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Pregame Shootaround 1.18.13: Only three games tonight, big weekend in college hoops

Jan 18, 2013, 4:09 PM EST

Pitino Boeheim AP

Game of the Day: Stony Brook at Vermont (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Stony Brook goes on the road to face Vermont in what should be an interesting game. Stony Brook, the team that lost to UConn and Seton Hall by a combined 10 points, is 4-0 in the American East and will try to stay atop the league and remain perfect. Vermont, on the other hand, is looking to score a home win and jump into first place. Vermont and Albany are both 4-1.

Mid-Major Matchup of the Day: Fairfield at Iona (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Iona trails half a game to Niagara in the MAAC standings. Fairfield, although 2-4 in conference, are better than the record indicates. So far in conference play the Stags have lost to conference-leading Niagara twice by a combined seven points, while falling to Loyola (Md.) by three in overtime.

Other Game – Jacksonville at North Florida (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Jacksonville and North Florida meet in a crosstown rivalry known as SunTrust River City Rumble.

Things to Watch For

1) Iona’s offense vs. Fairfield’s defense – Iona loves to push the tempo, averaging 82.5 points per game. Fairfield will attempt to slow them down, especially on the offensive end by slowing down the pace, eating up most of the shot clock.

2) Defense from Stony Brook and Vermont – The two best defensive teams in the American East go at it tonight. Stony Brook gives up an average of 57 points per game, while Vermont is right behind with 58. First place is on the line up in Burlington tonight.

3) The weekend – Tomorrow features five games, in which both teams are ranked including No. 6 Syracuse at No. 1 Louisville and No. 8 Gonzaga at No. 13 Butler. In all 18 ranked teams play Saturday.

The Top 25

No Top 25 teams tonight

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne