NCAA: Big battle as KU goes to K-State, Wisconsin plays Ohio State

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Kelsie Payne, left, and Taylor Soucie put up a Kansas block. The Jayhawks play Samford on Thursday/KU photo

There are only 17 games on the NCAA Division I schedule Wednesday, but the action includes No. 4 Kansas playing a Big 12 match at Kansas State that has huge implications.

Not only are a handful of other ranked schools on the slate, but there are some big mid-major matches.

K-State (17-6, 6-4 Big 12) might not be ranked, but the Wildcats stand at No. 14 in the NCAA RPI, a notch ahead of Kansas (20-2, 9-1) despite the disparity in their records. And there are few more fierce rivals than KU vs. K-State.

Also in the Big 12, No. 5 Texas (17-3, 9-1), coming off that defeat at Kansas, goes to TCU (10-10, 3-7). Also in the Big 12, Baylor (18-7, 6-3) is at Texas Tech 10-15, 0-10) and West Virginia (12-12, 3-7) goes to Iowa State (12-9, 4-5).

The Big Ten has a busy night.

Second-ranked Minnesota (18-3, 10-2) plays host to Indiana (15-10, 4-8). No. 3 Wisconsin (18-3, 10-2) goes to No. 22 Ohio State (15-9, 7-5), and while neither team is ranked, Purdue (14-9, 4-8) desperately needs to beat visiting Maryland (10-14, 2-10).

Three other power-five conferences have one match each.

The SEC’s top-ranked team, No. 6 Florida (20-2, 10-1), goes to Georgia (13-10, 1-9). Florida is in a three-way tie for first with Kentucky and Missouri.

In the Pac-12, No. 25 USC (15-8, 7-5) goes to Arizona (14-10, 6-6) in a critical match for both teams. Washington and UCLA lead the Pac-12 at 9-3, while Oregon and Stanford are 8-4 and Washington State, Utah and USC are all at 7-5.

The ACC has Syracuse (6-16, 5-7) at Boston College (6-16, 1-11).

There’s a huge matchup in the Ohio Valley Conference, as league leader Murray State (16-8, 11-1) plays host to Austin Peay (21-8, 10-2), which is tied for second with SIUE (Southern Illinois Edwardsville).

In the MEAC, Howard (21-5, 10-1) goes to Norfolk State(6-17, 4-5). Howard has already clinched the MEAC Northern Division title and has won 24 consecutive conference matches.

There were 16 matches on Tuesday, none involving ranked teams. But Long Beach State continued to roll, while Radford took a tough loss.

Long Beach improved to 16-6 overall, 10-1 in the Big West, with a sweep of CSU Fullerton. It sets up the Beach’s big trip to Hawai’i (16-5, 9-1) on Friday with the league’s title on the line.

Radford still holds a two-game lead atop the Big South standings, but the Highlanders (20-5, 11-2) fell in four on Tuesday at High Point. It wasted a second straight 24-kill performance by Maddie Palmer.

Also Tuesday, South Dakota, 21-5, 10-2 in the Summit League, fell in four at North Dakota State, losing the fourth 29-27. It’s quite a battle going on in the Summit, with Denver tied with South Dakota for the league lead.

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