1. Frustrated that he has been unable to cajole Georgetown into agreeing to a series with Maryland in men's basketball, second-year Terrapins athletic director Kevin Anderson is trying a new approach to reviving the natural rivalry. Anderson and Maryland's coaches have agreed not to schedule Georgetown in any sport until the Hoyas agree to a men's basketball matchup. "I'm trying to understand why they won't even talk to us about playing men's basketball," Anderson told the Washington Post. "If they give me a good reason, we'll look at this again and re-evaluate where we are."
2. No bubble team in the nation will be more heavily debated in the coming weeks than South Florida, which defeated Pittsburgh 56-47 on Sunday to notch its fourth straight win and to improve to 10-4 in the Big East. The black mark against the Bulls is their lack of quality wins, but Stan Heath made the same argument in favor of his team Sunday that he did in my conversation with him last week. "Ten wins in this conference is 10 wins in this conference," Heath told the Tampa Times. "That's a hell of a deal."
3. For a basketball player who grew up in the heart of ACC country in Winston Salem, N.C., Miami center Reggie Johnson had an unusual childhood hero: WWE wrestler The Rock. Johnson no longer imitates all The Rock's trademark moves on a teddy bear in his front yard the way he did as a kid, but his passion for wrestling apparently hasn't waned. "It just blows my mind that he loves wrestling. I can't believe it," Miami guard Malcolm Grant told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "And he knows that it's not real. He still goes crazy for it."
4. Even though the dismissal of guard Kelsey Barlow left Purdue shorthanded in a 76-62 loss to Michigan State on Sunday, here's one way you can tell Boilermakers coach Matt Painter made the right decision. Asked about the loss of Barlow by the Indianapolis Star, fellow Purdue guard Ryne Smith said tersely, "addition by subtraction." Painter was more measured, explaining, "When something happens and you have to part ways with a kid, it doesn't make you feel good. It doesn't because I feel like I failed, also."
5. Great piece from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Brady McCollough on Pittsburgh point guard Tray Woodall's path from a troubled childhood to major college basketball. Woodall had to sell drugs as a 12-year-old in order to feed and clothe himself, but the advice of father figure George Fontan and St. Anthony's High coach Bob Hurley helped turn his life around.
Auburn basketball doesn't provide many memorable moments, so it's worth highlighting this one from the Tigers' upset victory over enigmatic Mississippi State on Saturday night. Varez Ward makes a sweet no-look feed to Kenny Gabriel, who absorbs heavy contact and still finishes with a strong reverse jam.
"I really do. They seem to be playing their best basketball right now. To me, that's the most important thing. In our conference, you hope a team that's playing better in January and February would be rewarded." -- Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon on whether South Florida deserves an NCAA tournament bid. The Bulls defeated the Panthers in Pittsburgh on Sunday. (The Tampa Tribune)
• UConn at Villanova, 7 p.m. EST
• Baylor at Texas, 9 p.m. EST