Five things to know from Tuesday's games:
1. How do you snap a three-game losing streak? Well, if you’re Purdue, you call on a player who hadn’t gotten off the bench since mid-December and wasn’t even listed in the official scorebook at the beginning of the game. The Boilermakers were assessed a technical foul for using John Hart because of the accidental oversight, but the redshirt freshman made sure it was worth it. Hart entered Tuesday having only played 33 minutes all season, never in a true road game and not since Dec. 22. He’d only scored in one game in his career, when he dropped eight points against Buffalo over six weeks ago. So naturally when Purdue fell behind by eight points at Assembly Hall, coach Matt Painter turned to Hart. He responded with 14 points in 18 minutes while playing turnover-free basketball, as Purdue beat Illinois 84-78.
2. Evan Turner had double-doubles in six of his first seven games before getting hurt in early December. On Tuesday, he had his first double-double since coming back, finishing with 20 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists as the Buckeyes made quick work of Northwestern. Just two assists shy of a triple-double, it’s likely only a matter of time before Turner becomes just the 10th player with three in a season. With those 8 assists, Turner also made some school history. He joined Jim Jackson as the only Buckeyes with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists.
3. San Diego State beat Utah in Salt Lake City for just the third time in 33 trips there. A big part of the win was Malcolm Thomas, who netted a career-high 23 points to go with 13 boards. A transfer from Pepperdine, Thomas has been coming into his own of late. Over the last six games, he is averaging 15.5 ppg and 9.7 rpg, after averaging just 9.8 ppg over his first 13 games with the Aztecs. Thomas has been one of the most-efficient scorers in the nation over that span. Since Dec. 31, he has a 68.4 field goal percentage, second in the nation behind Portland’s Robin Smeulders (70.2).
4. With its season seemingly spiraling out of control, Boston College picked up a big road win in Miami, coming back from 17 points down in the second half. The Eagles were just 4-6 in their last 10 games, a stretch that included home losses to Maine and Harvard. The key was Joe Trapani, who netted a career-high 31 points, the most for a BC player since Tyrese Rice scored 46 in 2008. Trapani was averaging just 8.8 ppg and shooting 29 percent from the field in BC’s first four ACC games, while going 2-for-17 from long distance. Tuesday was a different story. He shot 11-for-20, including 5-for-10 from 3-point range.
5. How about that Vols defense? Tennessee held its third straight opponent to its worst shooting performance of the season as Alabama shot just 37.9 percent at home. Despite being shorthanded, the Vols have won seven straight, thanks to a defense that ranks 13th in the nation in field goal percentage defense. Tennessee has held six straight opponents under 40 percent from the floor. Over that span, opponents are shooting just 34.8 percent. In three SEC games, opponents are shooting just 34.3 percent, the lowest of any team in the nation in conference play.