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Pregame Shootaround: Get ready for Duke-Notre Dame

J.P. Tokoto, Jerian Grant

Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant (22) and North Carolina’s J.P. Tokoto chase the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)


Game of the Night: No. 4 Duke at No. 8 Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m.

The second of Duke’s hellacious three game road trip will be a visit to South Bend to take on the Fighting Irish. This will be a tough matchup for the Dukies, as their weakness -- ball-screen defense -- is what Notre Dame does better than just about anyone in the country. Mike Brey has built his offense around spreading the floor with shooters and putting Jerian Grant and Demetrius Jackson in ball-screen actions. That said, the Irish are the worst defensive team in the country for those that are among this season’s elite, which will make it interesting to see what happens when they try to slow down Duke offensively. There should be plenty of scoring in a game that will likely be quite a bit of fun to watch.

Who’s Getting Upset?: No. 22 Indiana at Purdue, 9:00 p.m.

Indiana has had success this season by playing small-ball, using, at times, as many as five guards on the floor to spread defenses out and allow talented guards to make plays off the dribble. Purdue has a pair of seven-footers, however, and should be able to man-handle Indiana in the paint. This is a rivalry game, so it will be intense, and the road is never a forgiving place in league play.

Five Things to Watch For:

1. Oregon at No. 6 Arizona, 10:00 p.m.: The Ducks will pay a visit to Tucson with a winning record in the Pac-12. Dana Altman has done a good job with this team despite quite a bit of turmoil in the program.

2. Oregon State at Arizona State, 9:00 p.m.: The Beavers have been one of the most surprising teams in the country this season. Can they keep it going on the road?

3. Clemson at N.C. State, 9:00 p.m.: The Wolfpack really need a win after a tough loss against Notre Dame over the weekend.

4. No. 9 Kansas at TCU, 9:00 p.m.: Can the Jayhawks keep up their winning ways as they hit the road to TCU? Bill Self’s most embarrassing loss came at the hands of the Horned Frogs a few years back.

5. No. 18 Northern Iowa at Southern Illinois, 8:05 p.m.: The Panthers will get their first shot at Wichita State this weekend, but first they have a road test

The Rest of the Top 25

  • No. 10 Louisville at Boston College, 9:00 p.m.
  • Loyola (IL) at No. 12 Wichita State, 8:05 p.m.
  • Georgia Tech at No. 23 Miami, 9:00 p.m.
  • Texas Tech at No. 24 Oklahoma, 7:30 p.m.


  • Albany at Vermont, 7:00 p.m.
  • St. John’s at Creighton, 9:00 p.m.
  • Stanford at Washington, 11:00 p.m.