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Yesterday, there were a pair of significant developments in college hoops. The major development off the court was confirmation of Xavier’s Edmond Sumner being diagnosed with a torn ACL in his knee during Sunday’s game against St. John’s. Needless to say, all of the Hoops HD panel wishes him (and Creighton’s Mo Watson Jr.) the best during his rehab.
On the floor last night, the biggest game was in South Bend – Duke was able to get their 2nd straight road win after being exiled from their locker room by an ailing Coach K. The Blue Devils won 84-74 in a game they led most of the way. Notre Dame did mount a 2nd half comeback when Luke Kennard got into foul trouble and got as close as 1 point. They could neither tie nor take the lead, and now the Irish suddenly have 3 consecutive losses in the ACC.
In the Big 12, Oklahoma State has now won 4 in a row after their win in the first leg of the Bedlam Rivalry last night. It was their first win at Oklahoma since 2004 (also the same year the Cowboys last made it to the Final 4).
Most of the UTR conferences had their leaders win without too much difficulty – Belmont, NC Central, Monmouth, Texas Southern, and Florida Gulf Coast all won last night. The Sun Belt featured the top 3 teams (Georgia Southern, UT-Arlington and Arkansas State) all on the road last night, and only the Red Wolves of Arkansas State came out victorious last night – they won at Louisiana-Lafayette to claim a share of the conference lead. UT-Arlington came up short at Coastal Carolina, and Georgia Southern got bounced at Troy.
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTED GAMES (all times Eastern)
MISSISSIPPI STATE at OLE MISS (SEC, 7 PM – SEC Network) – This is the first Egg Bowl matchup between Mississippi’s resident SEC schools tonight. The Rebels nearly knocked off Baylor over the weekend, but need to rack up wins in a hurry if they want to be even discussed as far as potential NCAA Tournament teams go. Ditto for Mississippi State, although they’re further down in the pecking order.
IOWA at RUTGERS (Big 10, 7 PM – BTN) – Iowa won the earlier matchup in Iowa City, but Rutgers has shown themselves to be a tough out at home. Will there be a letdown after their near miss at the Garden against Wisconsin?
MARYLAND at OHIO STATE (Big 10, 7 PM – ESPN) – The Terps are still undefeated away from home, but face a desperate Ohio State team still looking for wins of any sort in the conference. They’ve already lost at home to Purdue and Northwestern. Maryland is looking to play its way up into protected seed territory.
PITTSBURGH at NORTH CAROLINA (ACC, 7 PM – ESPN2) – Poor Pitt. We’ve already seen what Louisville can do to a wounded animal, and UNC is not going to be in a good mood at all after losing to Miami on the road over the weekend.
WAKE FOREST at BOSTON COLLEGE (ACC, 7 PM – ESPNU) – If Wake Forest has a hangover from their come-from-ahead loss at home against Duke, they will be on major upset alert at Chestnut Hill. The computers/metrics love the Demon Deacons, but their profile is not yet in line with those rankings in the eyes of the Hoops HD panel.
GEORGE WASHINGTON at RHODE ISLAND (A-10, 7 PM – CBS Sports Network) – The Telltale Heart of the Atlantic 10 comes in the form of the Rhode Island Rams – they have a pulse, but barely. They already have a home loss to La Salle in conference play and absolutely must hold serve at home against the Colonials.
CREIGHTON at BUTLER (Big East, 7 PM – FS1) – Speaking of teams in a bad mood, Butler is coming off their first loss at Hinkle Fieldhouse since last February. Creighton momentarily stopped the bleeding with a win at home against DePaul, but they will need to play on another level if they’re going to steal a win in Indy tonight. Butler is still playing for a shot at winning the Big East regular season crown.
TEMPLE at TULANE (American, 8 PM – ESPN News) – Not exactly sure why I highlighted this game, but it is also part of national TV viewing for tonight.
AKRON at NORTHERN ILLINOIS (MAC, 8 PM – ESPN3) – The Zips are halfway home to running through the table in the MAC, although the Huskies have been a very tough out at home this season. If they pass tonight’s test, their toughest remaining games will be at Eastern Michigan, Ohio and Kent State.
TENNESSEE at AUBURN (SEC, 9 PM – SEC Network) – The Vols have put themselves in the discussion after very pivotal wins at home against Kentucky and Kansas State last week. Now they need to prove they can win in hostile environments – their old friend Bruce Pearl awaits them at Toomer’s Corner tonight.
GEORGIA at KENTUCKY (SEC, 9 PM – ESPN) – For the last time, you are looking live at Brent Musburger calling a game on TV. Kentucky will not be in nearly as hospitable a mood after losing back-to-back games against Tennessee and Kansas.
VANDERBILT at TEXAS A&M (SEC, 9 PM – ESPNU) – A pair of hard-luck teams meet up in College Station tonight, but neither team is in any serious postseason mode right now.
WISCONSIN at ILLINOIS (Big 10, 9 PM – BTN) – The Badgers will be on upset alert tonight as they go to the State Farm Spaceship in Champaign tonight. The Illini are running out of chances to get quality B1G wins, and a loss will put them even further behind other bubble teams.
WEST VIRGINIA at IOWA STATE (Big 12, 9 PM – ESPN2) – Will Hilton Magic be on hand tonight for Iowa State? They’re 5-3 in the Big 12, but they face a critical week with both West Virginia and Kansas on the schedule. However, as Oklahoma State will attest, teams like the Mountaineers aren’t fazed in road environments for the most part.
DAYTON at FORDHAM (A-10, 9 PM – CBS Sports Network) – The Flyers will also be on upset alert tonight as they venture into the Bronx to play Fordham. The Rams already knocked off VCU at home, but historically have also struggled against Dayton, home or away. A Dayton loss would put them on the wrong side of the bubble for the foreseeable future.
GEORGETOWN at DEPAUL (Big East, 9 PM – FS1) – Joby’s Nitty Gritty rankings briefly had Georgetown as the last team in the field (before Oklahoma State’s win last night), so we highlight this game to see whether or not the league’s resident Rasputin is able to get Georgetown on a 3-game winning streak.
WYOMING at SAN DIEGO STATE (Mountain West, 11 PM – CBS Sports Network) – You are indeed a rabid hoops fan if you can make it awake through this game tonight.