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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Breakfast Buffet: Virginia continues to separate from ACC pack

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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1. The question of who the ACC's fourth-best team is may linger into March, but Virginia appears to have staked its claim as a clear-cut No. 3 behind North Carolina and Duke heading into conference play. Assane Sene made a key steal as LSU was attempting to tie Monday night's game in the final minute, enabling the Cavaliers to hold off the host Tigers 57-52 and finish non-league play with a 13-1 record.

2. If Murray State is going to extend its bid for an undefeated season, the Racers may have to do it without top big man Ivan Aska for a few games. Aska is doubtful for Wednesday's game with Eastern Kentucky after fracturing the fourth-metacarpal in his right hand against Eastern Illinois. The senior forward will be reevaluated on a game-by-game basis and his availability will likely be determined by his pain tolerance.

3. Monday night's most underrated win: How about Robert Morris surviving a season-high 31 turnovers and stunning host Ohio 70-67? The Colonials (11-4) shot 53 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Bobcats 43-29 in becoming only the second team to beat Ohio (12-2) this season. The Bobcats' lone other loss was to Louisville by five points in a game they controlled until the final minutes.

4. Khris Middleton has returned from the knee injury that forced him out of the team's first seven games, but the Texas A&M star is still experiencing swelling that is keeping him out of practice. Perhaps that played a role in his woeful 4 of 17 shooting performance on Monday night in a 62-51 loss at Baylor. "We played very timidly and a little bit overwhelmed," guard Elston Turner told the Houston Chronicle. "The fact that we weren't making shots didn't help."

5. It's looking more and more like Towson will break the Division I record for futility set by Sacramento State when it lost 34 straight games from 1997 to 99. The Tigers lost their 33rd in a row on Monday night to struggling Northeastern, meaning they will either have to beat CAA contenders Old Dominion or Drexel to avoid a dubious place in history. 

The lone reason UNC Greensboro was competitive with Miami in a 99-89 loss on Monday night was the play of wing Trevis Simpson. The 6-foot-4 sophomore scored 36 points on 12 of 20 shooting, none more memorable than this reverse alley-oop from near mid-court. (Yes, the dunk is higher quality than the video, but that was all that was available so far).

"They don't have their best player in Kemba Walker. He's not there anymore. UConn, they're going to have a hard time in the Pru Center." -- Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore on Tuesday night's matchup with UConn. (Hartford Courant)

• UConn at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. EST

• Michigan State at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. EST

• Oral Roberts at Oakland, 7 p.m. EST

• Oklahoma at Missouri, 8 p.m. EST

• Alabama at Georgia Tech, 9 p.m. EST

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