1. Jared Sullinger did some running on the court during Monday's practice, but the Ohio State big man is unlikely to play Wednesday night against South Carolina Upstate. The soonest the Ohio State big man could return is Saturday against South Carolina depending on how his back spasms respond to contact in practice. "The one thing we don't want to do is put him back too early, which could cause a setback," team physician Grant Jones told the Columbus Dispatch. "And if you get a setback now, that could mean a couple more weeks."
2. It's looking more and more like Belmont may have to win the Atlantic Sun tournament to earn an NCAA bid even if the Bruins manage to sweep a pair of games against Marshall later this month. Tuesday's 65-62 loss to a Middle Tennessee State team that clobbered UCLA by 20 certainly isn't disastrous, but Belmont has practically no margin for error after falling to land the marquee win it needed at Memphis and Duke to start the season.
3. Northwestern's quest to make its first-ever NCAA tournament took a hit on Tuesday when the Wildcats lost their most highly touted freshman for the season. Guard Tre Demps, who has been severely hampered by the torn labrum he sustained during the summer, decided to undergo season-ending surgery now rather than wait until the spring. "The injury really limited Tre, and it was in his best interest to get it taken care of at this time," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said.
4. It's fitting that Iona has played such a difficult non-conference schedule because Gaels coach Tim Cluess isn't the type of person who likes anything to be easy. In this fantastic profile, ESPNNewYork.com's Ian O'Connor explains why Cluess is driven to honor the legacy of his working-class parents and to coach in the name of the two brothers who died long before their time.
5. Two weeks before Christmas, and UNC Greensboro already has a coaching vacancy. Former North Carolina guard Wes Miller has been named interim coach for the rest of the season after Mike Dement resigned Tuesday following a 2-8 start. "In the interests of the long-term health of the men's basketball program, Mike and I have agreed that a change is necessary in order for the program to move forward, athletic director Kim Record said.
College basketball players have butchered many a song in recent years, from Aaron Craft's and Jared Sullinger's rendition of the Miley Cyrus hit "Party in the USA" to Marquette guard Junior Cadougan's version of Mariah Carey's "Always be my Baby." None of the Ilinois players belting out Jingle Bells in the above video are that bad, but it's safe to say I'd shut my windows if several of the Illini were caroling on my block.
"All you atheists out there, watch Tim Tebow and you'll believe. … You watch him out there, and he can't complete a pass. Then, Jesus comes out of the sky, and he's hitting everything." — Louisville coach Rick Pitino speaking on his radio show about Tebow, who has led the Denver Broncos to seven wins in his last eight games. (CBSSports.com)
• Iona at Richmond, 12 p.m. EST
• Cincinnati at Wright State, 7 p.m. EST
• Tennessee at Charleston, 9 p.m. EST
• UTEP at UNLV, 10 p.m. EST