Daily Word: Rematch for SMU, Louisville
Every weekday, Andy Katz leads a panel of our college hoops experts in a discussion of the biggest issues, trends and themes happening in and around college basketball.
1. Luke Hancock had 23 points the last time out against SMU. How can the Mustangs slow him down?
Andy Katz: That won't be a problem for SMU. Moody Magic changes everything. The Mustangs have proven they defend tighter at home. Beating Louisville would represent the ultimate signature win for SMU.
Myron Medcalf: Hancock benefits from the constant pressure teams put on Russ Smith and Montrezl Harrell. The Mustangs can't lose him, especially in transition. He's shooting 34 percent from the 3-point line this season (his lowest mark since his freshman season at George Mason) but 64 percent of his shots have come from beyond the arc. He'll make the Mustangs pay if they give him open looks.
C.L. Brown: Hancock is most effective when he catches and shoots. The worst possible way to play him is to help out when Smith or Chris Jones penetrates because they're going to kick it out and Hancock is going to make the shot. SMU must make him put the ball on the floor and dare him to create off his dribble.
2. A pair of Pac-12 bubble teams -- Colorado and Stanford -- clash on Wednesday. Which team is more desperate?
Katz: Colorado. The Buffs desperately need another quality win sans Spencer Dinwiddie. Getting run by Arizona and losing at Utah didn't help the cause.
Medcalf: I think they're in similar positions, but I'd go with Colorado. The Buffaloes didn't crumble after Dinwiddie tore his ACL. And that's a plus. But the committee might not be convinced if the Buffs enter the postseason with a sub .500 record (6-6 right now) without Dinwiddie.
Brown: Stanford. The Cardinal seemingly have been trying to prove themselves tournament-worthy ever since losing to BYU early in the year. Ultimately, we don't know how much the committee will weigh Dinwiddie's absence from Colorado; the Buffs were a tournament team before his injury.
3. Tuesday's action saw a slew of upsets. Which surprised you most?
Katz: Syracuse losing to Georgia Tech. Jerami Grant didn't play, but that shouldn't have been the decisive factor against a depleted Georgia Tech team. The Orange need to get their offense in order soon or they could be facing an early exit.
Medcalf: Definitely Georgia Tech over Syracuse. Grant didn't play, but that's still a Cuse team with multiple pros, and the Orange were at home. Say goodbye to that No. 1 seed and hello to a 2 or 3.
Brown: Syracuse losing at home to Georgia Tech. Even without Grant, I figured the Orange would have enough to beat the Yellow Jackets, who were also clearly struggling entering the game. Scoring doesn't come easy enough for Syracuse and Jim Boeheim is running out of time to find a solution.
Games To Watch
A Wednesday night road game against a team that's desperate for a win just three days before a weekend rivalry game? Sounds like a perfect recipe for a Duke trap game. Wake Forest has lost eight of its last nine games.
The Jayhawks -- who have already sewn up their 10th consecutive Big 12 regular-season title -- will be without freshman big man Joel Embiid, who is sidelined this week with a back injury. Texas Tech has lost its last five games.
For teams who sit anxiously on the NCAA tournament's bubble, time is running out. Count these two Pac-12 squads among those teams. This is the only time the Cardinal and Buffaloes will meet this season.
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