Daily Word: LSU can help its bubble case at South Carolina

Each weekday, our college hoops experts discuss the biggest issues, trends and themes in college basketball.

1. Which bubble team in action Wednesday can help its case most?

Andy Katz: LSU. Winning at South Carolina gives the Tigers a quality road win and keeps their lead atop the SEC.

John Gasaway: Texas Tech. Beating Iowa State, even in Lubbock, Texas, would rank alongside the victory at home against Texas at the beginning of January as the Red Raiders' best win to date.

Dana O'Neil: Utah. The Pac-12 is an almost-impossible-to-decipher jumble, but one thing you don't want to be is sliding in the wrong direction. The Utes, who were trending in the right direction for so long with five wins in a row, erased their progress by being swept in Oregon last weekend. They need to distinguish themselves from the packed Pac-12, and a win against Washington would certainly help.

2. Texas A&M has dropped three of its past four. Was the Aggie hype premature?

Katz: No. Every top team has gone through a rut. As Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said, the Aggies haven't been defending the 3-point shot in those losses, and they aren't handling success well.

Gasaway: Apparently, though A&M proving that it really was the best team in a so-so SEC surely wasn't so wild a thought. What's particularly surprising is that the Aggies have suffered a total collapse on defense. During the past three SEC games, opponents have scored 1.14 points per trip. I didn't see that one coming.

O'Neil: No more so than anyone's hype has been premature this season. The Aggies are simply like everyone else -- fallible. Maybe the only thing that has been surprising is how Texas A&M has lost. The Aggies' defense has all but abandoned them.

3. Was Kansas State's win against Oklahoma an aberration? Can the Wildcats replicate the effort when they host Baylor?

Katz: The Wildcats have been close. But they never quit. Kansas State will play spoiler in the final few weeks of the season, but I'm not convinced Baylor will be the next victim.

Gasaway: The OU game was no aberration -- K-State is 54-9 in Manhattan, Kansas, under Bruce Weber -- but winning home games alone may not be enough to get the Wildcats into the NCAA tournament. A win at Iowa State at the end of the month and a good showing in a loaded Big 12 tournament would be huge.

O'Neil: Oklahoma and Manhattan do not go well together, a bad karma that not even Buddy Hield could overcome. And certainly Kansas State can match the effort against Baylor because that game also is at home. For the rest of the season, in fact, the Wildcats can upset the Big 12 race because they are so tough to beat on their home court. But until they can win away from Bramlage Coliseum, K-State can't be viewed as a legit postseason contender.