Each weekday, our college hoops experts discuss the biggest issues, trends and themes in college basketball.
1. Which team is most worth keeping an eye on this week?
Andy Katz: LSU. The Tigers have a golden opportunity for a signature win -- one that helps the NCAA tournament resume -- by hosting Oklahoma in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Dana O'Neil: Oregon. In the wildly unpredictable Pac-12, the Ducks have quietly moved into a first-place tie with Washington, courtesy of five wins in six games. This past weekend Oregon swept the Los Angeles schools. This week the Ducks go to Arizona. That game against the Wildcats could be key in the Pac-12 race.
Jeff Goodman: Northwestern. This is a huge week if Chris Collins is able to get the Wildcats into the NCAA tournament for the first time. Northwestern has lost three straight -- at home to Penn State, and then road contests at Maryland and Indiana. This week, though, the Wildcats can get back into the equation with games against Michigan State (home) and Iowa (road).
2. Duke got a big road win at NC State. What from that win must the Devils repeat if they want another at Miami?
Katz: Attack. Duke was the aggressor in the second half at NC State. Duke needs to be on the offensive from the opening tip.
O'Neil: Rebound. In each of its three losses, Duke was outrebounded. The Blue Devils won the battle of the boards against NC State and need to do the same against a Miami squad that is plus-5.8. It's more than a numbers thing for Duke; it's an attitude thing. Without Amile Jefferson, the Devils have to show they can out-tough and outwork opponents, not simply outscore them.
Goodman: Mike Krzyzewski did a great job of mixing up defenses against NC State, and it didn't hurt that Cat Barber got hurt in the second half. Coach K, with a lack of depth and big men, will need to try and throw opposing teams off a bit by going from zone to man -- and also throwing in a zone press.
3. What is the biggest key in Kansas-Iowa State?
Katz: Iowa State needs to stay out of foul trouble. The Cyclones can't match Kansas' depth.
O'Neil: Defense. He who actually plays it will win. This game is going to feature two really fun and entertaining offensive squads. Both have multiple players who can score in bunches and can hit a barrage of 3s, but the difference will be which team exerts some defensive pressure on the other. Earlier this year, Kansas was playing much better defensively. If the Jayhawks can get back there, they can win this game
Goodman: I agree with Andy that depth will be key, as Iowa State doesn't have near the amount of quality bodies than Bill Self and Kansas do. However, Self decided to go with a shorter rotation -- primarily playing six guys -- in the win over the weekend against Texas. I think the only way KU wins this one is if the Jayhawks get hot from beyond the arc. Specifically, the Jayhawks need Wayne Selden to make shots from deep.