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Utah State will have a chance to knock off a top 25 team when it makes a trip to Ruston, La., on Thursday.

Louisiana Tech entered the AP's top 25 for the first time in 28 years when a young forward named Karl Malone took them there. The 24-3 Bulldogs are now on a 16-game winning streak, continued last week by a thrashing of Central Baptist.

Louisiana Tech earned 54 points in the AP poll. The Bulldogs have not yet gotten into the top 25 of the USA Today/Coaches' Poll, one of the last few squads out behind Pittsburgh, Oregon and Middle Tennessee.

The Bulldogs have had a good year, but haven't necessarily been tested quite like other top 25 teams. Louisiana Tech's signature win is probably against Southern Miss, a 21-7 team from Conference USA. The Bulldogs have otherwise beaten New Mexico State and Denver while going through the WAC this year, but also have a head-scratching loss to McNeese State. Several analysts believe that Louisiana Tech wouldn't get an NCAA at-large bid if it didn't win the WAC tournament.

Utah State has not yet played an AP top 25 team this year. Winning in Ruston could be a powerful statement as the Aggies look for a postseason home. The NCAA tournament is out without winning the WAC tournament, but the Aggies can still strengthen their resume for a possible berth to the NIT.

Kyisean Reed still a dunk contest candidate

With eight dunkers left, Utah State's Kyisean Reed is still in the mix to win Dark Horse Dunker.

The senior forward is out for the season with a knee injury, and even if he won the competition, he'd likely not be ready to compete. But Aggies fans can still vote for Reed online.

This week, Reed faces off against Angelo Sharpless of Elizabeth City State University. Other names in the contest should be familiar to fans: Illinois State's Tyler Brown (just went off on the Aggies for 35) and Bandja Sy of New Mexico State.

— Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon

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