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Posted at 8:07 AM ET, 02/ 2/2011

NCAA tournament 2011: What's the matter with the Kentucky Wildcats?

By Eric Prisbell

What mattered Tuesday:

1) Mississippi 71, Kentucky 69: The SEC East is a scrum. The SEC West may be irrelevant, but Ole Miss is the latest team from the inferior division to claim an upset. The Wildcats shot 49 percent from the floor and outrebounded Coach Andy Kennedy's team. But 18 turnovers proved too much to overcome. Chris Warren sank a 25-footer with 2.9 seconds remaining. Kentucky seems to be missing some leadership from upperclassmen.

2) North Carolina 106, Boston College 74: These were the Tar Heels many people were expecting to see. Harrison Barnes is starting to come alive. The freshman scored 26 points, making four three-pointers. Boston College is now .500 in league play after dropping four of five games. Welcome to the bubble.

3) Illinois 68, Penn State 51: Bruce Weber's team badly needed this one. Illinois had lost four of five games entering the contest. Penn State, which had gained momentum with three top 50 RPI wins in January, is now .500 in Big Ten play. The Nittany Lions have nine overall losses, which is an issue at this stage of the season. Despite the snow storm, 3,500 managed to make it to Assembly Hall.

What to watch for Wednesday:

1) Duke at Maryland: Kyle Singler is in a shooting slump. Duke is coming off a double-digit loss against St. John's. There is never a good time to play Duke, but Maryland would probably have preferred not to get Duke after a loss. I'll have more on the implications for Maryland later this morning.

2) Syracuse at Connecticut: Syracuse has dropped four straight, and it's largely been about defense. During the losing streak, the Orange has allowed an average of 80.8 points and 51.2 percent shooting - 47.8 percent from three-point range. U-Conn's Kemba Walker, meantime, is looking to rebound from a sub-par effort in the loss to Louisville. Walker made 7 of 23 shots from the floor, including 2 of 10 from three-point range.

3) Virginia Tech at North Carolina State: The Wolfpack, which is 9-2 at home this season, has been a disappointment, to say the least. Some of that can be attributed to an early-season injury to Tracy Smith. Some of it can't. Regardless, pressure is on Coach Sidney Lowe. The Hokies want to avoid another loss to a sub-90 RPI team.

By Eric Prisbell  | February 2, 2011; 8:07 AM ET
 
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Next: How Maryland can reach the NCAA tournament without beating Duke

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