Super Tuesday is a term referring to the Tuesday in which presidential primaries happen for most states. It is also a term used to refer to college basketball game days, which normally occur on Tuesdays during the week. Today, which just so happens to be a "Super Tuesday", two schools play: Kansas and Kansas State, while Missouri, in an odd twist, plays on a Wednesday. Let's go over some keys to the game for each, as all three matchups will be pretty definitive.
#3 Kansas at Texas Tech: Tuesday 1/3/23 8pm CT ESPN2
KU barely escaped with a win in their conference opener against Oklahoma State, so to say fans, players, and coaches are wary of their first conference road game would be an understatement. After running Mizzou, a team that is on the come up and now ranked, out of their own building for their first official road game though, there's room for optimism. This will be Kevin McCullar's first time as a visitor playing in Lubbock, and after his exit, he'll be playing with a chip on his shoulder. Tech fans are not happy with the way McCullar transferred out, and they'll be ferocious tonight especially when it comes to him. McCullar needs to use this to energize his play and be a key factor on both ends of the court tonight. When McCullar is on, the whole team is on, and that's really how this Jayhawk basketball team works. When every player is playing with their best effort and playing mistake free ball, this team can beat anyone. Take a player out of the game though, especially a star player like McCullar, Wilson, or Dick, and everything decreases. This team needs to learn to take on bigger workloads individually when one player falters, whether that be the bench or the starters. If they can learn that they are easily National Title repeat contenders. If not, this team struggles. Play as a unit and learn to share the workload (Perhaps unevenly at times when someone is not playing their best game), and they will go far and get a win tonight.
Kansas State at #6 Texas: Tuesday 1/3/23 8pm CT Longhorn Network
Kansas State is in great hands with Jerome Tang and is coming off a great win against formerly ranked West Virginia in Manhattan. Now, they face their first road test against the 6th ranked Longhorns (On their own TV program because they need to feel important...ugh) Kansas State has played far above expectations this season so far, having an excellent non-conference performance, but they will be facing a test when going up against a Texas program that has star power. This Texas program is somewhat reeling however, with the domestic violence controversy surrounding head coach Chris Beard as well as their recent struggles beating unranked squads like Oklahoma and Rice. Kansas State has a size advantage and will need to play physical front court play in order to bully this Texas team to a victory. Guard the perimeter, stay out of foul trouble while remaining physical, and frustrate a team that already has shown flaws and frustration, and you could walk out of Austin with a win. This is a winnable game for the Wildcats, and a win here could propel the Cats towards the top of the Big 12 and into the rankings.
This game feels like it needs to be flexed to ESPN, or at least ESPN2. It feels wrong to have it on an exclusive network, but here we are. If you can't watch it, perhaps follow me on Twitter for updates? (@The_BurnKC, thank you in advance) A ranked matchup that may define the rest of the season for either program is what we have on tap for here. Both programs are having moderately unexpected, but welcome successes in their basketball programs. Arkansas has always been solid but is showing that they can hang with the best and compete for an SEC title, but Missouri is a dark horse in terms of competing for that title. They've had successes in beating ranked opponents and beating them badly. With over 20-point wins against both Illinois and Kentucky, this Missouri team means business, and will walk into Bud Walton Arena with a chip on their shoulder. The key for Mizzou, is to not be overconfident. It's what got them blown out of the water against Kansas in their own gym, and Arkansas is no cupcake that you'll just walk in and take over. They need to keep playing at their best, because this will be a dogfight. Arkansas plays physical, feisty ball, as does Missouri, and Missouri will need to prove that they play that game in a superior manner over their neighbors to the south. Expect a gritty, nose to the grindstone performance, a performance that so long as Missouri doesn't walk in with a big head, they can definitely win. Don't expect them to win big like their past matchups, however.
It should be a great couple of days for local college hoops, not to mention UMKC has a big matchup against 12-3 Oral Roberts that if won, could turn their season around from the struggles they've been having. Be ready for excitement and big-time squads flexing their muscles, be ready to see make-or-break games for a couple local squads and be ready for a great week of college hoops. Hopefully everyone has had a great New Year's, and hopefully everyone is ready for the transition from college football to college hoops taking center stage. I can smell March Madness now...or maybe it's the Chicken Parmesan I'm making?
Burn Notice: 10/10 Perfectly cooked, like this chicken parm. I'm stupid hungry y'all...