|Must-watch individual matchup: Indiana's Cody Zeller against Wisconsin's Jared Berggren. (US Presswire)|
There aren't too many games on the Tuesday slate, but yet another top-five team has a worthwhile test to pass. Moreover, there are a couple of upset possibilities in the Big East, and two teams in the SEC look to get back on the right track. Dive right into the action.
Note: All times are Eastern, and the rankings are according to the AP poll.
Best game: Wisconsin at No. 2 Indiana (9 p.m., ESPN). Here's a stat I did not know: Indiana has lost 10 straight games to Wisconsin (via @BPredict). The Hoosiers look poised to end that streak on Tuesday night, even though the Badgers have won six in a row, including a 23-point victory over Illinois over the weekend. Indiana looked dynamite for about 30 minutes against Minnesota before allowing the Gophers back in the game. The matchup between Cody Zeller and Jared Berggren is one to watch. Wisconsin has to keep the game in a halfcourt setting, as Indiana gets tons of momentum from its transition game -- especially at home.
Second-best game: No. 20 Notre Dame at St. John's (7 p.m., ESPN2). I was starting to get comfortable with the thought of Notre Dame being the third-best team in the Big East. Then the Fighting Irish went out and lost to Connecticut at home over the weekend. How will they bounce back against a St. John's team that was thoroughly embarrassed against Georgetown at the Garden? It's a contrast of styles, as St. John's looks to use its athleticism to get baskets in different ways, while Notre Dame slows things down and runs sets. Jack Cooley vs. Chris Obekpa should be fun.
Another one to watch: Tennessee at Kentucky (7 p.m., ESPN). Neither team is as good as was expected heading into the season, when Kentucky was a top-five club and Tennessee was an NCAA tournament contender. The Volunteers have lost three in a row, and Kentucky might not even be an NCAA tournament team. The battle down low between Jarnell Stokes' strength and Nerlens Noel's length should be interesting, and the point-guard matchup with Ryan Harrow and Trae Golden will also be telling. This game will come down to pace -- Kentucky has to try to get points before the defense is set.
Guaranteed win: Creighton is looking better and better ahead of its weekend clash with Wichita State, but the Bluejays need to take care of business against Northern Iowa first (8 p.m., ESPN3). The Panthers were expected to be a contender in the Missouri Valley this season but have had three separate streaks of at least two losses -- and sit at just 9-8. This won't be a blowout like some of the past “guaranteed wins,” but Creighton should roll.
Potential upset: When there aren't enough games on the schedule, sometimes you have to reach for an upset pick. On Tuesday, Cincinnati heads to DePaul in a game the Bearcats should win (8:30 p.m., ESPN3). With that said, they have lost three of their last five games (with the two wins coming on the road) and aren't the same team they were a couple weeks ago. Can DePaul's Brandon Young and Cleveland Melvin run the Blue Demons past Cincy?
Three things to keep an eye on:
- Coming off its big win over Missouri this past weekend, Ole Miss is looking like a potential at-large team. The Rebels head to Vanderbilt (9 p.m., ESPNU).
- Stony Brook will look to move to 4-0 in the America East when it hosts league rival Boston University (7 p.m., ESPN3).
- There are 11 games on the schedule for Tuesday -- and all 11 are on television.
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