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Sunday’s Pregame Shootaround: Three games between ranked teams

Jan 5, 2014, 10:45 AM EDT

Andrew Wiggins Getty Images

GAME OF THE DAY: No. 21 San Diego State vs. No. 16 Kansas, 4:30 p.m. (CBS)

The Aztecs have already secured wins over Creighton and Marquette — teams which were both ranked at the time — but entering Lawrence on Sunday, San Diego State faces its toughest test to date. Kansas, headlined by freshman phenom Andrew Wiggins, pose a difficult matchup on the frontline for the Aztecs.

A win against the Jayhawks would be big for San Diego State and the Mountain West Conference, but what also for Kansas. The Jayhawks knocked off Duke at the Champions Classic, but suffered losses to Villanova and Colorado — both unranked at the time — while also losing to Florida. All of those games were on a neutral floor or on the road. Since being back in Kansas, KU has picked up wins over New Mexico, Georgetown and Toledo.

OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: No. 10 Oregon vs. No. 20 Colorado, 5 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)

The Buffaloes welcome the unbeaten Ducks to Boulder on Sunday evening. Oregon barely escaped Salt Lake City with an overtime win over Utah on Thursday. This is a tough conference road trip, can the Ducks improve to 14-0? Or will Colorado take Oregon off the list of unbeaten teams?

WHO’S GETTING UPSET? Northern Iowa over No. 8 Wichita State

The Shockers are undefeated entering conference play, and this season Creighton isn’t a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. It will still be difficult for Wichita State to run the table, regardless of how tough or talented the team may be. Northern Iowa, Indiana State and Missouri State all offer challenging games for the Shockers. It’ll be tough for the Panthers to pull off the upset with Wichita State playing on its home floor.

MID-MAJOR GAME OF THE DAY: Missouri State vs. Loyola (IL)

Missouri State ended last week with a win over Southeast Missouri State, and kicked off MVC play with a win over Illinois State. Loyola (IL), a newcomer to the Missouri Valley, is looking for its first conference win.

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW

1) Wisconsin and Iowa go head-to-head in a battle of ranked teams. The Hawkeyes feature a potent offense and a former Badger — Jarred Uthoff — as they look to pull off a rare win inside the Kohl Center. Wisconsin, if it can slow down the Iowa offense, can match its best start in school history.

2) Michigan is without Mitch McGary, who had back surgery on Tuesday. Glenn Robinson III is a game-time decision after injuring his ankle early in the second half against Minnesota. Northwestern is looking to avoid a three-game losing streak.

3) The Golden Gophers let an opportunity for a big conference win against Michigan slip away on Thursday night. Minnesota is back at home on Sunday, but A.J. Hammons and Purdue could hand the Gophers a second Big Ten loss.

4) Arizona State lost by 11 at home to Washington on Thursday night. The Sun Devils look to bounce back with a win over Washington State.

5) Two new coaches at USC and UCLA begin their version of the city rivalry. Both Andy Enfield and Steve Alford have shared thoughts on their crosstown rival since taking over their respective program.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25:

  • No. 22 Iowa vs. No. 4 Wisconsin, 8 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
  • Providence vs. No. 11 Villanova. 7 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
  • No. 19 North Carolina vs. Wake Forest, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

NOTABLES:

  • Northwestern vs. Michigan, noon (Big Ten Network)
  • Florida Gulf Coast vs. Stetson, 1 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Boston University vs. Lehigh, 1 p.m. (CBS Sports Net)
  • Purdue vs. Minnesota, 2:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
  • USC vs. UCLA, 3 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
  • Washington State vs. Arizona State, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)

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