Before conference play began, Baylor's trip to Lawrence was seen as a measuring stick for a Bears team that was trying to stop a nine-year run of Big 12 dominance by Kansas. But after starting conference play with a 1-3 record, Monday's game has become a must-win if Scott Drew's team is going to unseat Bill Self and the Jayhawks.
Kansas has sparkled in conference play, compiling a 4-0 record while dispatching Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas State. Adding Baylor to their list of victories would mean the Jayhawks have beat every projected contender in the Big 12 this season. Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid have impressed in their freshmen seasons, with both projected to be NBA lottery picks in June.
Until further notice, the Big 12 Conference still belongs to Bill Self and the Jayhawks. The game airs on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET.
No. 6 Villanova vs. No. 20 Creighton, Fox Sports 1, 7 p.m. ET
The top two teams in the Big East will square off Monday, with Creighton attempting to hand Villanova their first loss of the conference season. The Bluejays are coming off their only loss in Big East play, an 81-68 drubbing by Providence. The Wildcats have been impressive, reeling off five straight wins since losing to Syracuse at the Carrier Dome on Dec. 28. The game will be a matchup of talented forwards, as JayVaughn Pinkston (15.6 ppg) dukes it out with two-time All-American Doug McDermott (24.9 ppg).
No. 11 Ohio State vs. Nebraska, Big Ten Network, 7 p.m. ET
Like Baylor, Ohio State's run to a conference title has hit several speed bumps. After losing a heartbreaker to Michigan State, the Buckeyes have dropped games to Iowa and Minnesota. They look to avoid their fourth straight loss by visiting Nebraska, who has yet to record a win in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes need someone to step up behind LaQuinton Ross, who leads Ohio State in scoring at just 14.1 points per game.
North Carolina vs. Virginia, ESPN, 7 p.m. ET
It's a clash of styles in this ACC matchup, as the run-and-gun Tar Heels square off against the defense-first Cavaliers. Virginia's grind-it-out style has them 4-1 in ACC play, including a pair of wins over Florida State. North Carolina has seen mixed results, with a 1-3 start to conference play that includes losses to Miami and Wake Forest. This game will come down to which team can push their pace. If Marcus Paige can get the Tar Heels out in transition, they can outscore a Cavalier team that only puts up 66.5 points per game.
NC State vs. Maryland, ESPNU, 9 p.m. ET
One of the ACC's best players will be in action Monday, as T.J. Warren looks to go to work against Maryland. The sophomore forward is putting up impressive totals this season, averaging 22.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The Terrapins will counter with junior Dez Wells, who averages 14.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Marquette vs. Georgetown, Fox Sports 1, 9 p.m. ET
Two teams struggling to keep up with Villanova in the Big East, Monday's game could put Georgetown over .500 in conference play. The Hoyas, 3-3, have been playing without center Joshua Smith and guard Jabril Trawick. They will continue to do so as pair work through academic issues. Marquette is coming off an overtime loss to Butler, which dropped them to 2-3 in Big East play.