Game of the Day: No. 2 Indiana vs. Northwestern (1:00 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network)
Indiana suffered a tough conference loss to Wisconsin, when the Badgers came into Assembly Hall and held the Hoosiers to 37 percent shooting. Cody Zeller excelled with 23 points, but the rest of the team struggled to find its rhythm against Bo Ryan’s team. Sunday should bring different fortunes for Tom Crean’s team. Against a Northwestern team that both struggles to score the ball and hit the glass hard, Zeller and Victor Oladipo should be able to set the pace. Look for the Hoosier bench to step up after scoring just two points against Wisconsin.
Mid-Major Matchup of the Day: Iona vs. Rider (2:00 p.m. ET)
Rider was without guard Nurideen Lindsey in its win over St. Peter’s on Thursday due to concussion. On Saturday, he said via Twitter that he was taking part in a workout to try to return, meaning his status is uncertain for Sunday’s game against MAAC rival Iona. If Lindsey is not in the lineup, it will take away a key Broncs’ scoring option against one of the nation’s highest scoring teams. The backcourt duo of former Arizona guard Momo Jones and junior Sean Armand together average 41 points per game for Iona.
Five Things to Watch For
1) Victor Oladipo is becoming just as important as Cody Zeller for the Hoosiers as the season progresses. His versatility changes th complexion of the Indiana offense and gives the Hoosiers another legitimate go-to scoring option. Coach Tom Crean’s team should have no problem with Northwestern on Sunday.
2) After beating Duke last weekend, NC State suffered a letdown loss against Maryland on the road. If the Wolfpack can get out and run in Sunday’s matchup with Clemson, they could have a solid bounce-back win.
3) After a strong relatively strong non-conference showing that included close losses to Louisville and Northwestern, Illinois State is 0-6 in Missouri Valley play. They take on Southern Illinois on Sunday.
4) It may not be as highly touted as the Army-Navy football game, but the Army-Navy basketball game takes play Sunday. Keep an eye on Navy freshman guard Tilman Dunbar. A quick, low-to-the-ground point guard, he is the team’s leading points and assists man and should have a strong four-year career with the Midshipmen.
5) Northern Iowa was close with No. 12 Creighton early in the second half before losing its footing earlier this week. In that game, Anthony James had 25 points. Look for him to be the focus again on Sunday vs. Drake.
The Top 25
No. 2 Indiana vs. Northwestern (1:00 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network)
No. 14 NC State vs. Clemson (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
Other Notable Games
Navy vs. Army (12:00 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)
Illinois State vs. Southern Illinois (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_