GAME OF THE DAY: No. 25 Marquette vs. Arizona State, 9:00 p.m. ET (FS1)
The best game in the opening round of the Wooden Legacy. Marquette probably doesn’t exactly deserve to be ranked right now, not after they were pounded by Ohio State, but they are. Buzz Williams has size on his roster, but his team lacks a scoring punch. Where are they going to get points from their back court? Todd Mayo? He’s not exactly trustworthy at this point. Arizona State, on the other hand, doesn’t really have a problem scoring the ball, not when Jahii Carson is one the roster, and they’ll enter this tournament looking to make more of a name for themselves. Saying they are overlooked is probably unfair, but they aren’t getting much publicity for a team with an all-american candidate that is still undefeated.
THE OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: Dayton vs. No. 14 Gonzaga, 12:00 a.m. ET (ESPN)
The Maui Invitational’s nightcap pits upset-minded Dayton taking on Gonzaga. The Zags will struggle to get their name back on the national radar after losing in the Round of 32 as the No. 1 overall seed in last year’s NCAA tournament, but this team can play. Their back court is very talented with Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr., and with Przemek Karnowski and Sam Dower up front, they have a pair of big men that can play with anyone in the country. Dayton? Well, they have some good guards on their roster, but they’ve been going small this season. That will actually play into Gonzaga’s hands.
MID-MAJOR MATCHUP OF THE DAY: Canisius vs. Georgia State, 5:00 p.m.
Here’s what’s fun about this matchup: both teams have a star — Billy Baron and R.J. Hunter — that is coached by their father — Jim Baron and Ron Hunter.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
1) Maui Invitational action kicks off at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon with Arkansas taking on Justin Cobbs and Cal.
2) Marcus Smart and the now-No. 1 team in KenPom’s rankings, Oklahoma State, will head to South Florida to take on the Bulls in their first game since last week’s demolition of Memphis.
3) No. 15 Florida heads to Jacksonville tonight in the return of Scottie Wilbekin to the lineup.
4) Maryland and Providence, two borderline NCAA tournament teams, square off in the final of the Paradise Jam out in the Virgin Islands tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET.
5) The Progressive Legends Classic will kick off tonight as Pitt takes on Texas Tech and Stanford squares off with Houston.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- Cleveland State at No. 3 Kentucky, 7:00 p.m. ET
- Wyoming at No. 7 Ohio State, 7:00 p.m. ET
- No. 8 Syracuse vs. Minnesota, 5:30 p.m. ET
- DePaul vs. No. 12 Wichita State, 10:00 p.m. ET
- UMKC at No. 17 Iowa State, 8:00 p.m. ET
- Chaminade vs. No. 18, 9:30 p.m. ET
- Loyola Marymount vs. Vanderbilt, 5:00 p.m. ET
- Abilene Christian vs. Xavier, 7:00 p.m. ET
- BYU vs. Texas, 7:30 p.m. ET
- IUPUI vs. Missouri, 8:00 p.m. ET
- Northern Iowa vs. La Salle, 7:30 p.m. ET