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Andy Katz | Correspondent | January 11, 2018

Big Ten battle with Maryland, Ohio State highlight Thursday's slate of games

Fresh off a Michigan State upset, Ohio State will enter into a Big Ten battle with Maryland.

Here's what you need to know in college basketball for Thursday, Jan. 11:

Game of the night

Maryland at Ohio State, 7 p.m., ET, ESPN2

This wouldn’t have wowed anyone a few weeks ago, but then Ohio State upset Michigan State at home Sunday with an impressive second half performance. The Buckeyes’ Keita Bates-Diop may be the Big Ten’s Most Valuable Player two weeks into January, scoring 27 and 32 against Iowa and Michigan State, respectively, last weekend. He’s averaging 20 a game after just 9.7 in a season cut short by injuries.

Maryland freshman Bruno Fernando has been a huge plus for the Terrapins, having scored 21 in the win over Iowa. This is the first of two straight-road games for Maryland, with the Terrapins heading to Michigan next. Ohio State is trying to keep pace with Purdue and remain perfect in the Big Ten. Maryland is hoping to get its second road win in the league after knocking off Illinois on the road in early December.

Four others to watch:

Clemson at N.C. State, 9 p.m., ET, ESPN

The Tigers are undefeated in the ACC. They appear to be for real, defending and sharing the basketball at a high level. NC State upset Duke the last time they played at home over the weekend, so their confidence is high. This Clemson team fully believes it can win the ACC, but to do so, this is the kind of game the Tigers cannot lose.

Oregon State at Arizona, 9 p.m., ET, Pac-12 Network

The Wildcats have to respond to Sean Miller’s challenge last week after losing at Colorado, right? The Beavers must be oozing with good vibes after beating rival Oregon in the Civil War. Tres Tinkle had 19 points and 12 boards in the win over the Ducks. It’s hard to see the Wildcats losing two in a row. How the Beavers show in this one could be just as intriguing. Will they be a spoiler in the race?

Tulsa at Houston, 7 p.m., ET, ESPNU

The Golden Hurricane are 3-1 in the American, Houston is 2-1. One of these two teams could make a run for third in the AAC. This game could go a long way toward determining which one does since this is the only meeting between the two schools. Tulsa’s Junior Etou is averaging 17.1 a game, Houston’s Rob Gray is averaging 18.6. Big-time scoring matchup in the AAC!

Utah at UCLA, 11 p.m., ET, ESPN2

The Utes had a golden chance to knock off Arizona State Sunday night but couldn’t close. This is a Utah team that swept the Oregon schools the previous week on the road and won’t fold easily. The 1-2 pop of David Collette and Justin Bibbins could be trouble for UCLA. The Bruins have played on the edge of late, giving up 107 points in a loss at Stanford but then scoring 107 in a win at Cal. This game has the look of an intriguing affair late-night at Pauley.

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