1. Whatever the record for court stormings in 10 days is, NC State has to be approaching it. Since a wheel chair-bound student famously led a flood of NC State students onto the floor after an upset win over top-ranked Duke, the Wolfpack have endured a pair of court stormings at their expense. The latest came Tuesday night when success-staved Wake Forest fans celebrated at mid-court following an 86-84 victory that will surely empty the NC State bandwagon a bit. It's hard to see the Wolfpack winning the ACC unless it defends more consistently than this.
2. In this excellent profile of Oklahoma State phenom Marcus Smart, USA Today's Eric Prisbell details the freshman guard's transformation from teenager headed down a rocky path to college basketball player lauded for his leadership and unselfishness. The story begins with Smart running from a gun-toting gang member at whom he made the mistake of throwing rocks from the top of an apartment building. That frightening anecdote alone is worth the click.
3. Why has San Diego State not played to its potential in Mountain West play so far? Steve Fisher believes the lingering back issues that have sidelined starting point guard Xavier Thames have a lot to do with it. He creates easy looks for his teammates with his ability to get in the lane and he may be the team's top perimeter defender. “So many things that are non-statistically labeled,” Fisher told U-T San Diego. “He’s our best help defender. He’s always in that gap so if you get beat, he doesn’t let you get beat, and he’s still able to get back to his man."
4. One measure of Butler's evolution from plucky mid-major to an emerging power that no longer fits that label is the way it travels to games. Instead of lengthy bus rides and commercial flights, the Bulldogs charter planes to road games the same way elite teams from power conferences do. The added expense is worthwhile from a convenience standpoint because Butler players arrive at road games less fatigued and miss less class time due to travel.
5. If Frank Haith's next six weeks are about winning enough games to persuade Missouri officials to keep him despite any NCAA penalties he may incur, then the embattled Tigers coach certainly couldn't afford a home loss to South Carolina. Missouri trailed the entire first half and still was in jeopardy of losing into the final two minutes, but 3-pointers in the final 71 seconds from Earnest Ross and Jabari Brown helped the Tigers escape with a 71-65 victory.
Indiana coach Tom Crean, Butler's Brad Stevens, Purdue's Matt Painter and ESPN analyst Bill Raftery appear in this surprisingly funny commercial for the Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge. The only one who looked a little stiff and wooden trying to act was Painter. The others are pretty smooth and natural.
"We played with zero pride." -- Nebraska coach Tim Miles via Twitter at halftime of his team's 71-51 loss to Illinois. Miles has tweeted before the start of the second half since his days at Colorado State, but rarely have his comments been so harsh. The Illini held the Huskers without a field goal for the last 8:51 of the first half to take a 12-point lead into the break. Nebraska is now 1-6 in the Big Ten.
• Lehigh at Bucknell, 6 p.m. EST
• Duke at Miami, 7 p.m. EST
• Butler at La Salle, 7 p.m. EST
• Xavier at Charlotte, 7:30 p.m. EST
• Colorado State at New Mexico, 8 p.m. EST
• Minnesota at Northwestern, 9 p.m. EST
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