Monday’s slate and what to watch

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There are only two games featuring ranked teams Monday night, but don’t let that fool you into thinking there’s not much to watch.

Take the MAC and Kent State’s trip to Western Michigan.

The Golden Flashes (17-9, 8-3) are half a game behind Miami (Ohio) for the East division lead, while the Broncos (15-10, 7-4) lead the West. If Kent State expects to reach 20 wins for the 12th time since 1999, winning this game would be a nice start. Also, it’d end a two-game mini skid and end that sour taste of a weekend BracketBuster loss to Drexel. As for Western Michigan, it’s trying to return to the Big Dance for the first time 2004.

These games matter, man. (7 p.m. ET)

(All times ET)

Syracuse at Villanova, 7 p.m. (ESPN): It’s conceivable that the Wildcats (21-6, 9-5) could finish with a .500 Big East record. After the Orange, games remain against St. John’s, Notre Dame and Pitt. Then the Big East tournament begins. Then the NCAA tournament. Makes me think Saturday’s OT win against DePaul was a signal that nothing’s gonna be easy the rest of the way for Jay Wright’s team.

Oklahoma State at Kansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN): The Jayhawks’ average defense shouldn’t be tested too much by the visiting Cowboys. Then again, we thought that last week when KU went to K-State. The difference here is Kansas gets to play at Allen Fieldhouse.

EAST
Syracuse vs. Villanova at the Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

SOUTH
Furman at Chattanooga, 7 p.m.
Samford at Coll. of Charleston, 7 p.m.
W. Carolina at UNC Greensboro, 7 p.m.
Delaware St. at Coppin St., 7:30 p.m.
Stetson at Florida Gulf Coast, 7:30 p.m.
N. Carolina A&T at N.C. Central, 7:30 p.m.
Norfolk St. at S. Carolina St., 7:30 p.m.
Alabama St. at Alcorn St., 8 p.m.
Florida A&M at Hampton, 8 p.m.
Bethune-Cookman at Howard, 8 p.m.
Alabama A&M at Southern U., 8:30 p.m.
Md.-Eastern Shore at Morgan St., 9 p.m.

MIDWEST
Kent St. at W. Michigan, 7 p.m.
Valparaiso at Wis.-Green Bay, 8 p.m.
Oklahoma St. at Kansas, 9 p.m.

SOUTHWEST
UCF at UTEP, 1 p.m.
Ark.-Pine Bluff at Prairie View, 7 p.m.
MVSU at Texas Southern, 9 p.m.

Want more? I’m also on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.