Pregame Shootaround: Only 12 games on Sunday, but one is a classic Big Ten rivalry


GAME OF THE DAY: Michigan at Michigan State, 1:00 p.m.

A classic rivalry game in the Big Ten that features two teams who have similar records in conference play. After this week’s home win over Nebraska, the Wolverines are 6-3 in league play while the Spartans are hanging on to a 5-3 league record and could really use a home win here over a depleted Michigan team. The health of Derrick Walton Jr. is probably the biggest storyline to watch here, as the sophomore point guard has been battling issues with a toe that have turned into issues with his whole foot. But Michigan head coach John Beilein has countered by slowing games down and throwing out some zones that other teams don’t often face.


    • No. 23 Miami travels to Florida State in a game that would be much more entertaining on the gridiron. Still, this is an in-state rivalry and should be a close one.
    • Even with the departure of head coach Mick Cronin, who is recovering from health issues, Cincinnati is humming along under interim head coach Larry Davis and stand at 15-5 and 6-2 in the league. The Bearcats travel to struggling East Carolina on Sunday.
    • The best team playing on Sunday is No. 11 Utah as they travel to USC. The Trojans just lost a triple-overtime heartbreaker at home to Colorado, so we’ll see how they respond in this one.
    • Cal travels to Washington in the final game that tips before the big game commences. The Huskies are still trying to figure themselves out after the loss of center Robert Upshaw.
    • Defending champion UConn travels to Houston as the Cougars attempt to win their first conference game this season. The Huskies need someone besides Ryan Boatright to step up.