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On The Menu: January 18, 2016

The Martin Luther King Day slate features a couple of key mid-major matinees and the return of Big Monday, highlighted by a potentially difficult road trip for the likely new top team in the rankings.

Game information courtesy Matt College Sports on TV Website, which has even more games listed and more specific info on coverage for regional sports networks and American Sports Network telecasts.

All times listed are Eastern, adjust accordingly.

ACC

Syracuse Orange (12-7, 2-4) at Duke Blue Devils (14-4, 3-2), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

The Blue Devils have been struggling without the injured Amile Jefferson, while the Orange are currently playing their best basketball since grabbing three wins to claim the Battle 4 Atlantis title. Of course, winning in Cameron will be a different task completely than taking down Boston College Eagles at the Carrier Dome and Wake Forest Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem.

Big 12

Texas Tech Red Raiders (11-5, 1-4) at TCU Horned Frogs (9-8, 1-4), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Oklahoma Sooners (15-1, 4-1) at Iowa State Cyclones (13-4, 2-3), 9 p.m. (ESPN)

The Red Raiders, favorable computer numbers or not, will not make the NCAAs if they can't get out of a tie down in the Big 12 cellar. Considering the Horned Frogs have already defeated Texas Longhorns in their renovated arena, this isn't a gimme.

But the highlight of the night will be the Sooners' visit to Hilton Coliseum as the country's newly-crowned no. 1 team. Lon Kruger has not won there as Oklahoma coach, with OU's last win at Iowa State coming on January 29, 2011, in the final days of the Jeff Capel administration. Expect a lot of offense in this one, as the Cyclones rank fourth in KenPom's adjusted efficiency rankings and the Sooners 11th, but Iowa State might struggle to get stops.

Big Ten

Purdue Boilermakers (15-3, 3-2) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-12, 0-5), 7 p.m. (BTN)

Look for the Boilermakers to move to 2-1 in Big Ten road games.

Elsewhere

Stony Brook Seawolves (13-4, 4-0) at Hartford Hawks (6-12, 1-2), 1 p.m. (AmericaEast.tv)
Binghamton Bearcats (3-13, 0-3) at Albany Great Danes (14-5, 3-1), 7 p.m. (TWCS New York)
UMass Lowell RiverHawks (6-11, 2-2) at Vermont Catamounts (10-8, 3-1), 7 p.m. (AmericaEast.tv)

If the Seawolves win the matinee, they'll represent the America East in tomorrow's bracket. If they fall in Hartford, Albany will be in the driver's seat, though Vermont could sneak in with a win and an unexpected Binghamton win on the Great Danes' floor.

Siena Saints (11-6, 4-2) at Monmouth Hawks (13-4, 5-1), 4 p.m. (ESPN3)

A Hawk home will will reduce the MAAC to a one-bid league in my next projection.

Detroit Titans (9-7, 3-2) at Wright State Raiders (10-8, 4-1), 7 p.m. (ASN/MASN/CSN Chicago)
Valparaiso Crusaders (15-3, 5-0) at Youngstown State Penguins (7-12, 2-4), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

The Raiders can establish themselves as the Crusaders' primary challenger for the Horizon crown with a win over the Titans and tie Valpo for the lead if Bryce Drew's squad drops one on the road.

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (11-5, 4-0) at New Orleans Privateers (5-10, 1-3), 9 p.m. (ASN/MASN2/CST/CSN Chicago Plus)

The Lumberjacks will be back in the bracket with a win at Lakefront Arena. If not, Houston Baptist Huskies will represent the Southland tomorrow.

Little Rock Trojans (15-1, 5-0) at Arkansas State Red Wolves (8-8, 4-1), 8:30 p.m. (ESPN3)

The Red Wolves can move into a tie with the Trojans, a half-game up on Texas-Arlington Mavericks, for the Sun Belt lead with a victory this evening.

Hampton Pirates (9-7, 5-0) at North Carolina Central Eagles (7-12, 2-3), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

The Pirates are currently three games up on the two-time defending MEAC regular-season champions.

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