#4 Kansas Jayhawks vs. #14 Iowa State Cyclones (9pm ET Monday, ESPN)
Despite losing two of their last four games, the Kansas Jayhawks find themselves in a four-way tie for first place in the rough and tumble Big 12 at 5-2 in conference play. They’re 16-3 overall, and currently ranked fourth in the country. Kansas beat Texas 76-67 on Saturday despite getting just 4 points from their bench, as senior forward Perry Ellis (no relation) scored 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting.
Iowa State is coming off a big week in which they beat lowly Texas Christian 73-60 after beating #1 Oklahoma 82-77 as Georges Niang, Monte Morris and Abdel Nader all scored at least 20. Now 15-4 overall, the Cyclones have jumped in from #19 all the way up to #14 in the AP poll, and at 4-3 are in 5th place in the Big 12.
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. #1 Oklahoma Sooners (7pm ET Tuesday, ESPN)
Texas Tech’s record isn’t all that impressive at first blush: They’re just 12-6 overall and 2-5 in Big 12 play, good enough for 7th place. But before conference play started they were 11-1, and since then they incurred losses against #14 Iowa State, #4 Kansas, #17 Baylor, and #9 West Virginia. What the Red Raiders lack in star power, they mostly make up for with depth, as their roster features seven kids averaging at least 7 points and 3 rebounds, more than any other team in the Big 12.
The Sooners enjoyed a glorious week atop the national rankings, only to fall to Iowa State. But they rebounded nicely to hold the top spot with a 82-72 win over Baylor in which star guard and Wooden Award hopeful Buddy Hield scored 19 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Hield is currently the second-best 3-point shooter in the land, hitting on 51.7%, eighth in free throw shooting at 90.5%, and fourth in points per game, with 25.7.