Each weekday, our college hoops experts discuss the biggest issues, trends and themes in college basketball.
1. Does LSU need to win the SEC tournament to get into the NCAA tournament? Would a run to the SEC final be enough?
Andy Katz: The Tigers must get to the final and play Kentucky. Whom they play is as important as which round they reach. It's all about quality wins.
Dana O'Neil: The Tigers would have an argument if they made it to the final and lost, but it would still be a nervous Selection Sunday, in my opinion. With upsets happening in other places, LSU runs the risk of worrying about bid stealers if it doesn't make this simple and win the SEC title and the outright bid.
Myron Medcalf: The Tigers have an RPI in the 90s now. They don't deserve a berth without an SEC tournament title. The Tigers have not proved they're a good team at any point this season, and they've had so many chances.
2. How high, in terms of NCAA tournament seed, can Indiana go if it wins the Big Ten tournament?
Katz: If Indiana wins the Big Ten tournament, it would be a No. 2. If a few other teams fall before the Hoosiers, they would have a chance to be a No. 1 if they win both the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles.
O'Neil: It depends on whom the Hoosiers beat to get there. If Indiana takes care of Michigan, Purdue and Michigan State in the title game, that could be enough to push IU to a 2-seed. Regardless, if Indiana wins the Big Ten tournament, it will go into the NCAA tournament with a head of steam, something we didn't think would happen a few months ago.
Medcalf: I'll say they could rise to a 2-seed. Those losses to Wake Forest, UNLV and Penn State will make it difficult to pass North Carolina, Villanova, Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas and the other schools battling for the top seed line, though.
3. Who is the player to watch on Friday?
Katz: Denzel Valentine. The race for the Wooden Award is back-and-forth. Oklahoma's Buddy Hield put up monster numbers for Thursday, going for 39 points and nine rebounds in a Big 12 tournament win over Iowa State. If Valentine can have a stellar performance for Michigan State against Ohio State, he can be right there to challenge for the award.
O'Neil: I'll stick with the tournament in front of me and say Virginia's Malcolm Brogdon. For starters, the Cavaliers will go as far as he leads them. Beyond that, Brogdon deserves the eyeballs simply because he deserves to be appreciated. His game is so good -- like Valentine, he does a little bit of everything -- but he's flown under the radar all season. Watch him and appreciate.
Medcalf: Hield. He scored 39 points against Iowa State. Let's see whether he tops that on Friday against West Virginia.