College basketball schedule: Arizona hosts New Mexico State in 1st test as top team

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats were last ranked No. 1 back in the 2002-03 season.

The Arizona Wildcats are the top team in the nation for the first time since March of 2003. Their first test at the top is against a New Mexico State Aggies team that is tougher than their record suggests.

The Wildcats gutted out a five-point victory in their last game against the UNLV Running Rebels. It was the lowest scoring game for Arizona this season as the Wildcats shot 41.8 percent from the floor and went just 3-of-16 from beyond the arc.

They'll tip off against the Aggies, who are currently mired in a three-game losing streak. Those three losses came at the hands of Colorado State, New Mexico and Gonzaga. The Wildcats' length makes them one of the better rebounding teams in the nation. However, few teams can match up against Arizona as well as the Aggies, who feature the 7'5 Sim Bhullar and the 6'10 Tshilidzi Nephawe.

Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.

Let's take a look at the rest of the major games.

Bryant Bulldogs vs. No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes, 7:30 p.m., Big Ten Network

It took LaQuinton Ross a few games to heat up, and now that he has the entire Buckeyes squad is taking part in the party. After averaging six points over his first five games, Ross is averaging 20 points over his last three, shooting 62.9 percent in the process. The rest of the team is feeding off of Ross' hot hand, with the Buckeyes shooting 58.1 percent as a team over their last three games.

Milwaukee Panthers vs. No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers, 8 p.m

Wisconsin is one win away from matching its best start since the 1993-94 season. Part of that has come from the offensive prowess of Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker. The Badgers aren't getting away from their old style of play by any means. They held the Virginia Cavaliers to 38 points earlier in December and have held opponents to 42.8 percent shooting from the floor.

The Panthers are also looking to continue their nice start to the season, and they're already 9-2 for the first time since 2002-03. Unfortunately, drawing a win against the Badgers is easier said than done. Milwaukee has only won once out of 30 games against Wisconsin, back in 1992.

North Dakota State Bison vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 7 p.m., ESPNU/WatchESPN

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are back in a comfort zone after a couple of scares at the beginning of December. They went on the road to Iowa and came away with a loss. Then the rebound effort against Delaware was a lot closer than expected, with the Fighting Irish notching a five-point win. In their next game, Jerian Grant led the Fighting Irish in a 70-59 win over Bryant. North Dakota State enters the game riding a four-game win streak.

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