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Best early games


No. 11 West Virginia vs. No. 25 Texas A&M: The Mountaineers, winners of 28 games last season, get an early test with an old conference foe that now is one of the top teams in the Southeastern Conference.


No. 1 Duke vs. No. 2 Michigan State: The Blue Devils and Spartans will spoil college hoops fans with one of two national championship-level matchups on the first Tuesday of the season in Chicago.


No. 4 Kansas vs. No. 5 Kentucky: The second game in Chicago is a clash of blue bloods that lost a significant amount of talent. Kansas’ Devonte Graham will try to replace the leadership of national player of the year Frank Mason III.


Creighton at No. 19 Northwestern: Are the Wildcats for real after reaching the NCAAs for the first time in school history? They will host a good Blue Jays squad at their temporary home court in Rosemont, Ill.


No. 17 Xavier at Wisconsin: The Badgers lost too much talent from last season to be a Big Ten title contender, but this will be the first chance for Ethan Happ and company to prove they are still an NCAA tourney team.