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Surprising Cavs Look to Stay Hot vs. Bulls

Plus, a top-15 women’s college hoops showdown in the Big 12.

Duke went down again last night in an overtime thriller, serving as a good reminder that no matter how much talent you have it’s hard to win on the road in college hoops. We’ve got plenty more excitement to come in the next eight weeks of college basketball before Selection Sunday.

There’s more college hoops on both the men’s and women’s sides tonight, plus a pair of huge NBA clashes and the second round of the Australian Open continuing with some high-profile players in action.

A quick note: With COVID-19 cases rising, sports schedules are fluid and subject to change.

MUST WATCH

Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls

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Would anyone have predicted that the Cavs would be just 1.5 games out of the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference after the season’s halfway point? I certainly wouldn’t have. So how has Cleveland done it? The growth of young guard Darius Garland has been huge, as has the immediate impact rookie Evan Mobley has made. But one thing that has really changed the game for the Cavs has been the emergence of Jarrett Allen, who has blossomed into a star to form one of the most lethal frontcourts in the NBA next to Mobley. Can the Cavs keep it rolling against a banged-up Bulls team that has dropped four high-profile games in a row against the Nets, Warriors, Celtics and Grizzlies?

8 p.m. ET, Bally Sports Ohio/NBC Sports Chicago, watch on fuboTV

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• Tottenham at Leicester City | Leicester finally makes its Premier League debut in 2022 after its first three matches of the new year were postponed. They’ll be tested by a Tottenham club nipping at the heels of the top four in the table. 2:30 p.m. ET, USA, watch on fuboTV

• Toronto Maple Leafs at New York Rangers | As SI’s Dan Falkenheim wrote this week, the Leafs are good enough to finally win a playoff series this season because of an improved defense and the play of netminder Jack Campbell. Can they keep it rolling against a scrappy Rangers club? 7:30 p.m. ET, TNT

• Memphis Grizzlies at Milwaukee Bucks | Memphis has soared to No. 2 in SI’s latest power rankings, continuing its emergence behind Ja Morant and a talented crop of young players around him. Games like this one, on the road at the defending champs, allow the Grizzlies to prove once again that they will be a legitimate factor in this year’s title chase. 8 p.m. ET, Bally Sports Southeast/Wisconsin, watch on fuboTV

• Men’s college basketball: Kentucky at Texas A&M | This is a prove-it game for the Aggies, who sit at 15-2 (albeit with a weak schedule thus far) and in SI’s first projected field for the NCAA tournament. Buzz Williams’ club will be tested by a No. 12 Kentucky squad that just dropped 107 points against a good Tennessee defense on Saturday. 8:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network, watch on fuboTV

• Australian Open | Four top-10 men’s players and five top-10 women’s players are in action tonight and in the wee hours of the morning tomorrow. One of those is third-seeded Garbiñe Muguruza, who SI’s Jon Wertheim believes will make a deep run in this tournament. 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2 (also airing on ESPN3 and ESPN+), watch on fuboTV

HIDDEN GEM

Women’s CBB: Texas at Iowa State

This top-15 women’s hoops showdown pits Big 12 leader Iowa State with the No. 15 Longhorns in a game that could have big implications come March. The No. 7 Cyclones are off to a 16-1 start behind star senior guard Ashley Joens, a top WNBA prospect averaging 20 points and nearly 10 rebounds per game. But Texas will give ISU its biggest test since a November showdown with LSU, as Vic Schaefer’s program has already knocked off No. 2 Stanford earlier this season and has plenty of star power of its own.

7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

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