GAME OF THE NIGHT: Creighton at Nebraska, (7:00 p.m., Big Ten Network)
Creighton was one of the surprise teams in college basketball in November with a 5-0 start and home win over Oklahoma. Reality has hit them a bit recently, though, as the Bluejays have dropped two of three games — to Ole Miss and at Tulsa — and will look to bounce back with a quality road win at Nebraska. The problem is, the Huskers are nearly unbeatable at Pinnacle Bank Arena, with their only loss of 2014-15 coming on the road at Rhode Island. Nebraska could still stand to use another power conference non-conference win and this fun in-state match-up will be the highlight of Sunday’s action.
THE OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 13 San Diego State at Washington (9:00 p.m.)
San Diego State’s offense has continued to struggle this season, but the Aztecs are still 6-1 with only a loss to Arizona in the finals of the Maui Invitational. They’ll be tested in a major way on Sunday night when they travel to Washington for a matchup with the unbeaten Huskies (6-0). The Aztecs have finished below 40 percent from the field on offense in three wins this season, but their defense has been so stifling that they can usually get out of it unscathed. Washington is coming off of a win at the Wooden Legacy, but they still haven’t faced a top-25 opponent and will be really tested facing San Diego State’s defense.
MID-MAJOR GAME OF THE NIGHT: Florida Gulf Coast vs. UMass (2:00 p.m.)
Florida Gulf Coast is off to a 7-1 start on the season and the Eagles will be tested with a neutral-site game in Springfield against UMass. The Eagles lost to Green Bay earlier in the season, but own solid mid-major wins over UC-Santa Barbara and Ohio. A win over the Minutemen in the Northeast would be their best win this season. UMass, meanwhile, has two straight losses to Harvard and LSU and could really use a win to jumpstart a new winning streak.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:
- Colorado traveling to Georgia is a nice way to tip off a Sunday afternoon of college hoops. Things have been quiet for the Buffaloes since a November loss at Wyoming but they’ve won three straight games, while Georgia recently lost to Gonzaga and Minnesota in the NIT Season Tip-Off and could really use a win against a quality opponent.
- North Carolina will be looking to bounce back with a tougher effort after getting owned on the glass in losses to Butler and Iowa. The No. 12 Tar Heels host East Carolina at home as former Tar Heel Jeff Lebo will have his team ready to go.
- Kentucky hasn’t been challenged often as the No. 1 team, but Eastern Kentucky travels into Rupp Arena with a top-10 offense and a 4-2 record. The Wildcats will be heavily favored, but this is another decent offense to see Kentucky’s defense slow down with its waves of athletic defenders.
- Iowa State exposed some fatal flaws in No. 18 Arkansas earlier this week and the Razorbacks will look to get back on track with a road game at Clemson. While the Cyclones could run by Arkansas, the Tigers will look to slow them down and it should make an interesting clash of styles in back-to-back road games.
- Ole Miss and Oregon makes for an unique non-conference matchup on Sunday. The Rebels posted back-to-back wins over Creighton and Cincinnati before falling to TCU by double digits earlier in the week. Oregon will be looking for a power conference win, after previous losses to Michigan and VCU at the Barclays Center.
THE TOP 25:
- No. 16 West Virginia at Northern Kentucky, 6:00 p.m., ESPN3
OTHER NOTABLE GAMES:
- Towson at Georgetown, 12:00 p.m.
- Charlotte at George Washington, 2:30 p.m.
- Illinois State at UAB, 3:00 p.m.
- California at Nevada, 4:00 p.m.
- Utah State at USC, 5:00 p.m.
- San Diego at UCLA, 7:00 p.m.