A busy slate of games is underway and 13 teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll will take to the hardwood on Tuesday.
No. 15 South Carolina will play its first game as a ranked team in nearly seven years when it faces Ole Miss at home. The Gamecocks are in the thick of an intense SEC title race and currently sit in a tie for second place with Auburn in the standings.
No. 3 North Carolina is coming off a rivalry win over Duke as it plays host to Clemson. The Tigers are in need of a signature win to get back on the bubble and will have a chance to do just that against the ACC-leading Tar Heels.
The lone ranked-on-ranked game on the slate features No. 23 Texas Tech traveling to Waco, Texas, for an in-state battle with No. 13 Baylor. The Bears are coming off a controversial win over Iowa State at home and currently tie in a second-place tie with the Red Raiders and Cyclones in the Big 12 standings.
Odds via SportsLine consensus | All times Eastern
Ole Miss at No. 15 South Carolina
6:30 p.m. | SEC Network, fuboTV (Try for free) — South Carolina has been one of the best stories in college basketball. The Gamecocks were projected to finish last in the SEC and now find themselves in the middle of the conference title race with just over a month left in the regular season. Ole Miss has also been a surprise under first-year coach Chris Beard and was one of the last unbeaten teams remaining in the sport before falling to Tennessee last month. Look for South Carolina star Meechie Johnson to get back on track in this one. Prediction: South Carolina -3.5
Clemson at No. 3 North Carolina
7 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — One positive development for North Carolina last weekend outside of beating Duke was the play of Armando Bacot. The preseason All-American hasn’t necessarily played at that level throughout the season, but he sure played like it against the Blue Devils. The next task for Bacot and UNC will be going up against another premier big man in the ACC: PJ Hall. It seems like North Carolina is due for a letdown after such a big win over Georgia Tech. While it’s likely UNC will win this game at home, Clemson will keep it close. Prediction: Clemson +7
No. 14 Iowa State at Texas
8 p.m. | Longhorn Network, fuboTV (Try for free) — Texas is a mystery within the Big 12. The Longhorns have the talent to make an NCAA Tournament run, but they sit at 4-5 within the conference … but three of those four wins have come against Top 25 opponents. They can make it a fourth when they take on a tough Iowa State team at home. If this game was at James H. Hilton Coliseum, it would be a no-brainer to pick Iowa State but that’s not the case here. Texas needs to start stacking wins to stay in NCAA Tournament contention. This would be a place to start. Prediction: Texas -2
Butler at No. 1 UConn
8:30 p.m. | FS1, fuboTV (Try for free) — Since losing in the Big East opener to Seton Hall on Dec. 20, UConn has rattled off 10 consecutive conference wins to extend its lead to 2.0 games in the Big East standings. The Huskies are a well-oiled machine and half of their wins in conference play have come by 10+ points. Butler comes into this game on a four-game win streak, which includes a road victory over No. 13 Creighton. While it’s hard to pick against the reigning champs, Butler has done enough as of late to justify taking the points. Prediction: Butler +14
No. 23 Texas Tech at No. 13 Baylor
9 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — The lone ranked-on-ranked matchup will be a good one. Baylor is coming off one of the more dramatic victories of the season against Iowa State. That game featured coach Scott Drew getting ejected and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by the Cyclones getting waived off because the shot didn’t leave his hand in time. Yves Missi and Ja’Kobe Walter are one of the best freshmen duos in the country. They should do enough to help Baylor secure another Quad 1 win. Prediction: Baylor -5.5
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