Frank Kaminsky, Elliott Elilason

Thursday’s Pregame Shootaround: Snow disrupts another night of hoops

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Minnesota at No. 21 Wisconsin, 9:00 p.m.

Richard Pitino will take his Gophers into Madison tonight to take on No. 21 Wisconsin in a game that Minnesota really needs to help solidify their at-large profile. The Gophers were in a great position after wins over Ohio State and Wisconsin last month, but losing three straight to Northwestern, Purdue and Nebraska has taken a bit of the luster off of their fast start to league play. Wisconsin is coming off of a win over Michigan State on Sunday.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: Colorado at UCLA, 9:00 p.m.

I think it’s safe to say that there is no second-best team in the Pac-12 right now, just a hodge-podge of also-rans stuck behind Arizona in the standings. Two of those teams are Colorado and UCLA, who will both enter Thursday night’s showdown in good position to earn an at-large bid, but in a questionable enough spot that a losing streak down the stretch of the season could be a disaster. The shame here is that seeing Kyle Anderson go head-to-head with Spencer Dinwiddie would have been must-see TV.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: No. 18 Creighton at Butler, 7:00 p.m.

Doug McDermott will be taking his talents to Hinkle Fieldhouse tonight, where the Bulldogs have had much less success in their transition to the Big East that Dougie McBuckets has had. But this is Butler, and this is Hinkle, and whether or not Brad Stevens is roaming the sidelines, magic tends to happen there.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1) No. 13 Louisville’s visit to Temple has been postponed, as has No. 23 SMU’s trip to Rutgers. Both games will be played tomorrow. This afternoon, games that were postponed last night will be played: Boston College at Georgia Teach and Vanderbilt at South Carolina.

2) Northwestern has played the role of plucky spoiler to perfection this season. Can they pick off a depleted No. 9 Michigan State team tonight?

3) Arkansas will make the trip to Missouri for the biggest bubble game of the night.

4) St. John’s will be paying a visit to Seton Hall tonight assuming that the game is still going to be played.

5) Gonzaga has put themselves in a position where they cannot afford to lose anymore games if they want to dance. Without a marquee win, their profile is awful empty when you look at it.

 

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POWER RANKINGS: Buddy Hield isn’t going anywhere

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) drives to the basket as LSU guard Antonio Blakeney (2) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
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It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.

And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.

The rest of the top 10?

They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: