Pregame Shootaround: Two west coast battles and Maryland’s trip to Indiana

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Game of the Night: St. Mary’s at No. 3 Gonzaga, 11:00 p.m.

A showdown of the two best teams in the West Coast Conference will take place on Thursday night as St. Mary’s makes the trip up the coast to take on No. 3 Gonzaga. Both teams will enter the night at 7-0 in WCC play, and if the Gaels are going to put together a resume strong enough to get considered for an at-large bid, this is a game they are going to need to win. Worth noting: Brad Waldow, the only player in the country averaging 20 points and 10 boards, will be going up against one of the nation’s best front lines.

Who’s Getting Upset?: No. 7 Arizona at Stanford, 9:00 p.m.

The last time Arizona played on the road, they were beaten by Oregon State. Now, the Wildcats are coming off of an impressive win over Utah at home, but the Cardinal, like the Utes, are sitting tied with Arizona for first place in the Pac-12. Stanford does matchup well with the Wildcats, as they have the size along their front line to deal with Arizona’s massive big men.

Mid-Major Matchup of the Day: Albany at Hartford, 7:00 p.m.

This is pretty cool: the game will be broadcast in Australia as there are a number of Australians on the two rosters. This isn’t cool: Albany’s star Peter Hooley is back home in Australia as his mother has been diagnosed with cancer.

Five Things to Watch For:

1. No. 13 Maryland at No. 23 Indiana, 9:00 p.m.: The Terps appear to be the second-best team in the Big Ten this season, but Indiana has the pieces to make some noise in this league this season. Melo Trimble vs. Yogi Ferrell at the point guard spot is going to be a lot of fun to watch.

2. Alabama at Arkansas, 7:00 p.m.: Can Arkansas bounce back after having lost their last two games?

3. N.C. State at Miami (FL), 8:00 p.m.: The battle of the two teams that have beaten Duke this season.

4. George Washington at Fordham, 7:00 p.m.: GW looks to be the second-best team in the Atlantic 10 this season and will be playing on NBCSN.

5. Xavier at Providence, 7:00 p.m.: The question that gets brought up the most about the Big East is this: How many tournament bids will they end up getting? IT’s games like this, between two bubble teams, that will determine that answer.

The Rest of the Top 25

  • Georgia Tech at No. 2 Virginia, 8:00 p.m.
  • No. 8 Notre Dame at Virginia Tech, 7:00 p.m.
  • DePaul at No. 24 Seton Hall, 7:00 p.m.

Notables

  • UCF at UConn, 7:00 p.m.
  • Ohio State at Northwestern, 7:00 p.m.
  • UCLA at Oregon State, 9:00 p.m.
  • UTEP at Western Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.
  • Murray State at Eastern Illinois, 9:00 p.m.
  • Washington at Colorado, 9:30 p.m.