Malik Smith, Alex Olah

Tuesday’s Pregame Shootaround: No. 1, No. 2 play, plenty of bubble action

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 20 Iowa at Minnesota, 7:00 p.m.

Minnesota’s running out of chances if they want to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Tonight’s matchup with Iowa would be a great opportunity to pick up a marquee and start getting themselves headed in the right direction.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: Xavier at St. John’s, 7:00 p.m.

This might be the most important bubble game of the night. Xavier has struggled of late, putting themselves in a position where they could end up missing the NCAA tournament. St. John’s has won nine of their last 11 games, but they dug themselves a big enough hole that they are still climbing their way out of it.


1) No. 2 Wichita State will be paying a visit to Bradley at 9:00 p.m. tonight, the last time that the Shockers will play a road game this season.

2) No. 1 Florida will be on the road as well, heading to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt.

3) Indiana is trying to salvage their season as they pay a visit to the Kohl Center to take on No. 14 Wisconsin.

4) A pair of ranked Mountain West teams will be in action tonight, as Utah State pays a visit to No. 25 New Mexico and San Jose State heads south to pay a visit to No. 13 San Diego State.

5) Virginia Tech will pay a visit to No. 6 Duke.

Bubble games:

  • Clemson at Wake Forest, 7:00 p.m.
  • Kansas State at Texas Tech, 7:00 p.m.
  • Dayton at Saint Joseph’s, 7:00 p.m.
  • Missouri at Georgia, 9:00 p.m.

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.