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Wednesday’s slate and what to watch


Mike Miller

Game of the Night: Iowa State @ No. 7 Missouri, 8 p.m. (ESPN3, Big 12 Network)

With their win at Kansas State over the weekend, Iowa State ensured that there would be no collapse in Ames this season. What the Cyclones are playing for now, however, is seeding in the NCAA Tournament. With the middle seeds a mess and with a game remaining against Baylor, there is a chance that two wins could do for Iowa State what a late surge did for Kansas State last year -- vault them up to the five or six seed region. That said, we are talking about a Missouri team coming off of a loss that cost them a shot at the Big 12 regular season title after blowing a 19 point lead against their heated rivals. You don’t think the Tigers are going to be ready to play?

What’s interesting about this game is the matchups. Iowa State likes to spread the floor just as much as Missouri does, with the key player in that mix being Royce White. He’s such a difficult matchup give his size and versatility.

Who’s getting upset?: No. 8 Marquette @ Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Marquette is one of my favorite teams in the country with how they play, but I got a feeling about this Cincinnati team. With a weak non-conference slate and some relatively mediocre wins in Big East play, the Bearcats are still at risk of missing out on the NCAA Tournament if they lose their last two in Big East play and get knocked off in the first round of the Big East Tournament. If Cincinnati’s threes are going down, they are dangerous.

Mid-major matchup of the night: No. 17 UNLV @ Colorado State (MTN)

I know these aren’t technically mid-major programs, but I wanted to elaborate a bit on this game. The Rams are undefeated at home in conference play and UNLV has been a bad team on the road this season. But with the way that the conference has shaken out, UNLV is going to have to win out if they want a share of the regular season crown. We’ve written about how wild this week is going to be in the MWC twice already. This game kicks it off.

Bubble games:

No. 10 Ohio State @ Northwestern, 8:30 p.m. (BTN): As of today, Northwestern looks like they may actually be on the right side of the bubble. But if they want to keep it that way, they need to get this win over the Buckeyes.

South Florida @ No. 19 Louisville, 7 p.m. (Big East Network, ESPN3): South Florida picked up a big win against Cincinnati on Sunday, but their work is far from finished. The Bulls have to have this win.

St. Joseph’s @ St. Bonaventure, 7 p.m.: St. Joe’s is barely hanging onto any bubble hope, but they still have a chance if they keep winning.

Dayton @ Richmond, 7 p.m.: Ditto for Dayton.

Mississippi State @ South Carolina, 8 p.m.: Can the Bulldogs turn their season back around?

Miami @ NC State, 9 p.m.: Miami cannot afford to lose this game if they way to get into the tournament. The good news? They get Reggie Johnson back.

Oklahoma @ Texas, 9 p.m.: Texas is barely hanging on to any bubble hope. A loss to Oklahoma would likely burst that bubble.

Other notable games:

- Maryland @ No. 6 North Carolina, 7 p.m.
- No. 21 San Diego State @ Boise State, 10 p.m.
- UMass @ No. 23 Temple, 7 p.m.
- Penn State @ Purdue, 6:30 p.m.
- Air Force @ New Mexico, 8 p.m.
- Auburn @ Alabama, 8 p.m.
- SMU @ Southern Miss, 8 p.m.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.