Pregame Shootaround: Two top 25 matchups in the Big 12

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Game of the Night: No. 24 Oklahoma State at No. 9 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

Oklahoma State has been one of the more surprising teams in the country this season, looking like they might actually be better this year than they were last season with Marcus Smart and Markel Brown. They’ll get a chance to prove it on Tuesday night, as they pay a visit to Phog Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks, however, look like they are finally figuring things out this season. Devonte’ Graham is back in the fold, giving the Jayhawks some point guard depth, and the likes of Jamari Traylor and Kelly Oubre look like they’re hitting their stride. LeBryan Nash vs. Cliff Alexander will be fun.

The Other Game of the Night: No. 18 Oklahoma at No. 16 West Virginia, 7:00 p.m.

West Virginia came out of nowhere this season to become a team that looks like it can finish in the top half of the Big 12. The Mountaineers are loaded with that typical Bob Huggins toughness on the glass and on defense, but they are pressing full court more than Huggy Bear ever has in his career. Oklahoma looks like the Big 12 favorite at this point, but they don’t have a ton of back court depth, which won’t be easy against WVU. Both teams are coming off of a loss on Saturday, which makes this game just that much more important.

Who’s Getting Upset?: No. 17 VCU at Rhode Island, 7:30 p.m.

VCU has bounced back from a couple of tough non-conference losses to win eight straight games and move into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10. One of the teams that they’re tied with? Rhode Island, who has won six straight games now. The battle for first place will be held at Rhody, giving Dan Hurley’s boys a shot at pulling off the upset.

Five Things to Watch For

1. Missouri at No. 1 Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.: Kentucky has struggled in their two SEC games but will still enter tonight as a massive favorite over the Tigers.

2. Michigan at Ohio State, 7:00 p.m.: Ohio State just won the football national championship last night. Tonight, they host their biggest rival, Michigan. Think there will be some excitement on campus?

3. No. 19 Arkansas at Tennessee, 7:00 p.m.: Arkansas has looked like the second best team in the SEC this season, but they have historically always been bad on the road. Tennessee is not all that talented this season, but they’re tough and they play hard and, when you’re playing in your own arena, that’ll land you an upset or two.

4. UConn at Tulsa, 9:30 p.m.: Tulsa has been one of the surprises in the American as they are currently sitting at 3-0 in the league. But UConn is UConn, which means that they’ll give the Golden Hurricane a fight on the road.

5. Miami FL at No. 2 Duke, 9:00 p.m.: Duke is coming off of their first loss of the season at N.C. State, which means that Miami might end up being the team they take their frustrations out on. Good luck, guys.

The Rest of the Top 25

  • Clemson at No. 2 Virginia, 8:00 p.m.
  • Virginia Tech at No. 6 Louisville, 7:00 p.m.
  • Butler at No. 21 Seton Hall, 7:00 p.m.
  • No. 23 Northern Iowa at Bradley, 8:00 p.m.

Notables

  • Penn State at Indiana, 7:00 p.m.
  • Wake Forest at Syracuse, 8:00 p.m.
  • Georgetown at DePaul, 9:00 p.m.
  • Iowa at Minnesota, 9:00 p.m.