Tuesday’s Morning Shootaround: Two classics in the east, two duds in the midwest

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No. 8 UConn 61, No. 7 Villanova 59: See here.

No. 4 Pitt 74, No. 3 Syracuse 66: See here.

No. 14 Missouri 75, No. 24 Kansas State 59: Its time to start seriously worrying about Kansas State. The Wildcats looked nothing short of atrocious in the first half, as they dug themselves a 43-28 hole at the break. It looked like K-State had finally snapped out of its funk, as Jordan Henriquez-Roberts sparked a big second half run. He had 14 points and six boards, and the Wildcats got the lead all the way down 58-55 at one point. But Kansas State didn’t have another answer when the Tigers hit them back. Mizzou used a 17-4 run over the final 7:15 to close out the game.

The Tigers played typical Missouri basketball, forcing 23 turnovers on 69 possessions and creating points off of those turnovers. They hit eight threes, had five players reach double figures, and were able to complete with the bigger Wildcats on the glass despite having Ricardo Ratliffe get in foul trouble early.

Kansas State still has plenty of time to turn this thing around. They get Texas A&M, Baylor, and Kansas in their next three games. There are chances for this team to make a run, but right now, the Wildcats simply don’t look like an NCAA Tournament team.

No. 2 Kansas 85, Baylor 65: The issue for Kansas this season is whether or not they decide to play, because when this team gets it going, they can be scary good. Case-in-point, last night’s first half. The Jayhawks jumped out to a 53-32 lead on the Bears, shooting an obscene 23-29 from the floor (79%) and getting 28 points in the paint against the supposed vaunted Baylor front line. The Morrii were just sensational once again, combining for 44 points and 14 boards on 19-24 shooting to go along with six assists, five steals, and two blocks. When they play like that, precious few teams can compete with Kansas.

For Baylor, this is a team in that is, as of now, in jeopardy of not making the NCAA Tournament. Their last two games have been a 15 points loss to Iowa State and a 20 drubbing by the Jayhawks. They are 12-5 on the season, but their best wins are against Arizona State, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma. Baylor needs to build a resume, which may be difficult considering that they play their next four meaningful games — Texas A&M, Kansas State, Missouri, Texas — on the road.

Its possible that we have an NCAA Tournament without Baylor or Kansas State this year.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.