It's a good news/bad news situation for Oregon star Dillon Brooks. He was forced to leave last Thursday's game against Cal and was feared to have suffered a season-ending broken foot. Brooks had missed the team's first four games of the season due to rehabilitation from surgery on the same foot. He originally declared for the NBA Draft before choosing to return to school, but he injured his foot during a workout soon after he was back on campus. The school stayed vague about this latest injury for a while, but now apparently it's only a strain. While there is no timetable for his return, I wouldn't think it would be more than a couple of weeks. Brooks is averaging 13.4 points, 3.1 assists and 2.4 rebounds. Oregon and Arizona are the only teams without a loss in the Pac-12. The Ducks are next in action Thursday at Utah.
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Minnesota at Ohio State (-2.5)
A 7 p.m. ET tipoff on the Big Ten Network. These two summarize the mediocre Big Ten this season as both middling clubs are probably going to miss the NCAA Tournament -- the Gophers still have a shot at an at-large bid. However, they enter on a three-game losing streak after falling at home to No. 17 Wisconsin 78-76 in overtime on Saturday. Akeem Springs hit a 3 to force overtime, but his last-second heave in the extra period hit off the rim for Minnesota. The game was lost in the paint, where the Gophers were outscored 44-24. They also had a more than five-minute stretch of the second half where they were scoreless. Head coach Richard Pitino is 1-6 against UW and 21-45 against Big Ten foes.
Ohio State did something on Sunday it hadn't done in decades: lose at home to Northwestern, with the final 74-72. OSU shot 45.6 percent against the Big Ten's stingiest defense but allowed Northwestern to snap a 34-game losing streak in Columbus (Feb. 24, 1977). The Wildcats shot 19 of 24 (79.2 percent) from the line and made 12 of 13 during the final 1:19 of the game. Trevor Thompson had 11 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Buckeyes. OSU lost at Minnesota 78-68 on Jan. 8. Amir Coffey led the Gophers with 19 points. It was a 26-8 lead at one point as the Gophers beat the Buckeyes for only the second time in the last 12 meetings.
Key trends: The Gophers are 5-16 against the spread in their past 21 Wednesday games. OSU is 3-7 ATS in its past 10 vs. the Big Ten. The home team is 6-1 ATS in the past seven meetings.
I'm leaning: Ohio State.
Indiana State at Illinois State (-14.5)
Missouri Valley game with an 8 p.m. ET start. Wichita State was the clear favorite to win the Missouri Valley this season, but the Shockers trail first-place Illinois State by a game as the Redbirds have yet to suffer a conference loss. Alas, ISU doesn't have any quality nonconference wins, so it's probably going to have to win the MVC Tournament to get an NCAA bid. The Redbirds beat Drake 72-58 on Saturday for their ninth straight win. Hey, the school even got one vote in the AP poll. Illinois State has not been ranked nationally in the Top 25 since Nov. 18, 1997 when the Redbirds were ranked No. 24. ISU is 8-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference for the first time since starting 9-0 in 1982-83. The Redbirds have won 16 straight at home, one win shy of matching its longest-ever winning streak at Redbird Arena.
Larry Bird's alma mater is at the bottom of the MVC standings. The Sycamores were routed at Wichita State 84-58 on Saturday. The Shockers hit 44.4 percent of their shots in the first half, while the Sycamores were limited to just 26.7 percent before the half and were down 15 at the break. Matt Van Scyoc led the way with 14 points while Everett Clemons tallied 12 points for Indiana State, which has dropped 10 in a row to Wichita. Illinois State beat Indiana State 77-58 on Jan. 7. MiKyle McIntosh scored a career-high 31 points for the Redbirds. It was their first victory in Terre Haute since Feb. 14, 2007.
Key trends: The Sycamores are 1-4 ATS in their past five road games. The Redbirds are 8-1 ATS in their past nine following an ATS loss. Indiana State is 9-4 ATS in its past 13 at Illinois State.
I'm leaning: Illinois State.
No. 8 UCLA at USC ( +6 )
Pac-12 game at 11 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. UCLA is now two games in the loss column behind Oregon and Arizona in the Pac-12 following a 96-85 home loss to the Wildcats on Saturday. The Bruins entered their game against Arizona first in the country in 3-point percentage but made only 10 of 31 shots from long range. The Bruins are a fantastic offensive team but not very good defensively or on the boards -- and both of those problems showed. Lonzo Ball scored a season-high 24 points, adding eight assists and six rebounds. The freshman is averaging 8.2 assists per game, the highest single-season average in UCLA history. The loss snapped UCLA's 11-game home win streak.
USC will try to win back-to-back games for the first time since late December as the Trojans edged Arizona State 82-79 on Sunday. ASU staged a furious rally in the final three minutes, scoring 12 of the final 13 points and getting two chances for a game-tying 3-pointer in the final 13 seconds but couldn't convert. ASU shot 50.9 percent and 45 percent from 3-point (9-for-20) while leading 30-29 in rebounds. .But the Sun Devils had 15 turnovers that led to 24 USC points. Arizona State also didn't get a single point off its bench, while USC had 14. The Trojans were 3-0 against UCLA last year.
Key trends: The Bruins are 2-11 ATS in their past 13 vs. the Pac-12. The Trojans are 1-7 ATS in their past eight at home. UCLA is 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings.
I'm leaning: Southern Cal.
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