College hoops Monday viewing guide: Three top 25 teams take the court

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

A top 25 showdown between Big East powers Notre Dame and Pitt headlines Monday night's college hoops action.

Plenty of interesting storylines at play tonight. Oh, and West Virginia. Because apparently the country simply cannot get enough West Virginia basketball.

No. 25 Notre Dame at No. 20 Pittsburgh (7 p.m./ESPN)

Both teams walk into this one with identical 8-5 league records and similarly bruised egos from double-digit losses suffered roughly 50 hours ago. For Pitt, it was a 79-69 loss at Marquette which snapped the Panthers' three-game winning streak. For Notre Dame it was an even more embarrassing 71-54 throttling at the hands of Providence. Earning one of the four coveted Big East Tournament double byes will become nearly an impossible task for the loser of tonight's game.

Hofstra at Drexel (7 p.m./NBC Sports Network)

The Pride have lost nine of 10 since beginning CAA play 2-1.

Norfolk State at Hampton (7 p.m./ESPNU)

Norfolk State will look to remain one of just six Division-I teams with an unbeaten record in conference play. Isn't it interesting to think that these are probably the two highest-profile programs in the MEAC solely because of two games in the NCAA Tournament. In some cases, those three weeks in March can single-handedly make or break entire programs.

Bucknell at Lehigh (7 p.m./CBS Sports Network)

Sole possession of first place in the Patriot League is on the line in the second meeting between these two. The Mountain Hawks won 65-62 at Bucknell back on Jan. 23. In conferences like the Patriot League where the higher seed hosts the conference championship game, regular season titles are about far more than bragging rights and a trophy. This is a huge deal for both teams.

Iona at Fairfield (7 p.m./SNY)

Two middle of the pack teams in the MAAC that can beat or lose to any other team in the conference depending on the night. Fairfield could score anywhere from 50-100 points against Iona's zone depending on how well their outside gunners are stroking it.

West Virginia at No. 13 Kansas State (9 p.m./ESPN)

I've become convinced that West Virginia hasn't played a game this season that hasn't been nationally televised. At least this one has a somewhat interesting, although completely tired at this point, backstory.

Rutgers at Villanova (9 p.m./ESPN2)

Life without Eli Carter begins for Rutgers against a Villanova squad that's too firmly planted on the bubble to not be totally locked in for games like tonight's. Despite his recent struggles, carter had accounted for 22.4 percent of the Scarlet Knights' scoring this season.

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