Pregame Shootaround: Kansas-Baylor headlines a night with a number of juicy matchups

2 Comments

Game of the Night: No. 12 Kansas at No. 21 Baylor, 9:00 p.m.

The Big 12 is going to be a gauntlet this season, with every night featuring a tough road test for someone in the league. Tonight, it’s Kansas that will be getting that road test, as they head down to Waco to take on a surprising Baylor team. There are a couple of things to watch for here. For starters, Bill Self has seemingly settled on his rotation, particularly along the perimeter, and it will be interesting to see how they gel. It will also be interesting to see if the Jayhawks can get up for a road game; the last time they traveled they got mollywhopped by Temple in Philly. And Baylor? Well, we’re all wondering whether or not this team is “for real”. Beating Kansas would be quite the statement to make.

Who’s Getting Upset?: No. 19 Seton Hall at Xavier, 7:00 p.m.

The Pirates are trending in the right direction, coming off of a pair of impressive home wins — Villanova and St. John’s — to kick off Big East play. But can they do it on the road? Xavier began their conference season by taking down Georgetown at the Cintas Center.

Mid-Major Matchup of the Night: Wyoming at Colorado State, 9:00 p.m.

This may sound strange to folks that know the Mountain West, but Wyoming and Colorado State look like they may be the two best teams in the conference. It’s not exactly a mid-major game, but it certainly is off the radar and one that means a lot to the MWC standings.

Five Things to Watch For

1. Colorado at No. 9 Utah, 9:00 p.m.: Colorado should be getting Josh Scott back, which will make this battle of the Pac-12’s mountain states more intriguing.

2. N.C. State at No. 3 Virginia, 7:00 p.m.: Virginia’s pack-line defense has led them to an undefeated start to the season. They’ll be paying a visit to No. 13 Notre Dame on Saturday, but Tony Bennett doesn’t strike me as the kind of coach that will overlook an opponent.

3. No. 2 Duke at Wake Forest, 9:00 p.m.: Wake Forest has a habit of taking down higher-ranked teams at home. They seem to do it at least once a year, and nearly knocked off Louisville on Sunday night.

4. Davidson at No. 20 VCU, 7:00 p.m.: This is such a juicy matchup. Davidson might be the nation’s best shooting team, while VCU plays the most intense, all-out press of anyone in the country.

5. Florida at South Carolina, 7:00 p.m.: We’re all trying to figure out what the SEC pecking order is going to be. Both the Gamecocks and the Gators have the pieces to be the second-best in the league.

The Rest of the Top 25

  • Purdue at No. 4 Wisconsin, 7:00 p.m.
  • Clemson at No. 5 Clemson, 9:00 p.m.
  • No. 11 Maryland at Illinois, 9:00 p.m.
  • Bradley at No. 15 Wichita State, 8:00 p.m.

Notables

  • Syracuse at Georgia Tech, 7:00 p.m.
  • TCU at Kansas State, 9:00 p.m.