Viewer's Guide: Iowa State heads to Kansas, plus Pac-12 showdowns
Can Iowa State finally break through against Kansas? Plus, unbeatens Arizona and Syracuse take their records on the road.
Tuesday only had 13 games total, but it was wild night of hoops. Michigan State knocked off Iowa in overtime, LSU and Missouri picked up big wins in the SEC, and Doug McDermott was the best player in the country once again. Wednesday is highlighted by a Big 12 battle that has had some classics over the past two seasons.
Note: All times are Eastern, and the rankings are according to the AP Poll.
Best game: No. 16 Iowa State at No. 6 Kansas (9 p.m., ESPNU). It was just over two weeks ago when Kansas picked up a statement win at Iowa State, in a game where Joel Embiid made his case for the No. 1 overall pick and Andrew Wiggins had 17 points and 19 rebounds. In the first meeting, Georges Niang shot 4-for-20 from the field and Iowa State made just four of its 25 3-point attempts. I wouldn’t expect a repeat of either on Wednesday. With that said, can the Cyclones handle Kansas down low? The Jayhawks controlled the paint with Embiid, Wiggins and Perry Ellis. The health of DeAndre Kane is also a big boost for Fred Hoiberg’s crew; he was coming off an ankle injury in the first meeting. He has to get the Cyclones running in transition to have a shot in Lawrence.
Second-best game: Arizona State at California (11 p.m., ESPNU). Arizona State doesn’t have another game this season against a team outside the top-100 at KenPom, which means the Sun Devils have plenty of chances at quality wins. They have won two in a row, but now head on the road to a California team that lost back-to-back road games to USC and UCLA last week. This will be a battle between two of the best point guards in the country, as Jahii Carson takes on Justin Cobbs. Wednesday will come down to whether Arizona State is making its 3-point shots, and whether California can score in the paint shot-blocker Jordan Bachynski.
Another one to watch: No. 1 Arizona at Stanford (9 p.m., ESPN2). Could this be the week Arizona finally goes down? The Wildcats have road trips to Stanford and California, starting with Wednesday’s matchup with the Cardinal. Stanford has won four of its last five, with the lone loss coming at UCLA. Arizona is coming off a nine-point win over Utah, a game that was in doubt until the final minutes. Stanford has the size to compete with Arizona down low, but the Cardinal have to hold their own on the glass. Stanford struggles to guard the perimeter, so Arizona could have open shots – can Nick Johnson and T.J. McConnell knock them down?
Guaranteed win: Navy at American (7:30 p.m.). Mike Brennan has been one of the best new coaches in the country, leading American to an 8-0 start in the Patriot League in his first season with the Eagles. They beat title contenders Boston University and Army by a combined 40 points last week, and now get struggling Navy at home. It won’t be close. Neither will VCU’s home game against Fordham on Wednesday (7 p.m.), for that matter.
Potential upset: No. 21 Massachusetts at St. Bonaventure (7 p.m.). Massachusetts bounced back from its road loss at Richmond with a 38-point win over Fordham, but now the Minutemen head on the road again. St. Bonaventure has only lost once at home this season, and the Bonnies have two playmakers in Matthew Wright and Charlon Kloof to attack UMass. Also, keep an eye on Florida State’s road trip to North Carolina State (9 p.m., ESPN3). Can the Seminoles stop T.J. Warren?
Three other things to keep an eye on:
- Syracuse looks to move to 20-0 with a road trip to Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are playing better lately, but can they keep it close? (9 p.m., ESPN3).
- The two hottest teams in the Atlantic 10 go at it, as Richmond takes its four-game winning streak to No. 19 Saint Louis, which has won 12 in a row (8 p.m.).
- LSU and Missouri made statements on Tuesday; can Ole Miss or Tennessee make a move on Wednesday? (8 p.m., ESPN3).
Other games to watch:
- No. 22 Memphis at UCF (7 p.m., ESPNU)
- Penn State at No. 24 Ohio State (7 p.m., Big Ten Network)
- North Carolina at Georgia Tech (7 p.m., ESPN2)
- Stony Brook at Albany (7 p.m.)
- Saint Joseph’s at Dayton (7 p.m.)
- La Salle at George Washington (7 p.m.)
- Green Bay at Valparaiso (8 p.m.)
- Indiana State at Southern Illinois (8:05 p.m., ESPN3)
- Northwestern at No. 14 Wisconsin (9 p.m., Big Ten Network)
- Gonzaga at Santa Clara (11 p.m., ROOT)
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