Here's what you need to know for Monday, Jan. 29:
Game of the night
Northwestern at Michigan, 7 p.m., ET, FS1: The Wildcats aren’t dead yet. Northwestern has won two in a row to move to 4-5 in the Big Ten, 13-9 overall. The Wildcats get Michigan twice in the next three games. If they can split with the Wolverines, and then maybe split with Maryland and take out Michigan State at home then there is a good chance Northwestern could head to New York with a legitimate pulse.
NU is finally defending like they are capable, holding Penn State to 61 points and Minnesota to 69 on the road. Michigan is coming off a missed opportunity at Purdue, losing by four.
Pity the Irish
Notre Dame at Duke, 7 p.m., ET, ESPN: Injuries have decimated the Irish and as a result they have lost five in a row, including two at home. The Blue Devils are coming off a home loss to Virginia. Just a hunch, but there’s no way Duke comes out with any other intention but to beat down the next opponent.
Coach K after the 65-63 loss to UVA... pic.twitter.com/M5fKhUE0Ci— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) January 27, 2018
It just happens to be the thinning Irish. Duke had its chances against Virginia but couldn’t convert late and the Cavaliers got to the free-throw line and knocked down key shots to ice the game.
Kansas at Kansas State, 9 p.m., ET, ESPN: Bruce Weber’s Wildcats have quietly put together a possible NCAA resume. Kansas State has won four in a row, including a road win at Baylor and a home win over Oklahoma. Knocking off Kansas at home would enhance the resume, even more.
This is the toughest stretch of games for the Wildcats with Kansas and Texas Tech as the two home games amid three road games at West Virginia, Texas and Oklahoma State. Both teams had solid wins in the Big 12/SEC Challenge with the Jayhawks knocking off Texas A&M and Kansas State taking care of Georgia.
Making a case
Nebraska at Wisconsin, 9 p.m, ET, BTN: The Huskers just have to methodically continue to build a resume. This bears repeating and will be drilled home each week: They don’t play the top four the rest of the season. So, they don’t need to win out, but they do need to pick up as many road wins as they can muster. Winning at Rutgers gave them two.
Nebraska is on the road for two straight again, beginning in Madison before going to Minnesota. The last time these two played, Wisconsin simply ran out of time. The Badgers were right there to win, but couldn’t close and lost by four.
Jackson State at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 8:30 p.m., ET: It’s amazing how some of these teams are able to withstand two months of losing in non-conference games then end up going on a roll within their own conference.
Pine-Bluff started the season 0-14. The Golden Lions are 7-1 since. Jackson State started the season 3-10, but are now 9-12, 6-2 in the SWAC.