Pregame Shootaround: Some Big Ten and Pac 12 action highlight Sunday’s games

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GAME OF THE DAY: Minnesota at Indiana, 7:30 p.m.

Is Minnesota back involved in the Big Ten race after three consecutive wins? Well, they aren’t catching Wisconsin, but the Gophers can make an interesting postseason case with continued wins, including a road one at Indiana. The Hoosiers have alternated wins and losses in their last five games and haven’t been able to find any consistency — or fully healthy lineups — in that span. That said, Tom Crean’s team can still put up points in bunches and this could be a fun game with high-level guard play.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1. Cal is one of the hottest teams in the Pac-12 right now, and their minuscule NCAA tournament chances more or less hinge on winning against No. 11 Utah. Can they pull off the upset?

2. Start off Sunday with Illinois facing No. 5 Wisconsin. Rayvonte Rice is back for game No. 2 coming off of his broken hand/suspension for the Illini and we’ll see how the senior looks against an elite team on the road. The Badgers have won seven straight games and are cruising in Big Ten play.

3. No. 7 Arizona finishes a road swing at Washington State and the Cougars just earned a nice home win over Arizona State. If Ernie Kent’s team gets hot from the perimeter, they could make things interesting.

4. One of the game’s best games is Stanford on the road at Colorado. The Cardinal is talented but they’ve lost three out of four games and been inconsistent this season. The Buffaloes are also struggling and could use a home win and they’re probably more talented than their 11-12 record.

5. An interesting Big Ten game as Nebraska plays at Purdue. The Huskers have lost four of five games in the Big Ten and are really struggling while the Boilermakers have won five of six games and are on the NCAA Tournament radar.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: There will be two games on NBCSN and streaming on Live Extra this weekend:

  • Towson at Charleston, 12:30 p.m.
  • St. Joe’s at Fordham, 2:30 p.m.

TOP 25 GAMES

No. 13 Northern Iowa at Missouri State, 4:00 p.m.

OTHER GAMES TO WATCH

  • Houston at UCF, 2:00 p.m.
  • Iowa at Northwestern, 3:00 p.m.
  • Arizona State at Washington, 5:30 p.m.
  • Miami at Boston College, (POSTPONED TO MONDAY)