A look at the two most notable games on Tuesday's schedule:
Michigan State at Purdue
Purdue, Illinois, Ohio State, and Minnesota have been jockeying for position in the Big Ten behind Michigan State all season long. Tonight the Boilermakers get a chance to make a case that they're the conference's second best team as they welcome the Spartans to Mackey Arena. Purdue is coming off a 2-0 week that included win at home against Penn State and a road win at Iowa. Those wins moved them up to the 5 line in this week's bracket, which is one line behind the Illini and three lines behind frontrunner Michigan State. The Spartans won an ugly game at Michigan on Tuesday to move up to the top of the 2 line in our latest field, which is the highest they've been since the preseason. Their win over the Wolverines marked the third straight game that Michigan State has held an opponent under 50 points, and more impressively, it also kept their perfect road record intact. The Spartans are 7-0 this season away from East Lansing and 6-0 in conference road games. If they push that road win streak in conference to seven, they will move one step closer to winning their first Big Ten title since 2001. If Purdue comes out on top, they would move to within a game of the Spartans in conference and probably up to the 4 line - alongside but still behind the Illini - next week.
Maryland at Clemson
If Maryland doesn't make the tournament - which is still a very likely scenario at this point - it certainly won't because of a lack of chances. The Terps are set to embark on a five-game stretch that starts with this game and includes home games against North Carolina, Duke, and Wake Forest. A 3-2 record in those five games would put the Terps at 8-7 in the ACC heading into their very winnable season finale at Virginia. Even if they finish 8-8 in conference, Maryland would still be very alive in the at-large discussion entering the ACC tourney because of their OOC wins over Michigan State and Michigan. We know these scenarios might seem far-fetched - especially for a team that has just one road win on its resume and hasn't been above .500 in conference since they won their ACC opener - but anything is still possible at this point. Clemson, meanwhile, limps into this game after committing 21 turnovers and inexplicably losing at Virginia on Sunday. That loss, their fourth in their last eight games, dropped the slumping Tigers to 6-4 in conference and knocked them down to a 3 seed in our latest bracket. The Tigers got leap-frogged by Wake Forest and sit just behind Duke on our latest S-curve. They'll need to win this game to avoid dropping down to the 4 line next week. They haven't been that low since they were a 9 seed in our first Field Of 65 back in November.
Also receiving votes: Seton Hall at Marquette, Kentucky at Vanderbilt, New Mexico at BYU