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Jeff Eisenberg

Breakfast buffet: Texas-Mizzou will gauge Horns' progress

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Pull up a chair and sit down at the breakfast buffet, a daily assortment of all the freshest newsworthy college hoops stories on the net. To make a submission, contact me via email or twitter.

• Is Texas a contender or pretender? We'll get a much better idea Wednesday night after a Longhorns team that faded badly after ascending to No. 1 in the nation gets a chance at some redemption on the road at Missouri. Although rebounding remains a problem for the Tigers, they're 14-1 at home this season and they're hungry for a win to solidify their NCAA tournament hopes.

• At long last, Virginia Tech has a win worthy of an NCAA tournament team. The 340th-ranked non-conference schedule will be an albatross for the Hokies on Selection Sunday, but Tuesday night's comeback win over Wake Forest will go a long way toward making sure it doesn't keep them out of the field altogether. Virginia Tech is now alone in second place in the ACC, with a showdown at first-place Duke set for Sunday.

• How's this for a scenario? If Ohio State beats Purdue on Wednesday night and Michigan State on Sunday night, the Buckeyes would be at least a game clear of both in the standings and hold the season tiebreaker over both teams. Of course, before the fighting Evan Turners can even consider the Spartants, they better focus on a Purdue team that has won seven straight and has plenty of star power of their own.

• USC's hearing in front of the NCAA infractions committee begins Thursday, and judging by what folks who have been through the process before have to say, it will not be pleasant. "It's no cup of coffee," Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson said of his appearance last year. "I absolutely hated being in there."

• In the two months since Texas A&M's Derrick Roland broke his leg at Washington, nothing has been harder on him than having to watch Monday night's Kansas game from the bench. "I started to cry once I got home," Roland said. "Every other game I've been fine. But that one shook me up. We could've won that game and I could've made a difference. I wanted so bad to be a part of it.

• Cal's Mike Montgomery, winning no friends at Fox Sports Net, offered this explanation for the perception that the Pac-10 is so weak this season: "We're not on national television, per se. That is, not everybody can watch us everytime they turn on a game (on ESPN), so you have to kind of seek us out." He also cited the weakness of traditional powers Arizona, UCLA and Stanford as dragging down the perception of the whole league.

• Having lost back-to-back first-round games and failed to win an NCAA tournament game every year since 1993, BYU isn't satisfied with just making the field this season. The Cougars want a good seed and a favorable first-round matchup, something that is well within their reach if they close out the final six games of the regular season with a strong finishing kick.

• You may remember that former New York City phenom Lance Stephenson's nickname is "Born Ready." Well, the Cincinnati freshman looked anything but on Tuesday night, scoring just four points in a loss at South Florida that boosts the Bulls' at-large hopes and hinders those of the Bearcats. Said Stephenson on the differences between high school and college: "Players play together (on defense), they help on the weak side and make it much harder for me to score."

• In their first of three games without suspended center Jordan Eglseder, Northern Iowa cruised to an easy 70-52 victory over Creighton, clinching the outright Missouri Valley Conference title. The Valley’s top seed has earned an NCAA Tournament bid every year since 1994, but only the conference tourney champ is guaranteed a spot.

• Sitting through North Carolina's miserable loss to Georgia Tech on Tuesday night was hard enough for injured forward Ed Davis, so he certainly doesn't need you pestering him about his NBA plans on twitter. "Please stop asking if I'm leaving school or not," he wrote. "I'm just trying to recover from my injury and get back on the court asap."

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