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Big Ten Sunday Preview & Open Thread: Three Good Games

All of today's match-ups feature a top 25 squad and should have an effect on NCAA Tournament bids and seeding by the end of the season.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

There will be at least a 12 hour difference between the first Big Ten basketball tip of the day and the second. The large difference has to do with Iowa playing in the 7th-place game of one tournament on the east coast, while Michigan State plays in the championship game of a tourney on the west coast. Either way, both teams should be challenged by a quality team and provide a good game for the spectators.

Game of the Day: Providence vs. #3 Michigan State Spartans (10:00pm ET - ESPN2)

The Wooden Legacy championship appropriately features a pair of undefeated teams and two of the top candidates for the Wooden Award. The FriarsKris Dunn is averaging 18.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 4.3 steals. On the other side Denzel Valentine is nearly averaging a triple-double with 20.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 9.2 assists. The Spartans are also getting 10.3 points a game from freshman Deyonta Davis and senior Bryn Forbes. For Providence, forwards Ben Bentil and Rodney Bullock are chipping in 16.5 and 14.7 points a game respectively.

To get to the final, the Friars had to overcome Evansville and #11 Arizona. For the Spartans there was a rout of Boston College in the first round and a 77-67 win over Boise State in the semifinal. Expect a back-and-forth game featuring a lot of both Dunn and Valentine. Michigan State's depth could be the difference in the end, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Friars pull off the upset.

The Rest:

#20 Wichita State vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (10:00am ET - ESPN3)

The ranking beside the Shockers' school name is a bit of a misnomer. After losing to both USC and Alabama in their first two games of the Advocare Invitational, they surely will not be ranked by Monday morning. However, that doesn't mean they will be an easy opponent for the Hawkeyes.  The Shockers will be without senior Fred Van Vleet, freshman Landry Shamet, and senior transfer Anton Grady, who suffered a spine injury in their last game against Alabama. WSU will need to rely heavily on Ron Baker, who is averaging 20.2 points per game. Iowa's Jarrod Uthoff is averaging 17.4 points himself, but also has veteran support around him in Adam Woodbury and Peter Jok. After missing out on quality wins against Dayton and Notre Dame, a win against Wichita State will help salvage a disappointing trip to Orlando.

Wisconsin Badgers at #7 Oklahoma (2:30pm ET - ESPN2)

An away game against a top 10 squad is probably not what the doctor ordered for a Wisconsin team that has been uncharacteristically inconsistent. Buddy Hield and the Sooners have only played three games so far this season, but he has averaged 25.3 points per game and Oklahoma has looked the part of a Big 12 contender. Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes have led the Badgers, as expected, but the team has not looked like a typical Bo Ryan group and has already lost two games in six outings. This game in Norman will be a huge test, and will allow us to see how much the Badgers have truly improved since their season opening loss to Western Illinois.