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College men's basketball decided to save its biggest early-season matchups for mid-to-late November this season.

That means the top teams and players in the country have at least a couple games under their belt, as blue bloods and national title contenders square off this week.

Some of them haven't missed a beat from last season. Some of them have started off slow. Some of them are waiting for that spotlight game to make a statement.

Here are my top five players and top five games to watch:

Fuller's five

Tyler Kolek, Marquette

The reigning Bob Cousy Award winner given to the top point guard in college basketball. Known for his passing, but he averaged 19 points during the Golden Eagles' Big East tournament title run last season.

Terrance Shannon Jr., Illinois

Former Texas Tech transfer was one of the top NBA prospects in the Big Ten but decided to return to Champaign for his senior season. Had 28 points in an 82-75 exhibition win vs. No. 1 Kansas last month.

Kyle Filipowski, Duke

Led Duke in scoring and rebounding as a freshman, but the 7-footer from New York is primed for a breakout second year in Durham. After two games, he's averaging 25 points on 63% shooting.

Hunter Dickinson, Kansas

The 7-2 Michigan transfer was a two-time All-Big Ten performer and All-America in 2021, but he wanted to pursue a national title. He's averaging 20 points and eight rebounds in two games.

Zach Edey, Purdue

National player of the year has a chance to redeem the Boilermakers after their NCAA first-round 63-58 upset loss to Farleigh Dickinson. With Edey at 7-4, nobody in the game is a bigger physical matchup nightmare.

Five games to watch


Duke vs. Michigan State in Champions Classic at United Center, Chicago (6 p.m., ESPN)

Kentucky vs. Kansas in Champions Classic (8:30 p.m., ESPN)

Marquette at Illinois in Gavitt Games at State Farm Center, Champaign, Ill. (7 p.m., FS1)

Nov. 19

UConn vs. Indiana in Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden, New York (1 p.m., ESPN)

Nov. 20

Gonzaga vs. Purdue in Maui Invitational first round (Also in the field: Kansas, UCLA, Marquette, Tennessee and Syracuse). (5 p.m., ESPN2)