Tuesday’s slate and what to watch

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Here’s where the Big Ten race could start to see some separation.

Three teams – Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan – are all 5-2 in league play. Wisconsin (5-3), Purdue (4-3) and Illinois (4-3) are all right behind.  But tonight’s the night that might see the Wolverines start to fall off the pace.

After Saturday’s loss to Arkansas, Michigan (15-5) has a four-game stretch as tough as sitting through “Tree of Life” without nodding off multiple times. At Purdue, at Ohio State, home against Indiana and at Michigan State. John Beilein’s team will be lucky to win two in that stretch.

(All times ET; TV info from HDSportsGuide.com)

Michigan at Purdue, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
If the Wolverines’ upcoming stretch is tough, Purdue (14-6) is right behind. The Boilermakers follow this with trips to Northwestern and Ohio State, with a home game against Indiana in the middle. Unless the sagging defense starts to improve, don’t expect Purdue to stay within shouting distance of the league lead.

Baylor at Oklahoma, 8 p.m. (Big 12 Network)
If the Bears (17-2) lose three straight, it’s panic time in Waco. Winning in Norman is doable, but the Sooners (12-6) are a tough out. Of their four Big 12 losses, only one was a blowout.

Kentucky at Georgia, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
You need a reason to watch the Bulldogs? Here’s one.

Iowa State at Texas, 9 p.m. (Longhorn Network)
Hey! A reason to actually tune into the Longhorn Network! The Longhorns (12-7) fell short at Ames in their Big 12 opener, but expect J’Covan Brown & Co. to finally pull out a win here. They’ve lost three straight, including Saturday’s near-miss against Kansas. If not, this sets up as the fourth of six straight losses. After this, they travel to Baylor and host Missouri.

EAST
UMBC at Boston U., 7 p.m.
E. Michigan at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

SOUTH
SC State at Hampton, 7 p.m.
Morehead St. at Norfolk St., 7 p.m.
Tennessee at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m.
Longwood at Florida Gulf Coast, 7:05 p.m.
Kentucky at Georgia, 9 p.m.
Miami at Georgia Tech, 9 p.m.

MIDWEST
Akron at Ball St., 7 p.m.
Michigan at Purdue, 7 p.m.
South Florida at Marquette, 8 p.m.
W. Illinois at Nebraska-Omaha, 8 p.m.
Bradley at S. Illinois, 8:05 p.m.

SOUTHWEST
Baylor at Oklahoma, 8 p.m.
Texas-Arlington at Houston Baptist, 8:05 p.m.
Iowa St. at Texas, 9 p.m.

FAR WEST
San Diego St. at Wyoming, 8:30 p.m.
Seattle at UC Irvine, 10 p.m.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.