College hoops viewing guide: The biggest Tuesday of the season


With three showdowns between teams at the top of their conference standings -- including No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 4 Michigan State -- Tuesday nights don't get much more important than this.

Starting at 7 p.m. ET, we're going to have conference showdowns between the top two teams in the Big Ten, the SEC and the Atlantic 10, and the best team in the ACC putting its undefeated conference record on the line against a capable Virginia squad.

This figures to be a glorious four-hour period. Don't fight it, embrace it, make room for it, leave your family for it, hold back tears for it when you realize leaving your family was a bad idea but you still don't want to hurt its' feelings.

No. 1 Indiana at No. 4 Michigan State (7 p.m./ESPN)

Yeah, this one's every bit as big as the little numbers next to the names would indicate.

Your preview from the Michigan State side of things.

And from the Indiana side of things.

Florida State at NC State (7 p.m. ET/ESPN2)

Just three teams in the ACC have won three or more conference games on the road, and despite owning just a 6-6 league record, Florida State is one of those teams. Win No. 4 figures to be a tall task against an NC State team that is 13-1 at home this season, and which possesses a monster advantage in the paint.

LSU at Tennessee (7 p.m. ET/ESPNU)

This game is also on an ESPN network at 7 p.m.

No. 17 Marquette at Seton Hall (7 p.m. ET/MASN/Fox Sports Ohio)

The Golden Eagles have won just twice on the road this season, but at 9-3 and tied for first in the Big East entering the final third of the conference season, they can't afford a slip-up against a Seton Hall squad that would just as soon be getting ready for summer workouts.

Duquesne at No. 15 Butler (7 p.m. ET/ROOT Sports)

At 1-10 in league play, Duquesne is nearing the point of being mathematically eliminated from making this year's Atlantic 10 tournament. Butler, which has struggled recently both with and without center Andrew Smith, needs this game to straighten itself out a little bit.

No. 5 Florida at Missouri (9 p.m. ET/ESPN)

This is still the game of the year in the SEC, I suppose, but only because it's being played in Columbia. Missouri has been one of the more disappointing teams in the country due mostly to its road woes, which have also allowed the Gators to run away with the SEC. A win tonight by Frank Haith's merry band of transfers will at least restore the belief that they an compete with the top teams in the country come tournament time.

Virginia at No. 2 Miami (9 p.m. ET/ESPNU)

We're 4-for-5 on these this season ... Bold prediction of the night: Miami takes its first ACC loss this evening.

No. 24 VCU at Saint Louis (9 p.m./CBS Sports Network)

In a year of almost unprecedented home court domination, VCU is a sparkling 7-1 in true road games. That mark will be put to the test in tonight's battle for first place in the A-10, which feature perhaps the conference's two most contrasting styles. Thanks in part to Shaka Smart's "havoc" defense, the Rams rank at or near the top of the league with averages of 78.1 ppg and 63.0 shot attempts per game. SLU, conversely, wins with defense. The Bilikens allow opponents to score just 57.8 ppg, and their average of 51.3 field goal attempts per game is the second lowest in the A-10.

Enjoy the evening.

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