Thursday’s slate, what to watch centers on St. Mary’s-Gonzaga

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The last time St. Mary’s and Gonzaga played, St. Mary’s turned things into a one-sided affair and sent a message to the Zags that their WCC reign might be ending.

Tonight could cement that notion.

The Gaels (22-2, 11-0) are one of eight teams who have yet to lose a conference game. Yet with four of their last six games on the road – starting tonight – there’s still time for Gonzaga to extend its conference title streak to 12 straight years.

Fairly certain this is one game Randy Bennett’s team would desperately like to win.

(All times ET; TV info from HDSportsGuide.com)

St. Mary’s at Gonzaga, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
If the Gaels do win, it’ll be an upset. Gonzaga (18-4, 8-2) is favored by 2.5 points, which means oddsmakers consider it a toss-up. Home figures to play a huge role, too. Only Michigan State’s won at the Kennel this season, a place where the Zags actually play a little defense. The Gaels haven’t dipped below 1.06 PPP in any game since Dec. 22. We’ll see which aspect wins out tonight.

Wisconsin at Minnesota, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
A win would make the Gophers (17-7, 5-6) .500 in Big Ten play and be a huge boost for their at-large hopes. Ohio State, Michigan State, Indiana and a trip to Wisconsin still remain, meaning holding the home court is huge. Won’t be easy against a Wisconsin team (18-6, 7-4) that’s won six of its last seven and nearly knocked off Ohio State on Saturday.

Washington at Oregon, 11 p.m. (FSN)
If the Pac-12’s leaders split their Thursday/Sunday tilt in Oregon, they could continue their improbable climb back to at-large NCAA tournament consideration. People had been waiting for Washington (16-7, 9-2) to play up to its talent. This’ll be the latest – and doable – test. BONUS! Hope the Huskies are ready to run. The Ducks (16-7, 7-4) are one of the few Pac-12 teams who like to play fast. Oregon State is the other (and the only team that plays faster than the Huskies).

Virginia Tech at Miami, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
How the Hokies (13-10, 2-6) haven’t won more ACC games is beyond me. Losses to Wake and Boston College are the things the ensure they’re always on the bubble. Meanwhile, we’ll see if Miami (14-7, 5-3) hits a wall after winning four in a row, including at Duke.

Nevada at Hawaii, midnight (ESPN-FC)
The Wolf Pack (19-4, 8-1) somehow lost to Idaho last weekend, one of the biggest head scratchers of the week. And now they head to Hawaii, a schools with one of the biggest home-court edges in college hoops.

EAST
Lehigh at American U., 7 p.m.
Maine at Boston U., 7 p.m.
Rider at Canisius, 7 p.m.
Utah Valley at NJIT, 7 p.m.
Albany (NY) at New Hampshire, 7 p.m.
Siena at Niagara, 7 p.m.
UMBC at Stony Brook, 7 p.m.
Manhattan at Fairfield, 7:30 p.m.
Marist at St. Peter’s, 8:30 p.m.

SOUTH
Winthrop at Campbell, 7 p.m.
High Point at Charleston Southern, 7 p.m.
Elon at Chattanooga, 7 p.m.
High Point at Coastal Carolina, 7 p.m.
W. Carolina at Coll. of Charleston, 7 p.m.
Denver at FAU, 7 p.m.
North Texas at FIU, 7 p.m.
Appalachian St. at Furman, 7 p.m.
Radford at Gardner-Webb, 7 p.m.
Wofford at Georgia Southern, 7 p.m.
NC State at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m.
Mississippi at Mississippi St., 7 p.m.
VMI at Presbyterian, 7 p.m.
Davidson at The Citadel, 7:05 p.m.
Liberty at Charleston Southern, 7:30 p.m.
W. Kentucky at Middle Tennessee, 8 p.m.
Tennessee St. at Murray St., 8 p.m.
UNC Greensboro at Samford, 8 p.m.
E. Illinois at Tennessee Tech, 8 p.m.
UALR at Louisiana-Lafayette, 8:05 p.m.
Arkansas St. at South Alabama, 8:05 p.m.
Virginia Tech at Miami, 9 p.m.

MIDWEST
Valparaiso at Cleveland St., 7 p.m.
Wisconsin at Minnesota, 7 p.m.
Butler at Youngstown St., 7:05 p.m.
Illinois at Indiana, 8 p.m.
UT-Martin at SE Missouri, 8 p.m.
S. Dakota St. at South Dakota, 8 p.m.
North Dakota at Chicago St., 8:05 p.m.
N. Dakota St. at UMKC, 8:05 p.m.
Wright St. at Green Bay, 9 p.m.
Iowa at Northwestern, 9 p.m.

SOUTHWEST
IUPUI at Oral Roberts, 8:05 p.m.

FAR WEST
Utah at Arizona St., 8:30 p.m.
Weber St. at N. Arizona, 8:35 p.m.
Colorado at Arizona, 9 p.m.
W. Illinois at S. Utah, 9 p.m.
Montana at N. Colorado, 9:05 p.m.
Louisiana Tech at Utah St., 9:05 p.m.
Washington St. at Oregon St., 10 p.m.
UC Riverside at Cal Poly, 10 p.m.
San Diego at Pepperdine, 10 p.m.
Loyola Marymount at Portland, 10 p.m.
Fresno St. at San Jose St., 10 p.m.
CS Northridge at UC Davis, 10 p.m.
UC Irvine at Cal St.-Fullerton, 10:05 p.m.
Portland St. at Idaho St., 10:05 p.m.
Montana St. at Sacramento St., 10:05 p.m.
Long Beach St. at Pacific, 10:30 p.m.
California at Southern Cal, 10:30 p.m.
Stanford at UCLA, 11 p.m.
Saint Mary’s (Cal) at Gonzaga, 11 p.m.
Washington at Oregon, 11 p.m.
Santa Clara at San Francisco, 11 p.m.
New Mexico St. at Idaho, 11:05 p.m.
Nevada at Hawaii, Mid

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