Another night and another opportunity for bubble teams throughout the nation to add a solid victory to their resumes. Florida and Louisville have opportunities at home to just that and it's fitting that the coach of one school (Billy Donovan) was coached by the head coach of the other (Rick Pitino). The Gators are coming off of a crucial win at Ole Miss on Saturday in a game that likely was an "elimination match" for the loser.
Injuries can be the great equalizer in sports, turning a race that looks to be all but over into a contested sprint to the finish line. Michigan State can attest to that, with point guard Kalin Lucas (ankle) going down against Wisconsin and being unable to play at Illinois in a second consecutive loss on Saturday night. Tuesday's matchup is in East Lansing but none easier, especially if Lucas is unable to go.
An in-state rivalry will be one of the top matchups on Wednesday night with Vanderbilt heading east to take on Tennessee in Knoxville. Thanks to South Carolina knocking off Kentucky the Commodores lead the SEC East with a 4-0 league record but they could have some company after Wednesday night. Kevin Stallings' team has won nine straight but this will be their toughest challenge by far, especially considering their tendency to struggle away from Memorial Gym in big games.
For SEC fans, the 2009 NBA Draft was about as exciting as watching paint dry.
In winning their first fourteen games of the season the Purdue Boilermakers did nothing to dispel the notion that they had a very good chance of getting to the Final Four. But while a record of 14-3 is nothing to disregard there have been some worrisome issues for Matt Painter's squad, who dropped their third consecutive game on Saturday. And the biggest issue may be the tallest man in the rotation, JaJuan Johnson. Over the last three games the junior has averaged just six points per game and struggled through eighteen foul-plagued minutes in Evanston before fouling out.
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