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Andy Katz | Correspondent | January 25, 2018

Michigan faces Purdue in tough environment, Arizona seeks revenge vs. Colorado

Throwback Thursday: Sean Elliott

Here is what you need to know in college basketball for Thursday, Jan. 25:

Game of the night

Michigan at Purdue, 7 p.m., ET, ESPN: The Wolverines played the Boilermakers as tough as any team has this season, but Purdue had Isaac Haas make a free throw for the win in Ann Arbor earlier in the month. This time, Purdue’s bigs could get pulled out of the lane against the Wolverines, but the Boilermakers have learned to adjust, no matter the opponent. And Purdue plays at Mackey Arena, arguably the toughest home court this season. Purdue is not going to lose at home this season. There, I said it -- I believe it. Mackey Arena is too loud, too intimidating and the team playing is too good this season to lose at home.

Ready to get on a run

SMU at UConn, 7 p.m., ET, CBS Sports Network: The Mustangs have won two in a row to crawl back into the NCAA bid picture, winning at Wichita State and taking out Tulane. The latter game came without Jarrey Foster, the team’s second-leading scorer who is out with a knee injury. The Mustangs have already proven they can win anywhere and it would make sense for them to keep it going if they want to earn a bid. UConn is reeling after losing badly to the No. 1 team in the country last Saturday. The Mustangs have two quadrant one wins over Arizona on a neutral court and at Wichita State and have three wins in quadrant two. Not too bad at all.

Revenge on the docket

Colorado at Arizona, 8:30 p.m., ET, FS1: The Wildcats have one loss in the Pac-12 -- and it came at Colorado. The Wildcats weren’t too pleased with Tad Boyle’s postgame comments about how sweet it was to beat Arizona. I have no doubt that Arizona coach Sean Miller is pumped to win this game and the Wildcats players will be as jacked to take out the Buffs. Colorado can go into this game with confidence, but the lack of consistency has been the issue with this crew. The Buffs are young and need to handle adversity. This will be an intense atmosphere at McKale, forcing the Buffs to remain composed if they want to have a chance.

Desperation game 

UCF at Wichita State, 9 p.m., ET, ESPN2: This is as hard a three-game stretch in conference as the Shockers have had in a long, long time. Wichita State has lost two in a row and now takes on a scrappy UCF team that has B.J. Taylor back leading them. Scoring is suddenly at a premium, as the Shockers struggled to score only 59 against Houston. Wichita State hadn’t lost two in a row in a conference since 2012-13 when the Shockers were in the Missouri Valley. It’s hard to imagine them losing three straight and if they do, their chance at catching Cincinnati is probably moot. Shooting 4 of 20 on 3s against Houston cannot be duplicated against a Knights team that has defended quite well the past week, even in a loss to Cincinnati. The Bearcats won, but scored only 49.

Danger, Danger

BYU at Saint Mary’s, 10 p.m, ET, ESPN2: The Cougars have won four in a row and five of six, with the one outlier in a one-point win at Pacific. BYU lost to Saint Mary’s in overtime in Provo, a win that was huge at the time for the Gaels. The Cougars could alter the WCC title race with this game and two more against Gonzaga. BYU got swept by Saint Mary’s a year ago. The Gaels have a small margin for error and can’t afford to lose at home to any other team not named Gonzaga.

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