Each weekday, our college hoops experts discuss the biggest issues, trends and themes in college basketball.
1. Where does Kentucky's Tyler Ulis rate among the nation's point guards? Who is above him?
C.L. Brown: Ulis is certainly near the top, but Providence's Kris Dunn is all-around a better player. I don't want to compare them head-to-head because they're asked to do different things for their respective teams, but it comes down to Dunn does all the things Ulis does in terms of scoring and distributing. But Dunn is also a better defender, with almost twice the amount of steals, and rebounder.
Eamonn Brennan: Hold on a second: Is Denzel Valentine not a point guard? Is he off limits here? Maybe he's not as positionally obvious as Ulis, Dunn, Ferrell, Trimble, but Valentine handles the ball constantly, initiates most of Michigan State's offense, and records an assist on 44.7 percent of his possessions (slightly more than Dunn) while turning it over on 16.6 percent of his trips (less than Dunn). He's also shooting 50.3/44.6/85.5 and averaging 19.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.3 assists. If he's a point guard -- and I'm not sure why he wouldn't be -- he's the answer.
2. Any chance Ohio State plays its way into the NCAA tournament? What must it do to have a chance?
Katz: Yes. But the Buckeyes must go 2-1 in the final three games and that means beating Michigan State at least once. If they go 1-2 then they will need another win against a potential NCAA tournament team during the Big Ten Tournament.
Brown: I attribute much of Ohio State's 10-5 Big Ten record to beating up on the lower tier teams in the conference. The Buckeyes only have one win over a team (Michigan) with a winning record in conference play. Closing out with Michigan State twice and Iowa at home, the Buckeyes could make a statement if they can win two of those three games. Right now the only notable win is over Kentucky, but that alone isn't enough to earn a bid.
Brennan: A 2-1 finish is absolutely a must, and 3-0 would be ideal, because when you look past Ohio State's 10-5 record in the Big Ten you realize that nine of those wins came against some combination of Illinois, Penn State, Minnesota, Rutgers, Northwestern, and Nebraska. The Big Ten's scheduling supercomputer has some 'splaining to do.
3. Baylor got drilled by Kansas the first time around. What must it do this time to avoid a repeat?
Katz: Defend. It's that simple. They didn't the last time they played -- at all.
Brown: For starters, Baylor has to defend the 3 better. The Jayhawks made 11 of 19 attempts in the first meeting including five from Wayne Selden. That was essentially the difference in the game. It would also behoove the Bears to get Johnathan Motley going early. The sophomore forward had just eight points in the first meeting with Kansas, but in their last two games he's posted 27 and 24 points against Iowa State and Texas, respectively.
Brennan: Saturday's win at Texas was one of the Bears' better defensive performances of the season, no doubt. But unless they're turning a corner on that end in unusually late fashion, I'd still think Scott Drew is hoping his team will do what it almost always does well: Dominate the offensive glass, create a ton of second chances and extra possessions, hope a standard number of those new possessions turn into open kickout 3s, rinse, repeat.