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PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Pac-12 showdown, and SMU’s perfect season on the line

Bryce Alford, Charles Matthews, Jamal Murray

UCLA guard Bryce Alford, center, attempts to move the ball past Kentucky guard Charles Matthews, right, as Jamal Murray, left, helps defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)


GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 7 Arizona at UCLA, 9:00 p.m.

On paper, this should probably be the best matchup of the year in the Pac-12, as UCLA is the most talented team in the conference and Arizona is the best team. The Bruins, however, are coming off of an 0-2 weekend visiting the Washington schools to kick off Pac-12 play and are staring 0-3 in the face with the Wildcats coming to town. The road has proven to be very unkind place out west this season, so a win for Arizona would be big in their pursuit of another conference regular season title.


  1. Cincinnati will pay a visit to still undefeated No. 15 SMU at 7:00 p.m. The Mustangs will be playing their second game without Keith Frazier.
  2. Michigan, who appears to still be without Caris LeVert, will visit No. 20 Purdue at 7:00 p.m. Purdue’s front line is a problem, as is Michigan’s ability to defend big men.
  3. No. 16 Louisville travels to N.C. State at 7:00 p.m. The Wolfpack have not had the prettiest start to ACC play, losing at Virginia Tech over the weekend.
  4. Illinois will pay a visit to No. 5 Michigan State at 9:00 p.m. The Spartans likely won’t have Denzel Valentine back yet.
  5. Arizona State and USC are the two biggest x-factors in the Pac-12. They square off at 10:30 p.m. in California.
  6. St. Mary’s, who still has just the one loss this season, will play at LMU at 10:00 p.m.