Monday’s Pregame Shootaround: Iowa State looks for vengeance vs. Kansas
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 15 Kansas at No. 8 Iowa State, 9:00 p.m.
The toughest place in America to earn a road win these days is Hilton Coliseum, home of the No. 8 Iowa State Cyclones. And on Monday night, those Cyclones will get a visit from Kansas, the premier program in the Big 12 over the last decade. The Jayhawks haven’t quite looked dominant yet this season, losing four games through the first two months of games. That said, Kansas is still Kansas until they can no longer be called the reigning champs, and Iowa State has as good of a chance as anyone in the league to unseat them this season.
Adding even more intrigue to this game, however, is the fact that the Cyclones came so close to beating Kansas twice last year. They twice lost in overtime to the Jayhawks, once because Ben McLemore banked-in a three at the buzzer and once because Elijah Johnson went bonkers down the stretch and earned the benefit of a blow charge call. Tonight, Iowa State will likely have Deandre Kane in uniform, but he is unlikely to be at 100%. We’ll see, but regardless of who suits up, this will be a battle in front of a raucous arena.
WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: Virginia at No. 23 Duke, 7:00 p.m.
Duke is out of sorts right now. Their offense isn’t clicking right now and their defense never was to begin with. The Blue Devils have started league play 1-2 and barely managed to hang on to a spot in the AP top 25 this week. Virginia, on the other hand, struggled through non-conference play but seems to be peaking these days. They’ve won three in a row, their sputtering stars are finally getting on track and they are sitting at 3-0 in the ACC. Can the pack-line defense keep the Blue Devils off balance for one more game?
THREE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:
1) No. 2 Syracuse heads out on the road to take on Boston College, who has been utterly disappointing this season.
2) In the first Big 12 game of the night, Texas plays a visit to Morgantown to take on West Virginia in a game that both teams really need to win.
3). Elfrid Payton may be the next great mid-major guard. He’ll take the floor against Texas State tonight at 7:00 p.m.