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Pregame Shootaround: Big 12 showdown, Virginia and Kentucky hit the road

Oklahoma v Baylor

Getty Images

Getty Images

Game of the Night: No. 19 Baylor at No. 12 Iowa State, 9:00 p.m.

All of a sudden, Iowa State looks like they might be the favorite to win the Big 12 regular season title. They’re currently tied with Kansas atop the Big 12 standings, but they have an easier schedule than the Jayhawks: Baylor and Oklahoma at home, road games at Kansas State and TCU. Kansas gets Texas and West Virginia at home before making a trip to Oklahoma. Baylor will give the Cyclones a serious test, but playing for a shot at ending the Kansas decade of dominance in the conference will be some serious motivation.

Who’s Getting Upset?: No. 2 Virginia at Wake Forest, 7:00 p.m.

Justin Anderson is still out of the lineup, meaning that the Cavs will definitely be without their best shooter, best defender, best athlete and emotional leader. But there’s now no guarantee that London Perrantes, their starting point guard who broke his nose and suffered a concussion on Sunday, will be available. Wake Forest isn’t exactly Duke, but they have been tough -- especially against Virginia, who hasn’t beaten them in Winston-Salem in Tony Bennett’s tenure -- at home.

Five Things to Watch For

1. No. 1 Kentucky at Mississippi State, 7:00 p.m.: I’m mostly against court-storming, but if Mississippi State beats Kentucky tonight, I’ll charter a jet to Starkville to storm with them.

2. No. 22 VCU at Richmond, 7:00 p.m.: The may be the nation’s most underrated rivalry. VCU owes Richmond one, as the Spiders beat the Rams in the Siegel Center earlier this month.

3. Marquette at No. 23 Butler, 8:00 p.m.: Playing without Andrew Charbacz, can the Bulldogs avoid losing at home?

4. Clinching league titles: Albany can clinch the America East regular season title with a win at UMBC tonight. Florida-Gulf Coast has a chance to lock up the Atlantic Sun title by beating North Florida, who is a game back of the Eagles. Valparaiso can lock up the outright Horizon League title by beating Detroit on the road.

5. Missouri Valley games: As long as No. 11 Wichita State and No. 10 Northern Iowa don’t slip up tonight, they’ll be squaring off in Wichita on Saturday for the Missouri Valley regular season title. That will be amazing if it happens. Root for the ranked teams tonight.

Bubble Games:

  • George Mason at Dayton, 7:00 p.m.
  • Davidson at Rhode Island, 7:00 p.m.
  • Indiana at Northwestern, 7:00 p.m.
  • UCF at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.
  • Tulane at Tulsa, 8:00 p.m.
  • Illinois at Iowa, 9:00 p.m.
  • Georgia at Ole Miss, 9:00 p.m.
  • Oregon at Cal, 11:00 p.m.
  • Washington at UCLA, 11:00 p.m.