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Monday’s Pregame Shootaround: March Madness kicks off with the Patriot League tourney

Mar 3, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT

Marcus Smart AP

GAME OF THE DAY: Kansas State at Oklahoma State, 9:00 p.m.

The Wildcats pay a visit to Oklahoma State tonight. The Pokes have come back strong after losing seven straight games, with Saturday’s win over Kansas pushing them onto the right side of the bubble. A loss at home to a Kansas State team that doesn’t beat anyone on the road would be a killer, however.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: N.C. State at Pittsburgh, 9:00 p.m.

Barring a miracle down the stretch of the season, N.C. State is already on the wrong side of the bubble. They pay a visit to Pitt on Monday night, a team in desperate need of a win to avoid falling closer to the bubble’s cutline.

FOUR OTHER THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1) March Madness begins tonight with the first round of the Patriot League tournament.

2) The only ranked team taking the court tonight is No. 14 North Carolina, who will be hosting Notre Dame. The Tar Heels are strictly playing for seeding at this point. The Irish? They’re playing for seeding in the NIT.

3) The biggest bubble game of the night will be Xavier’s trip to New Jersey to take on Seton Hall. 

4) Keep an eye on North Carolina-Central, who is 23-5 and 13-1 in the MEAC with a win at N.C. State this season.