Duke v North Carolina State

Late Afternoon Snacks: Wolfpack savages Duke; Temple tests Billikens

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Game of the Day

No. 20 NC State 84, No. 1 Duke 76: So, if you were waiting for an answer to the question “how do you beat Duke?”, the answer is “wait for guys to get hurt.” OK, that’s not fair, but Duke did suffer a bit without Ryan Kelly, and when Seth Curry went down near the end of the game, any comeback hope was snuffed out. C.J. Leslie scored 25, Lorenzo Brown had 13 assists and Scott Wood was impeccable from deep. But the real story was Richard Howell’s 16/18 double double inside against Mason Plumlee. Howell is the kind of junkyard dog any title contender needs.

Meaningful Results

No. 5 Indiana 88, No. 8 Minnesota 81: If this were the Billboard charts, Minnesota would have been “No. 8 with a bullet,” coming into this game. The bullet signifies a fast-rising single. In this case, it was the Gophers who were on an eleven-game win streak coming in. The Hoosiers faded badly down the stretch, staking the Gophers to a 19-7 second half run, but survived on the strength of Victor Oladipo’s 20 points and Yogi Farrel’s 8 assists.

No. 18 Kansas State 65, West Virginia 64: West Virginia may not be “all that” this season, but for K-State to head to Morgantown, play a tight game against Bob Huggins’ team and come away with a one-point win is a serious gut-check. With Oklahoma busting Oklahoma State’s chops 77-68 today, and Kansas showing some vulnerability in Allen Fieldhouse recently, every Big 12 win carries a lot of meaning. This was a big one for the Wildcats, who were paced by 17 points apiece from Rodney McGruder and Shane Southwell.

UConn 65, No. 17 Notre Dame 58: Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright are the heart of this year’s team of Huskies, but they needed a little help from forward Tyler Olander to upset the Irish. Olander had 16 points and hauled down 7 boards against a team that plays rough on the interior. Kevin Ollie continues to show why Connecticut’s AD favored him with a new contract in spite of limited head coaching experience. His kids play hard and don’t give up.

Games of the Night

6:00 Temple at St. Louis, ESPNU

8:00 No. 4 Arizona at Oregon State, ESPNU

8:00 Missouri at Ole Miss

8:00 Colorado State at No. 16 San Diego State, NBC Sports

BUBBLE BANTER: Key Atlantic 10, Big East bubble games

Kelan Martin, Kyle Alexander
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This post will be updated throughout the night.

Butler (KenPom: 41, RPI; 67) at Seton Hall (KenPom: 31, RPI: 37), 6:30 p.m.
LSU (KenPom: 53, RPI: 76) at South Carolina (KenPom: 45, RPI: 28), 7:00 p.m.
Nebraska at Wisconsin (KenPom: 51, RPI: 62), 7:00 p.m.
Saint Joseph’s (KenPom: 48, RPI: 30) at George Washington (KenPom: 71, RPI: 34), 7:00 p.m.
Missouri at Vanderbilt (KenPom: 35, RPI: 58), 9:00 p.m.
No. 14 Iowa State at Texas Tech (KenPom: 59, RPI: 51), 9:00 p.m.
Michigan (KenPom: 46, RPI: 56) at Minnesota, 9:00 p.m.
Washington (KenPom: 80, RPI: 57) at Utah (KenPom: 44, RPI: 16), 9:00 p.m.
San Diego State (KenPom: 65, RPI: 47) at Fresno State, 11:00 p.m.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Ben Simmons, LSU get tested at South Carolina; more important bubble matchups

FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2015, file photo, LSU forward Ben Simmons (25) drives downcourt as teammate Antonio Blakeney (2) follows in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina State in New York. For all of his gaudy numbers, Simmons is still trying to figure out the best way to put the Tigers in position to win. And now the schedule gets harder, starting with Tuesday night's, Dec. 29, 2015, tilt against Wake Forest, followed by the opening of Southeastern Conference play against Vanderbilt and No. 10 Kentucky. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: LSU at South Carolina, 7:00 p.m.

LSU attempts to stay atop the SEC standings when they travel on the road to face South Carolina. The Gamecocks have been very tough at home this season and they’re trying to form a potential four-way tie in the conference standings if they’re able to win this one (and Texas A&M wins tonight). It will be intriguing to see how Ben Simmons fares against South Carolina’s stingy defense.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: Saint Joseph’s at George Washington, 7:00 p.m.

An important game in the Atlantic 10 as Saint Joseph’s heads to the Smith Center to play surging George Washington. The Colonels have won three straight games as they try to stay with VCU and Dayton and make a move to tie the Hawks in the league standings. CBT’s Rob Dauster will be in the building for this one, so make sure to follow him on Twitter for updates.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. No. 21 Baylor will have a tough one in the Big 12 when they go on the road at Kansas State. The Wildcats just knocked off Oklahoma and the Octagon of Doom is a very tough place to play, even if Kansas State is struggling in the standings.
  2. No. 16 SMU will try to stay in the lead in the American as they host Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane could really use a road win like this for its postseason chances.
  3. An intriguing Pac-12 contest tips as Washington heads to Utah. The Pac-12 standings are a mess right now, but these two teams still have a chance to make one final move for the regular season title if they start building momentum now.
  4. In the SEC, Alabama hosts No. 15 Texas A&M, a team that has lost three of its last four games. The Aggies will be favored in this road contest, but this one could be interesting because of Avery Johnson’s unique connection to Texas A&M. Avery Johnson Jr., a transfer guard sitting out this season at Alabama, played for the Aggies last season, so he could have some useful tips for his dad on slowing down Texas A&M’s potent offense.
  5. No. 20 Providence will be looking for revenge when they head to Milwaukee to face Marquette. The Golden Eagles currently sit eighth in the Big East standings, but they did win on the road by a point over the Friars earlier this season.