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Best early games

Friday

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.

Tuesday

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.

Tuesday

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.

Wednesday

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.

Thursday

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.