College basketball schedule: Oregon puts unbeaten record to the test at Utah, Gonzaga hosts Saint Mary's

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Conference play gets going with two big matchups out west.

The holidays have past, the early season tournaments are over and the cupcake games are out of the way. With January upon us, conference play is about to heat up and Thursday's schedule features a couple of big games out west.

Here's a look at the complete Top 25 schedule for Thursday. All times are Eastern:

No. 4 Wisconsin vs. Northwestern (7 p.m., ESPN2)

The undefeated Badgers look to win their 11th consecutive Big Ten opener, this one on the road against Northwestern. The Wildcats lost a heartbreaker to DePaul last time out and are beginning a brutal stretch that also includes games against Michigan, Iowa and Michigan State. Wisconsin, meanwhile, is 13-0 and off to its best start in a century. The Badgers have beaten up on weaker competition, winning their last three games by an average of 29.3 points.

No. 10 Oregon vs. Utah (8 p.m., Pac-12 Network)

Thursday's game between Oregon and Utah has the potential to be the highest scoring game of the night. The Ducks lead the nation in scoring, putting up just over 90 points a game, while the Utes rank third in scoring and first in field goal percentage. Utah has also topped the 120-point mark twice this season, albeit against non-Division I competition both times.

For Oregon, guard Joseph Young has been one of the most impressive players in the country so far. The junior is averaging just over 20 points per game and is shooting nearly 50 percent from three. Utah counters with guard Delon Wright, who can do a bit of everything. He leads the Utes in points and assists while pulling down 7.0 rebounds per game.

No. 8 Wichita State vs. Southern Illinois (8:05 p.m., ESPN3)

The murmurs have already started around the possibility of Wichita State finishing the season unbeaten and the Shockers should be favored by a pretty healthy amount in this one. Southern Illinois is just 4-9 and has lost five of its last seven games. Wichita State is 13-0 and has climbed to No. 8 in the nation with no signs of slowing down. Four Shockers average double figures in scoring and the Shockers have already beaten Alabama, Tennessee and Saint Louis.

Saint Mary's vs. No. 24 Gonzaga (9 p.m., ESPN2)

Saint Mary's beat Pacific 88-80 on Dec. 30 to snap a three-game losing streak and will look to make a statement on the road Thursday night. The Gaels' best win so far was against Boise State, but they might need more than that if they are going to get an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga is a quality team, led by conference player of the year candidate Kevin Pangos. Brad Waldow leads Saint Mary's behind 16.8 points per game and 64.2 percent shooting from the field.

Washington State vs. No. 1 Arizona (10 p.m., Pac-12 Network)

The No. 1 team in the country looks to start Pac-12 play strong with a win over the inconsistent Washington State Cougars. Washington State has won four of its last five games, but that streak comes immediately after a stretch where the Cougars lost four out of five. The Cougars will be without top scorer DaVonte Lacy, who is recovering from an appendectomy. Nick Johnson is coming off a 20-point performance for the Wildcats against Northern Arizona, where he shot 7-of-10.

Oregon State vs. No. 20 Colorado (10 p.m., ESPNU)

Colorado has already proven it will be a factor in the Pac-12 this year. The Buffaloes have beaten Kansas and Harvard and lost by just five to Oklahoma State. They'll face Roberto Nelson and Oregon State, who come into the game at 8-4 overall. Nelson, a senior guard, is averaging 21.4 points and four assists per game. Up front, the Beavers are led by Devon Collier and his 18 points and eight rebounds a night. Colorado is led by Spencer Dinwiddle's 15.8 points and 42 percent shooting from three.

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