NCAA Tournament Bracket Scouting Daily: Duke, Kentucky, Michigan & More

Tuesday night’s slate of college basketball games features 12 teams ranked in the latest AP Top 25 Poll, four games between ranked teams and eight teams that were included in last Saturday’s top-16 seed reveal.

It’s a night that could decide how the top four seeds in each region ultimately shake out.

For teams that were included in last Saturday’s Bracket Preview Show, we used the projected seed that they were assigned by the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee. For teams that weren’t included among the top 16 seeds, we listed each team’s projected seed from Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament projections.

No. 12 Purdue at No. 24 Maryland, 6:30 p.m. ET

Purdue (17-6): No. 10 NET; 6-5 Quadrant 1, 5-0 Quadrant 2, 2-1 Quadrant 3, 4-0 Quadrant 4

NCAA Tournament Seed Projection: No. 3 seed

Maryland (18-6): No. 23 NET; 4-4 Quadrant 1, 6-2 Quadrant 2, 3-0 Quadrant 3, 5-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s Latest NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 6 seed

The Boilermakers were ninth among the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee’s top 16 seeds that were announced Saturday. Purdue is a half-game back of Michigan in the Big Ten standings and a neutral-court loss to Notre Dame is the only blemish on its resume.

Including Tuesday’s game, Purdue has five remaining Quadrant 1 games in the regular season, all of which come on the road. There’s a good chance that only two of those opponents will make the NCAA Tournament – Maryland and Minnesota – given the collapses by Indiana and Nebraska in the last month and a half, so Purdue could finish with at least 10 Quadrant 1 wins.

Maryland is tied for fourth in the Big Ten with Wisconsin and two games behind Michigan. With two games left against the Wolverines and Tuesday’s home date with the Boilermakers, the Terrapins could still make a push for the Big Ten regular season title. Maryland is .500 in Quadrant 1 games with five more opportunities in the regular season.

[RELATED: Stadium’s Latest NCAA Tournament Projections]

No. 19 LSU at No. 5 Kentucky, 7 p.m. ET

LSU (19-4): No. 17 NET; 5-2 Quadrant 1, 6-2 Quadrant 2, 5-0 Quadrant 3, 3-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s Latest NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 5 seed

Kentucky (20-3): No. 5 NET; 7-2 Quadrant 1, 3-1 Quadrant 2, 5-0 Quadrant 3, 5-0 Quadrant 4

NCAA Tournament Seed Projection: No. 2 seed

It feels like LSU is still missing a marquee win that resonates nationally, despite the Tigers’ No. 19 ranking in the AP Top 25 and their No. 17 NET ranking.

Well, here’s their chance.

LSU is tied with Kentucky in the SEC standings, just one game behind Tennessee, and Saturday’s top-five matchup between the Wildcats and Volunteers will get as much publicity as almost any regular season matchup. The Tigers could take some of the air out of that game and throw their hat into the ring as an SEC title contender with a win in Lexington.

This might be the biggest week of Kentucky’s season. The Wildcats host LSU and Tennessee in the span of five days. Win both and they’re tied for first in the SEC — but with a head-to-head victory over the Volunteers. That would be two more Quadrant 1 wins, improving their record in that quadrant to 9-2 and propelling Kentucky into the conversation for a No. 1 seed in March.

A split of this week’s games isn’t the end of the world, while an 0-2 week would be the lowest point in Kentucky’s season since an overtime loss to Seton Hall in early December.

No. 11 Michigan State at No. 20 Wisconsin, 7 p.m. ET

Michigan State (19-5): No. 8 NET; 9-3 Quadrant 1, 3-2 Quadrant 2, 3-0 Quadrant 3, 4-0 Quadrant 4

NCAA Tournament Seed Projection: No. 2 seed

Wisconsin (17-7): No. 11 NET; 7-5 Quadrant 1, 5-2 Quadrant 2, 1-0 Quadrant 3, 4-0 Quadrant 4

NCAA Tournament Seed Projection: No. 4 seed

Tuesday is a huge night in the Big Ten with the four teams that are within two games of first-place Michigan playing each other. This is the only regular season meeting between the Spartans and Badgers, so Wisconsin has the chance to beat the sputtering Spartans without having to make a return trip to East Lansing.

Michigan State is tied with Kansas for the most Quadrant 1 wins in the country (nine) and a win Tuesday would give the Spartans their national-best 10th Quadrant 1 victory. It goes to show that they still have a strong resume despite their recent three-game losing streak and a win in Madison would keep them just one game back of Michigan in the Big Ten standings.

If Michigan State wants to keep its projection of a No. 2 seed, let alone contend for a No. 1 seed, it has little room for error. The Spartans were the No. 8 team in the top-16 seed reveal.

Wisconsin is projected to be favored in the rest of its regular season games, while Michigan State is favored in five of its final seven games, according to

No. 25 Buffalo at Akron, 7 p.m. ET

Buffalo (20-3): No. 22 NET; 1-1 Quadrant 1, 3-1 Quadrant 2, 8-1 Quadrant 3, 7-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s Latest NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 7 seed

Buffalo is projected to win the MAC’s auto-bid in Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament projections, but the Bulls also have a projected seed that’s far better than what one would expect of a typical MAC team.

Unfortunately for Buffalo, it has more opportunities to suffer bad losses than it does to pick up good wins. Tuesday’s game at Akron falls under Quadrant 2, which makes it the second-biggest game left on Buffalo’s schedule. Friday’s game at Toledo, which is a Quadrant 1 game, is the biggest, so this week has as much potential as any — during conference play — for Buffalo to prove its worth as a single-digit at-large team.

No. 10 Marquette at DePaul, 8 p.m. ET

Marquette (20-4): No. 21 NET; 7-3 Quadrant 1, 4-1 Quadrant 2, 2-0 Quadrant 3, 7-0 Quadrant 4

NCAA Tournament Seed Projection: No. 3 seed

DePaul (13-9): No. 89 NET; 2-5 Quadrant 1, 4-2 Quadrant 2, 0-2 Quadrant 3, 7-0 Quadrant 3

DePaul is at least a year away from NCAA Tournament contention, but the Blue Demons already have five wins in conference play – their most since they won six in 2015. They lost 79-69 at Marquette last month so don’t be surprised if this one is a two- or three-possession game late in the second half.

This is a Quadrant 2 game for Marquette, so a victory Tuesday wouldn’t fall under “Good Win” graphics next month, but a loss to DePaul wouldn’t be as damaging as it would have been in years past.

It’s still one the Golden Eagles can ill afford to lose as they chase Villanova in the Big East standings and try to climb to the No. 2 seed line.

No. 6 Michigan at Penn State, 8:30 p.m. ET

Michigan (22-2): No. 6 NET; 6-2 Quadrant 1, 8-0 Quadrant 2, 1-0 Quadrant 3, 7-0 Quadrant 4

NCAA Tournament Seed Projection: No. 2 seed

Penn State (8-15): No. 73 NET

This game just barely makes the cut for Quadrant 1 for Michigan. Penn State’s NET ranking is No. 73 and No. 75 is the cutoff for Quadrant 1 road games.

As mentioned earlier, the four teams immediately behind the Wolverines in the Big Ten standings play each other Tuesday night so Michigan could lose sole possession of first place with a loss at last-place Penn State. That speaks to the general strength of the Big Ten – at least in the NET rankings – that winning at the last-place team that’s 1-11 in conference play can still qualify as a Quadrant 1 win.

No. 2 Duke at No. 16 Louisville, 9 p.m. ET

Duke (21-2): No. 2 NET; 6-1 Quadrant 1, 6-1 Quadrant 2, 4-0 Quadrant 3, 5-0 Quadrant 4

NCAA Tournament Seed Projection: No. 1 seed

Louisville (17-7): No. 15 NET; 5-6 Quadrant 1, 3-1 Quadrant 2, 5-0 Quadrant 3, 4-0 Quadrant 4

NCAA Tournament Seed Projection: No. 4 seed

What a run it’s been the last few days with premier ACC matchups. Duke-Virginia Saturday. Virginia-North Carolina Monday. Now it’s No. 2 Duke at No. 16 Louisville Tuesday, which projects to be the toughest game left on the Blue Devils’ schedule before they face North Carolina twice in the last three weeks of the season.

Duke is alone in first place in the ACC and the projected No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, according to the selection committee. The Cardinals also appeared in the top-16 seed reveal, coming in at No. 15 overall, which was the projected No. 4 seed in the West region.

Tuesday’s game represents the chance for Louisville to pick up its biggest win of the season and one that could keep the Cardinals on track for a top-four projected seed.

A win for Duke would bolster the strongest resume in the country, while starting a two-game losing streak for Louisville, who would then have lost three of its last four games.

No. 18 Kansas State at Texas, 9 p.m. ET

Kansas State (18-5): No. 28 NET; 5-2 Quadrant 1, 4-3 Quadrant 2, 6-0 Quadrant 3, 3-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s Latest NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 6 seed

Texas (14-10): No. 33 NET; 4-5 Quadrant 1, 4-4 Quadrant 2, 3-1 Quadrant 3, 3-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s Latest NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 9 seed

I’ve got this eerie feeling that Kansas is going to find a way to win at least a share of the Big 12 regular season title to keep “The Streak” alive. The Jayhawks won in overtime at TCU Monday night, despite playing without Lagerald Vick and Marcus Garrett and three of their eight remaining rotation players fouling out.

Then Tuesday morning, Kansas State announced that sophomore guard Cartier Diarra, a high-energy defender off the bench, will be sidelined indefinitely after suffering a hand injury.

A road loss at Texas Tuesday would cut Kansas State’s lead over Kansas to just half a game, increasing the likelihood that “The Streak” would live on for another March.

The Wildcats lost at home to Texas by 20 points in their Big 12 opener, although Dean Wade and Kamau Stokes didn’t play in the game. Kansas State has also lost road games to teams worse than Texas (Texas A&M, Tulsa) at full strength, so this game should be competitive.

A loss for Kansas State would drop its Quadrant 2 record to 4-4, which is not great, and a win for Texas would improve the Longhorns’ Quadrant 1 record to 5-5.

Kansas State needs the victory to maintain its distance over the field in the Big 12 standings, while Texas could use the win to stay off the NCAA Tournament bubble.

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