Iowa State, in the top 10 for the first time this season, limps into a game against Kansas after suffering its first loss, an 87-82 upset at the hands of Oklahoma. Fred Hoiberg's team also lost a key cog against the Sooners, with senior point guard DeAndre Kane leaving the game on crutches. His return is questionable for Monday's game.
Kansas has won two straight, with a win over Oklahoma and a drubbing of Kansas State. Andrew Wiggins reminded folks why he was the consensus top prospect coming into the season, dropping 22 on the Wildcats Saturday. Joel Embiid and Wayne Selden are also playing up to their talent level, giving Bill Self arguably the most talented group of freshmen in the country.
The key to this game will be pacing. Iowa State will try to get out on the break, but they will struggle in transition if Kane can't go. Kansas will try to establish Embiid early, but the young big has suffered from foul trouble in recent games. The experience frontcourt of Iowa State, featuring Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang, will be the key to stopping Embiid.
The game airs on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET.
No. 2 Syracuse vs. Boston College, ESPNU, 9 p.m. ET
The Orange enter Monday as one of four remaining undefeated teams in the nation, riding a balanced roster that features senior leading scorer C.J. Fair and underclassmen Trevor Cooney and Tyler Ennis. Syracuse is coming off big wins against Virginia Tech and North Carolina, and is now 3-0 in Jim Boeheim's first season in the ACC. Boston College has had an abysmal season, but a road win against Virginia Tech gave them their first victory in conference play. The Eagles will attempt to get leading scorer Olivier Hanlan going early, hoping the sophomore guard can lead them to an upset.
No. 16 Duke vs. Virginia, ESPN, 7 p.m. ET
Duke will try to get its season back on track, having lost two of three to start conference play. The Blue Devils have struggled to play defense, and will try to get right against a very Virginia team that struggles to score. The Cavaliers are riding a three-game winning streak and have won five of six, and a win against Duke would do wonders for their NCAA Tournament resume. Virginia will have their hands full with Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood, as the Duke forwards have combined for over 38 points per game this season.