PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Pac-12 takes center stage on Thursday night

(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Colorado at No. 16 Oregon, 9:00 p.m.

Oregon tries to avoid a sweep from Colorado as the Ducks are hoping to stay atop the Pac-12 standings. The Ducks lost a tight one in Boulder, 91-87, on Jan. 17 and both teams have been playing good ball recently. As the leader of the conference, Oregon has won seven of eight while Colorado has put together a solid three-game winning streak that included a good comeback win against Cal.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1. No. 8 Texas A&M has a dangerous SEC road game at Vanderbilt to start the night’s action at 7 p.m. The Commodores have been perhaps the most disappointing team in the country, but a home win here could do wonders for their postseason aspirations.

2. UCLA could really use a win when they travel to face rival USC. The Bruins lost by 14 at home the first time these two teams played and Steve Alford’s team has struggled against quality competition the last few weeks.

3. Utah will try to get a win in Corvallis when they play struggling Oregon State. The Utes are only a game behind Oregon in the loss column of the Pac-12 standings while the Beavers have lost five of six.

4. Staying out west, the WCC has a solid matchup as Saint Mary’s travels to BYU. The Gaels have a gaudy 18-2 record but could use another solid win for their postseason credentials after a weak non-conference schedule. The Cougars are hoping to stay in the WCC race.

5. Temple and Tulsa are both 6-3 in the American and hoping to make a move on SMU in the league’s standings. The Golden Hurricane has won six of their last seven, while Temple has started to figure things out in league play after an up-and-down non-conference stretch.

OTHER NOTABLE GAMES

  • Ohio State at Wisconsin, 7:00 p.m.
  • UCF at Tulane, 8:00 p.m.
  • South Florida at Cincinnati, 8:00 p.m.
  • UConn at Memphis, 9:00 p.m.
  • Minnesota at Northwestern, 9:00 p.m.
  • Gonzaga at Loyola Marymount, 10:00 p.m.