1. If NC State is going to complete a season sweep of Duke on Thursday and avoid falling to .500 in ACC play, the Wolfpack may have to do it without their starting point guard. Mark Gottfried said Monday that he's unsure whether the sprained left ankle Lorenzo Brown suffered during last week's loss at Virginia will heal sufficiently by Thursday. Tyler Lewis played well offensively in Brown's absence against Miami, but he is a liability on defense.
2. NBCSports.com's Troy Machir assembled a midseason list of college basketball's top 10 dunks, and nobody should have any complaints with his choice for No. 1: Last month's crazy full-speed self-alley-oop by San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin. I was a bit surprised to see that Rodney Purvis' put-back slam from Saturday's loss against Miami didn't rise any higher than ninth. Pretty sure that would crack my top five.
3. Former Wisconsin walk-on Brett Valentyn ranked the Big Ten's venues based on which ones are the most difficult for opposing teams to earn a win. It's no surprise that Indiana's Assembly Hall topped the list, but I enjoyed Valentyn's insight on which arena boasts the most creative fans (Michigan State), the hardest rims (Purdue) or the most cramped, outdated visiting locker room (Minnesota).
4. The lingering back injury that forced San Diego State point guard Xavier Thames to miss three January games continues to be a concern. Coach Steve Fisher told U-T San Diego he will meet with Thames and the team's medical staff Tuesday to discuss a course of action. Among the options Fisher said are possibilities: "Continue what we’re doing, what it would mean if he tried to play in pain, or shut him down completely for a couple weeks."
5. Considering that Murray State guard Zay Jackson tried to run down a couple in a Walmart parking lot during the offseason, the sentence he received Monday feels fairly lenient. Jackson and his attorney reached a plea deal that will have him serve 60 days in jail on a charge of wanton endangerment. He’ll also have to pay for the victims' medical bills and attend counseling.
The four-year-old boy who became a YouTube sensation last month when his parents posted video of him screaming Syracuse's starting lineup in their living room got to perform on slightly bigger stage. Here's video of him announcing Syracuse's starters at the Carrier Dome before Monday night's matchup against Notre Dame.
"It's going to be between Ohio State and Michigan. It's not going to be Aaron Craft-Trey Burke. It's going to be a team thing. I'm going to do whatever it takes to get my team a win." -- Michigan guard Trey Burke valiantly trying to downplay the hype for Tuesday night's rematch between him and Ohio State defensive stalwart Aaron Craft. The last time the two met, Craft held Burke to 4 of 13 shooting and forced four turnovers in a 56-53 Buckeyes win in Columbus. (Detroit Free Press)
• Florida at Arkansas, 7 p.m. EST
• Boston College at Miami, 7 p.m. EST
• Ohio State at Michigan, 9 p.m. EST
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