 28-6 team that narrowly missed out on the Sweet 16.

Clemson recruit to enroll early

Brad Brownell
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Clemson will get a four-star recruit on campus a year earlier than it expected, though his on-court debut for the Tigers will remain on schedule.

A.J. Oliver, a guard from South Carolina, will enroll early at Clemson and redshirt this upcoming season, he announced via social media Wednesday.

“I woke up this morning and realized that the greatest opportunity for me is to enroll early into Clemson,” he wrote on Twitter. “I will redshirt a year & start my college career early.”

Oliver, whose mother is the head women’s basketball coach at Clemson, was a consensus top-100 player in the class of 2017 who committed to the Tigers last December. Texas Tech and the College of Charleston were involved before his commitment.

A three-star shooting guard, Scott Spencer of Virginia, was previously the only member coach Brad Brownell’s 2016 class. While Oliver’s decision to redshirt will keep him off the court for the 2016-17 season, he’ll have spent a full season in the Tiger program before making his debut in 2017

The cupboard isn’t bare in 2017 for the Tigers due to Oliver’s reclassification because Clemson received a commitment from power forward Malik Williams, a consensus top-150 player, earlier Wednesday.

Kentucky used Calipari-Chaney fight in media training

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Kentucky held some media training sessions yesterday, and one of the topics that head coach John Calipari used to make a point was … his blow-up with John Chaney. The moment was captured on SnapChat by a trio of Kentucky newcomers.

You remember that incident. Chaney, then the head coach at Temple, and Cal, who was coaching Atlantic 10 rival UMass at the time, nearly came to blows over the way that Cal handled officials during the game. Before the video below picks up, the two shared this exchange:

“Could I say this to you, please?” Chaney said, before the video above picks up. “You’ve got a good ball club. But what you did with the officials out there is wrong, and I don’t want to be a party to that. You understand?”

Cal responded: “You weren’t out there, Coach. You don’t have any idea.”

Chaney fired back: “You got a game given to you by officials right here with G.W. on three bad calls, O.K.? Then you send your kids out there pushing and shoving. You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don’t want to be a party to that.”

And that led to “I’ll kill you”:

(h/t KSR)

VIDEO: Shaq’s son, Shareef O’Neal, with monster dunk in Vegas

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Shareef O’Neal is a top 50 prospect in the Class of 2018. In Vegas this past weekend, he threw down a monster put-back dunk.

South Dakota State gets two commits

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Tuesday was a busy and productive one for South Dakota State on the recruiting trail.

The Jackrabbits secured two 2017 commitments from the state of Wisconsin in Ryan Krueger and Alex Arians, a source tells NBCSports.com.

Krueger is a 6-foot-5 wing player from New London, Wisc. while Arians is a 6-foot-4 guard from Madison, Wisc., who also held an offer from Wright State, which is coached by former SDSU coach Scott Nagy. Both players spend their summers playing for the Wisconsin Swing grassroots program.

The pair make it a trio of commits for the Jackrabbits in 2017 with another Wisconsinite, Alou Dillon, pledging to first-year Jackrabbits coach T.J. Otzelberger, himself a Wisconsin native, earlier this summer.

South Dakota State went 26-8 last year and the bulk of the team that made the NCAA tournament last year, including sophomore Mike Daum, who led the team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman.