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College Football Ends And College Hoops Gives Us A Loaded Tuesday Schedule To Help Adjust: Here's What You Need To Know

St. John's v Villanova

Listen, college football is over. I hate to break it to you. It’s done. Clemson won. You have to wait until August. But, good news is there’s a loaded slate of college hoops on tonight to help you on a Tuesday. What are you going to do? Watch The Office for the 400th time? I advise watching that until the games start of course, but we have a pretty loaded slate for the night after college football ends.

St. John’s trying to get a signature win
St. John’s is 14-1 and has one of the favorites for Big East Player of the Year in Shamorie Ponds. However, they are still being questioned due to the weak nonconference schedule. They have the win at home over Marquette, but now this is a chance for a signature win. They travel to Villanova to take on the consistent favorite to win the Big East, who is coming off a road win at Providence itself. This is one of the games that people can point to for the Big East title race. If St. John’s gets this win, there will immediately be more talk about them on a national landscape. Nova is favored by 6 for what it’s worth.

Kevin Keatts is a winner
That was his quote when he was hired at NC State and he’s lived up to the billing. NC State gets big wins at home. Tonight they get UNC at home as a 1 point favorite. Listen, I think NC State has a legit case to be the 3rd best team in the ACC and a home win over a team they consider a rival helps get them there. Markell Johnson has been really good against UNC in his career and really how he goes (along with Torin Dorn) is how NC State goes. Keep an eye on him vs Coby White tonight.

Speaking of UNC will we see Nassir Little
Perhaps the most talked about 6th man this year has been Nassir Little. He entered the season as a top-5 NBA prospect (still is) and a top-5 freshman. He’s been stuck somewhat behind Luke Maye and Cam Johnson due to Roy wanting to play Maye at the 4 and Johnson at the 3 with a traditional big. Little has been productive in his 20 minutes per game – somewhat similar to what we saw with Marvin Williams back in the day. Now that we’re in conference play will we see Little start to get 25-28 minutes? NC State could be a good judge of that with the up and down tempo they like to play.

There’s still #MACtion!
Buffalo has been one of the darlings in the college basketball world this year getting road wins over Syracuse and West Virginia before losing at Marquette. Well, good news for MAC fans out there. We have two teams ranked in the top-70 of KenPom playing as Toledo plays Buffalo. These are the type of games that Buffalo needs to win in order to keep the at-large talk alive just because we’ve seen mid-majors get hurt with this. People will see this and think it’s a bad loss if it happens. That’s not true. Buffalo wants to play fast as they are 9th in the country in average possession length. The key for Toledo is going to be taking care of the ball though – Buffalo is top-25 in forcing turnovers.

Purdue’s desperate for a win
Purdue heads up to Michigan State in a game that they are pretty desperate for. The computer rankings still like Purdue a decent amount as they are No. 17 on KenPom but Purdue is 9-5 with the best wins being home vs Iowa and Maryland. They go to Michigan State tonight and we get to watch Carsen Edwards vs Cassius Winston. That’s a matchup I’m all the way here for. At some point Purdue is going to need to get a road win otherwise we could see something similar to Nebraska last year where they were left out of the NCAA Tournament despite finishing 4th in the Big 10 because of a lack of big wins and road wins. Purdue is coming off an ass kicking of Iowa where they had a pretty balanced offensive attack. They still need a consistent second scorer after Edwards.

Speaking of the Big 10
Maryland and Minnesota is going to be a massively important game. Right now the Big 10 has 2 great teams in Michigan and Michigan State. Indiana is a real good team. Then there are a lot of questions. I’d slide Nebraska into that 4th spot and then you can list Maryland, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Purdue and Ohio State in pretty much any order. I think the Big 10 will get a bunch of teams in the NCAA Tournament because of that, but if you want to get a top-6 seed let’s say, you need to win these games. Minnesota is at home following the road win over Wisconsin.

Can Iowa State stay hot?
Iowa State got that massive win over Kansas on Saturday. I’ve talked about them quite a bit and how they finally have everyone playing and healthy. But, now they go to a Baylor team in what some may see as a trap game. Baylor obviously isn’t Kansas and you have to go on the road. They’ve been up and down losing to Texas Southern and Stephen F. Austin but beating Arizona and Oregon. If Iowa State wants to win the Big 12 you have to win this game. How they show up will say a little bit about this team and just how good they are.

Can Kentucky rebound?
Speaking of teams and how they show up, Kentucky is coming back to Rupp Arena after going 2-1 on the road/neutral court vs UNC, Louisville and Alabama. However, the loss was at Alabama and we saw part of the problem with athletic bigs really bothering Reid Travis at the rim. John Calipari even said that Travis reverted back in the second half. They are playing a team in A&M that’s expected to finish in the bottom-3 of the SEC. Kentucky needs to come out at home and win by double digits. Otherwise we’re talking about Kentucky reverting after the two impressive wins.

5 Best Games:
UNC at NC State – 9pm (ESPN)
Maryland at Minnesota – 7pm (BTN)
Oklahoma at Texas Tech – 9pm (ESPNews)
St. John’s at Villanova – 7pm (FS1)
Toledo at Buffalo – 7pm (ESPN Plus)

NC State -1
St. John’s +6
Buffalo -9