Monday’s slate and what to watch

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How does Syracuse react to its first loss of the season? The Orange (20-1) had been rolling through Big East play and the players thought they’d make it unscathed. Saturday’s humbling loss to Notre Dame changed that.

They’ll still be without starting center Fab Melo, they’re dominating defensive presence inside. He didn’t make the trip due to an undisclosed academic issue, (some have speculated he’ll be able to return later this week) which will force them into giving freshman Rakeem Christmas and sophomore Baye Moussa Keita added playing time.

Not to mention Syracuse has to chase Cincy’s revamped four-guard lineup. Back-to-back losses seem possible.

(All times ET; TV info from HDSportsGuide.com)

Syracuse at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Even without Melo in the lineup, the Bearcats (15-5) aren’t exactly psyched about facing the Orange. Few teams have Syracuse’s blend of depth, height and long, athletic players – and Cincy’s certainly not one of them. Expect center Yancy Gates to do the yeoman’s work down low and to have some success without Melo around. But the Bearcats still need consistent perimeter scoring from guard Sean Kilpatrick, Dion Dixon and Cashmere Wright. Otherwise they’ll face the unenviable task of trying to solve the Cuse 2-3 zone without stretching it.

Belmont at East Tennessee State, 7 p.m.
Go find an Internet feed for this one. The Bruins (13-7) lost to South Carolina Upstate on Saturday are tied atop the Atlantic Sun with Mercer. Didn’t think either of those would be happening by now. It doesn’t get any easier, either. Heading to Johnson City to face the Bucs is always a tough trip.

Iona at Siena, 7 p.m. (TWCS Albany)
How does Scott Machado follow up his near triple-double? But ensuring the Gaels (15-4) win at Siena, something that hasn’t happened since 2006.

Texas A&M at Kansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
This should be a walkover for the Jayhawks. Kansas (16-3) hasn’t lost a Big 12 game and just beat down Baylor at home last Monday. A&M (11-7), once seen as a Big 12 title contender, is pretty much the opposite. The Aggies’ offense is moribund, they’ve won one road game and are having trouble against the league’s worst teams. (Because they’re one of ‘em.) So why watch? Well, it’s on TV and How I Met Your Mother is only 30 minutes.

EAST
Brown at Bryant, 7 p.m.
Towson at Delaware, 7 p.m.
Iona at Siena, 7 p.m.

SOUTH
Belmont at ETSU, 7 p.m.
The Citadel at Georgia Southern, 7 p.m.
James Madison at Georgia St., 7 p.m.
North Florida at Kennesaw St., 7 p.m.
Jacksonville at Mercer, 7 p.m.
Northeastern at Old Dominion, 7 p.m.
Lipscomb at SC-Upstate, 7 p.m.
Stetson at Savannah St., 7 p.m.
Hofstra at VCU, 7 p.m.
Drexel at William & Mary, 7 p.m.
NC A&T at Coppin St., 7:30 p.m.
Florida A&M at Delaware St., 7:30 p.m.
Bethune-Cookman at Md.-Eastern Shore, 7:30 p.m.
NC Central at Morgan St., 7:30 p.m.
Alabama A&M at Alcorn St., 8 p.m.
Alabama St. at Southern U., 8:30 p.m.
UNC Wilmington at George Mason, 9 p.m.

MIDWEST
Syracuse at Cincinnati, 7 p.m.
Texas A&M at Kansas, 9 p.m.

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

FAR WEST
CS Bakersfield at San Jose St., 10 p.m.
Loyola Marymount at Santa Clara, 10 p.m.

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