There’s only 13 games on the schedule, but it’s highlighted by a battle between two top-10 teams loaded with future pros.
Note: All times are Eastern, and the rankings are according to the AP poll.
Best game: No. 8 Florida at No. 1 Kentucky (7 p.m., ESPN). The game of the year in the SEC (so far). Florida has won seven in a row and cemented itself as the second-best team in the conference, while Kentucky is atop the rankings and has many onlookers calling the Wildcats the clear-cut best team in the nation. Both teams are tremendous offensively, despite getting the job done in different ways. The key in this one will be Patric Young; can he hold his own down low against Anthony Davis, or will he continue to struggle? Moreover, will Florida get shots for Erik Murphy and its other shooters? Everyone's excited for this one.
Second-best game: Purdue at No. 3 Ohio State (9 p.m., ESPN). Things are getting a little hairy for the Boilermakers, which lost by 17 at home to Indiana and now face a very difficult road just to finish .500 in the Big Ten. Meanwhile, Ohio State continues to ace every test, winning five in a row. Purdue is going to have trouble defending Jared Sullinger on the interior, as Travis Carroll simply can’t handle him. Moreover, Aaron Craft isn’t going to make life easy for Lewis Jackson to ignite the Purdue offense.
Another one to watch: Alabama at Auburn (9 p.m., ESPNU). It will be interesting to see how Alabama performs without forward Tony Mitchell, who was suspended indefinitely on Monday. The Crimson Tide lack offensive playmakers in general, and missing Mitchell won’t help. Auburn has lost seven of its last 10 games, but the Tigers have only one loss this season at home (to Kentucky) and play good enough defense to make it a contest.
Guaranteed win: Kansas State bounced back from a two-game losing streak with a home win against Texas A&M over the weekend, and the Wildcats should get another victory on Tuesday. They face Texas Tech (8 p.m., ESPN3), which is 0-10 in the Big 12 and has won just one road game this season. In the first meeting, Kansas State won by 22 – at Texas Tech.
Potential upset: Am I convinced that Evansville will beat No. 17 Creighton tonight (8:05 p.m.)? Not at all. But the Aces have beaten Northern Iowa and Missouri State, and also lost to Wichita State in their first meeting. Only one of their MVC losses was my more than 10 points, and four of them were by a combined six points. They will need to get out and guard the perimeter, though; Creighton can get hot from deep.
Three things to keep an eye on:
- Iowa State goes for its fourth win in a row tonight, heading to Oklahoma State (7 p.m., ESPN2). The Cowboys have been tough at home this season.
- Maryland and Clemson are both fighting to break into the upper half of the conference, and Tuesday night’s game will help the winner’s cause (7 p.m., ESPNU).
- UNC-Asheville is the best team in the Big South, but Coastal Carolina and Campbell are next in line. The two face off tonight (7 p.m.).
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