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Pregame Shootaround: No. 6 Wisconsin, two other ranked teams hit the road

Rayvonte Rice, Frank Kaminsky

AP Photo


GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 6 Wisconsin at Minnesota, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN)

The Badgers, who wrapped up a share of the Big Ten title on Sunday, can clinch it outright with a win over the Golden Gophers. National Player of the Year candidate Frank Kaminsky leads the way for one of the nation’s most efficient offenses, but this could be a tricky game for Wisconsin. Minnesota’s been inconsistent this season, but Richard Pitino’s team managed to snap a three-game losing streak by knocking off Michigan State in double overtime last week. In their first meeting, a 63-53 Wisconsin win February 21, the Badgers shot just 6-for-17 from three. Minnesota will need to force a similar shooting performance if they’re to pull off the upset.

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: VCU at Davidson, 9:00 p.m. (ESPNU)

Davidson’s still in the running for the Atlantic 10 title, and a win over the Rams would move Bob McKillop’s team into a tie for first with Dayton heading into the weekend. The Wildcats have won seven straight games thanks in large part to a highly efficient offense led by Tyler Kalinoski and Jack Gibbs. How they handle VCU’s pressure will have a major impact on the outcome, and the same can be said of VCU senior Treveon Graham. He’s struggled offensively in recent games, and Shaka Smart needs his leading scorer to get going ahead of the Atlantic 10 and NCAA tournaments.


1. No. 5 Arizona is the lone ranked team playing at home tonight, and with a win over California (9:00 p.m., ESPN) the Wildcats will wrap up their second consecutive outright Pac-12 title. Can Kaleb Tarczewski continue his recent run of solid play in the pivot? He’ll need to be a factor if the Wildcats are to make a run at their first Final Four appearance since 2001.

2. No. 13 Utah is one win away from locking up the two-seed in next week’s Pac-12 tournament, and Thursday night they visit Washington State (11:00 p.m., ESPNU) on the Palouse. In their first meeting a 22-point Utah win January 21, guards Delon Wright and Brandon Taylor combined for 35 points and 15 assists.

3. Two of the top teams in the Sun Belt meet in Monroe, as ULM host Georgia State (8:00 p.m.). Both teams are 13-5 in conference play, Georgia State won the first meeting by 20, but that game was played December 30. Keith Richard’s Warhawks are looking to get back on the right track, as they’ve lost two of their last three games.

4. No. 18 Arkansas looks to rebound from its loss at No. 1 Kentucky, and they’ll be doing so on the road against South Carolina (7:00 p.m., ESPN2). The Razorbacks won the first meeting by 20 points in Fayetteville, with Bobby Portis accounting for 18 points and 13 rebounds.

5. UConn and Memphis meet at Gampel Pavilion (9:00 p.m., ESPN2), with both teams looking to build some positive momentum ahead of the American Athletic Conference tournament. Memphis will be shorthanded, as the injured Austin Nichols did not make the trip to Storrs.


  • Temple at East Carolina, 7:00 p.m. (ESPNU)
  • Stanford at Arizona State, 11:00 p.m. (FS1)


  • Atlantic Sun semifinals: Lipscomb at North Florida; USC Upstate at FGCU
  • Metro Atlantic first round: Niagara vs. Siena; Fairfield vs. Saint Peter’s; Marist vs. Quinnipiac
  • Missouri Valley first round: Southern Illinois vs. Missouri State; Bradley vs. Drake
  • Ohio Valley quarterfinals: Morehead State vs. UT Martin; Eastern Illinois vs. Belmont
  • Patriot League quarterfinals: Boston University at Lafayette; American at Lehigh; Holy Cross at Bucknell; Navy at Colgate