PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Busy Sunday headlined by championships at multiple events

AP Photo
0 Comments

GAME OF THE DAY: No. 22 Butler vs. Miami, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

The Puerto Rico Tipoff championship looks like a good one as two unbeaten teams clash. Miami is coming off of some impressive wins over Mississippi State and No. 16 Utah in the event as the balanced Hurricanes have six players averaging at least 9.8 points per game. Senior guard Sheldon McClellan has paced Miami by averaging 19.8 points per game this season while shooting some truly absurd splits over four games (65% FG, 94% FT, 56% 3PT). Butler is also coming into this game by spreading the wealth on the offensive end as seven different players are averaging at least 11.3 points per game. Senior guard Kellen Dunham paces the Bulldogs at 17 points per game and that is coming with his trademark perimeter shooting (26% 3PT) starting slowly on the season.

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: Valparaiso at No. 25 Oregon, 5:00 p.m. (PAC12)

Oregon is off to a 3-0 start and had an impressive home win over Baylor during the 24-hour tip-off marathon but they’ll be really tested by a Valpo team that is 5-0 and arguably the best mid-major team in the nation. The Ducks have received great production from junior college transfer big man Chris Boucher early in the season as he’s helped offset the early loss of Jordan Bell. The Crusaders return most of last season’s NCAA tournament team and junior forward Alec Peters is one of the best mid-major players in the nation. One interesting thing to watch is how well Valpo knows what Oregon is trying to accomplish. Crusaders head coach Bryce Drew is the brother of Baylor head coach Scott Drew, who just lost to the Ducks earlier this week. The Drew brothers will try not to go 0-2 in Eugene this week.

SIX THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1. Duke and Georgetown lock horns at Madison Square Garden as both teams try to continue to build momentum after losses earlier in the week. Grayson Allen looked great in No. 5 Duke’s win over VCU on Friday night while the Hoyas had an impressive win in which they completely outplayed Wisconsin.

2. No. 21 Purdue gets a legitimate test against Florida in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off. The Boilermakers have defended very well this season and if their perimeter shooting is clicking, they’ve been tough to stop on offense as well. The Gators are off to a 3-0 start as sophomore Devin Robinson has played very well in the early season.

3. The Charleston Classic championship will be played on Sunday between No. 6 Virginia and George Mason. Both teams have used the event nicely after some early-season struggles. The Cavaliers have won their two games in the event by an averaged of 30 points while the Patriots went from 0-2 to 2-2 after wins over Ole Miss and Oklahoma State.

4. VCU and Wisconsin play in the 2K Classic under-card at Madison Square Garden. The Badgers could badly use a win after a 2-2 start and the Rams will be looking to pick up a non-conference win over a Big Ten opponent on a neutral court.

5. Ivy League contender Yale has a great road test when they travel to SMU. While the Mustangs don’t have a postseason to play for, they appear plenty motivated after a solid road win over Stanford earlier in the week.

6. Two unbeatens play in the Paradise Jam semifinals as Hofstra and South Carolina do battle. The Pride picked up a great win over Florida State on Friday and Brian Bernardi and Juan’ya Green are both off to great starts this season. The Gamecocks are trying to build on a 3-0 start after beating DePaul.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • Akron at No. 11 Villanova, 3:30 p.m.
  • Northwestern State at No. 12 Arizona, 7:00 p.m. (PAC-12)
  • Temple at No. 16 Utah, 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

OTHER NOTABLE GAMES

  • Missouri State vs Mississippi State (Puerto Rico Tipoff), 11:00 a.m. (ESPN3)
  • Old Dominion vs. Saint Joseph’s (Hall of Fame Tipoff), 11:00 a.m. (ESPN3)
  • Harvard at Boston College, 11:30 a.m. (ESPNU)
  • Minnesota vs Texas Tech (Puerto Rico Tipoff), 1:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
  • Ole Miss vs. Seton Hall (Charleston Classic), 2:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Oklahoma State vs. Long Beach State (Charleston Classic), 6:oo p.m. (ESPNU)
  • Stanford at Saint Mary’s, 10:00 p.m. (ESPNU)