This Monday, Dr. Martin Luther King Day, is the first official ESPN Big Monday of the season. Since it is the debut of this weekly broadcast feature, and a federal holiday, the network expanded the traditional Big East/Big 12 doubleheader to a quadruple-header, with a pair of key games from each conference. The Big East twin bill features the four of the best teams in the league, while the Big 12 set features a Kansas team that's unbeaten and a trio of clubs who have yet to live up to expectations.
More on these four games, and the three others on TV/streaming today and tonight after the jump.
Villanova Wildcats at Connecticut Huskies, ESPN (3:30 p.m. ET)
The Huskies face their first real Big East test since falling to Notre Dame back on January 4th. (Sorry, games against Rutgers and DePaul don't count.) UConn has done very well against national contenders, but not quite so well against the best of the Big East. They have a chance this afternoon against a Wildcat team that will be shorthanded, as Dominic Cheek hurt his knee in Saturday's win over Maryland
KenPom.com prediction: Huskies 73-72, 69 poss.
Kansas St. Wildcats at Missouri Tigers, ESPN (5:30 p.m. ET)
Somewhat surprisingly, both of these teams enter today's game at 1-2 in the Big 12, with Colorado topping both early in the season. The Tigers were involved in another of the best games of the year, falling to Texas A&M in College Station on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Wildcats picked up their first conference win by embarrassing Texas Tech. However, K-State will be without forward Freddy Asprilla for the rest of the season, as he left to pursue a professional career in Colombia.
KenPom.com prediction: Tigers 81-74, 76 poss.
Syracuse Orange at Pittsburgh Panthers, ESPN (7:30 p.m. ET)
The Orange have historically struggled to win in Pittsburgh, and their quest to stay unbeaten finds them headed to this most difficult destination tonight. Making matters worse, Kris Joseph will have to sit this one out after suffering a concussion in the first half of Saturday's win over Cincinnati. Once again, the advantage in this series goes to the Panthers.
KenPom.com prediction: Panthers 71-67, 64 poss.
Kansas Jayhawks at Baylor Bears, ESPN (9:30 p.m. ET)
The Bears are in desperate need of a marquee win after losing at Iowa State on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks continue to struggle to put away teams, as they got games from both the Cyclones and Nebraska last week.
KenPom.com prediction: Jayhawks 72-66, 70 poss.
Albany Great Danes at Stony Brook Seawolves, MSG+/ESPN3/Full Court (5 p.m. ET)
This is not the game of the night in the America East (that one features Maine and Vermont battling for sole possession of first), just a matchup of two current second division teams.
KenPom.com prediction:Seawolves 59-56, 60 poss.
Jackson St. Tigers at Prairie View Panthers, ESPNU (7 p.m. ET)
The Tigers look to rebound from their first SWAC loss of the season, which they suffered in Houston at the hands of new league leader Texas Southern.
KenPom.com prediction: Tigers 63-58, 66 poss.
For broadcast information for games slated to be aired regionally, like College of Charleston at Chattanooga (for first overall in the SoCon), Canisius at Siena, and Mississippi Valley State at Southern, visit Matt Sarz's College Sports on TV site. Another good resource is the schedule page at BB State.
Please share your thoughts about today and tonight's action in the comments, after you sign up for a free SB Nation account, of course.