Tuesday's Viewer's Guide: Indiana goes to Madison, WVU to Norman

Buddy Hield might be the Big 12 Player of the Year this season. (USATSI)
Buddy Hield might be the Big 12 Player of the Year this season. (USATSI)

Two critical league games are on the slate for Tuesday, as well as a couple of other important ones for bubble teams.

Best game -- West Virginia vs. Oklahoma (-6); 8 ET, ESPN2: With Kansas having won against Iowa State on Monday, West Virginia is now the only team within one game in the loss column of the Jayhawks. Therefore, winning Tuesday in Norman is absolutely crucial to the Mountaineers (or really, anyone else's) chances of upending Kansas in the Big 12. However, the game is equally as important to the Sooners, who are 5-4 in the Big 12 and could use a marquee win. This should be a really fun one.

Second-best game -- Indiana at Wisconsin (-15); 7 ET, ESPN: At the very least you can expect a great offensive showdown between these two teams that are in the top-10 nationally in offensive efficiency. Both teams play with something of a five-out lineup, although Wisconsin does so with more size and strength inside. Troy Williams and Collin Hartman will be the key players here, as they'll be tasked with defending Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker. Can the smaller players stick with the bigger Wisconsin forwards? 

Another to watch -- Georgia at Kentucky (-18); 7 ET, ESPNU: Georgia is one of the better remaining teams on the Wildcats' schedule, as the Bulldogs are currently No. 31 in KenPom's overall ranking. Guards Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines create penetration, and shooters J.J. Frazier and Nemanja Djurisic knock down 3s outside. However, forward Marcus Thornton will not play, as he's still battling concussion-like symptoms. That's a big deal, as the Bulldogs will likely not be able to contain the interior play of the Wildcats. Should be a pretty easy win in Lexington. 

Matchup to watch -- Chris Jones and Terry Rozier vs. Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan: The backcourt matchup in the Louisville-Miami game on Tuesday night will likely tell the story of the contest. Can Angel Rodriguez get penetration against the tough defense the two Cardinals' guards will provide? Will the size of McClellan cause issues against Rozier or the Louisville zone? Which Chris Jones will show up on the offensive end? A lot of big issues here, and both teams could really use this one for differing reasons.

Potential upset: Wouldn't be out of the question for Miami to beat Louisville at home. DePaul also could beat Seton Hall at home. But the one I think happens is Vanderbilt over Florida, which will effectively kill the Gators' at-large hopes. 

Pick of the night -- Arkansas -6.5 vs. South Carolina: The Razorbacks haven't been great recently, but they're at home in this one at Bud Walton Arena and should have a pretty good advantage here against a struggling Gamecock team. Particularly, I don't think South Carolina has anyone that can slow down Bobby Portis. 

Other games:

  • St. John's goes on the road to Butler in a pretty important game for both sides. Butler is ranked for the second week in a row, and could use this win to consolidate that rank.
  • Northern Iowa is 20-2, and goes on the road to take on Indiana State. I do think -5.5 is a bit of a trap line though, as the Panthers might be in for something of a let down following their big win over Wichita State this weekend. 
  • Nebraska absolutely has to beat Northwestern at home to keep any sort of slim at-large hopes alive.
  • NC State is another team hanging on by a thread, and it needs to beat Wake Forest on the road to keep that thread alive.
  • Syracuse against Virginia Tech is a must-win for the Orange given how difficult its schedule is coming up. 
  • Finally, Rutgers and Illinois play, and the Illini need to win that one to keep at-large hopes going just like Nebraska.

>> Want more college hoops? Top 25 (and one) | Bracketology

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