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Pregame Shootaround: Showdowns in the Big East, Big Ten, and a big chance for Texas

Rayvonte Rice, Frank Kaminsky

AP Photo


Game of the Night: No. 5 Wisconsin at No. 14 Maryland, 7:00 p.m.

Maryland has not exactly looked dominant in recent weeks, but they are still one of a handful of teams that still have a glimmer of hope when it comes to winning a share of the Big Ten title. In order to do so, they need to beat Wisconsin at home tonight, which is easier said that done. There’s a reason that the Badgers are 25-2 on the season, but if we’re being fair, they did lose on the road against Rutgers. Can Maryland pick them off in what’s assuredly going to be an insane atmosphere in College Park?

The Other Game of the Night: No. 25 Providence at No. 6 Villanova, 7:00 p.m.

Villanova has asserted their dominance atop the Big East this season, taking a three game lead over the field with just four games left in the regular season. But the Friars are more talented than people give them credit for. Kris Dunn is one of the most underrated players in the country, while LaDontae Henton has consistently proven the ability to live up to his nickname: Buckets. The Wildcats will be in for a fight tonight.

Five Things to Watch For

1. Texas at West Virginia, 7:00 p.m.: West Virginia made their statement last week with wins over Kansas and at Oklahoma State. Texas is in danger of missing the NCAA tournament these days, but winning at West Virginia would go a long way towards helping their cause.

2. Syracuse at No. 9 Notre Dame, 8:00 p.m.: The Irish will be tested inside by Rakeem Christmas, but without much to play for will the Orange come out fighting?

3. N.C. State at No. 15 North Carolina, 8:00 p.m.: N.C. State will make the trip to Chapel Hill to take on the Tar Heels. A win would go a long way towards solidifying a tournament berth for the Wolfpack.

4. Texas A&M at No. 18 Arkansas, 9:00 p.m.: Texas A&M has a profile that’s lacking quality wins. Beating Arkansas on the road is certainly a quality win.

5. LSU at Auburn, 7:00 p.m.: LSU is firmly on the bubble, meaning they probably can’t afford losing at Auburn.

Bubble games:

  • Boston College at Pittsburgh, 9:00 p.m.
  • New Mexico at Boise State, 11:00 p.m.