The Daily Sweat: The Sunflower Showdown has big-time intrigue

Kansas has been a powerhouse in men's basketball for decades. It's missed the NCAA tournament just twice since 1983 and has won three national titles during that span, including last season. The same can't be said for in-state rival Kansas State. The Wildcats haven't made the tournament since 2019 and have been out of the first round just once since 2014. It's been a tale of two different teams in the Sunflower State.

Unsurprisingly, the head-to-head results have been rather one-sided as well. Since 1984, Kansas is 85-12 straight up against Kansas State. The Jayhawks haven't lost to the Wildcats since 2019 and have just one loss in the series since 2015. However, under first-year head coach Jerome Tang, there's hope for Kansas State.

Kansas State is out to a 15-2 start, including a 4-1 record in Big 12 play. The Wildcats already earned road victories at Texas and at Baylor. They've already surpassed last season's win total of 14. The Wildcats are currently ranked No. 11 in the country. This sets up the most anticipated Sunflower Showdown in years.

Currently at BetMGM, No. 2 Kansas is a 2.5-point road favorite against Kansas State. However, as we all know, winning on the road in college basketball is tough. It's going to be a raucous environment inside Bramlage Coliseum. Kansas State has played the role of "little brother" in this rivalry for decades. Is this the year it stands up to big brother?

MANHATTAN, KS - JANUARY 10:  Markquis Nowell #1 of the Kansas State Wildcats gets set on defense against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the second half at Bramlage Coliseum on January 10, 2023 in Manhattan, Kansas.  (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Kansas State finally looks ready to compete with Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown. (Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

Solid college basketball slate

The Kansas-Kansas State matchup isn't the only intriguing ranked matchup in the Big 12 on Tuesday night. In Ames, Iowa State hosts Texas. The Cyclones are 2.5-point home favorites. Iowa State is coming off a hard-fought two point loss at Kansas, while Texas has won three straight games. Elsewhere in the conference, Texas Tech is still looking for its first conference win of the season. The Red Raiders are 2.5-point home favorites against No. 21 Baylor.

Elsewhere, Tennessee is coming off a rare home loss. The Vols hit the road on Tuesday and head to Mississippi State. They are 6.5-point road favorites. Elsewhere in the SEC, No. 4 Alabama is an 8.5-point road favorite over Vanderbilt. Kentucky, fresh off its big upset over Tennessee, is an 11-point home favorite against Georgia.

Other top 25 teams in action include No. 1 Houston hitting the road for a visit to Tulane. The Cougars are 10.5-point road favorites. In the ACC, No. 19 Clemson is a 2.5-point road underdog against unranked Wake Forest.

Small NBA slate

After a packed holiday slate on Monday, the NBA has a lighter schedule on deck for Tuesday. There are just four games scheduled.

The Brooklyn Nets are 0-2 since they lost Kevin Durant to injury, but they are 5.5-point road favorites against a bad San Antonio team on Tuesday. Brooklyn needs to tread water and survive until Durant returns, and a win on Tuesday seems like a good opportunity to do that.

The two TNT games on Tuesday night look good on paper. The Milwaukee Bucks are 4.5-point home favorites over the Toronto Raptors. Giannis Antetokounmpo has missed three straight games. He participated in warmups before Monday's game but was held out for precautionary reasons. There's a decent chance he returns on Tuesday. In the night cap, the Philadelphia 76ers are 1.5-point road favorites against the Los Angeles Clippers.

8-game NHL schedule

Tuesday's a good night for hockey as the NHL provides us with a solid eight-game schedule.

The best game of the night is in the nation's capital, as the Washington Capitals host the Minnesota Wild. The Wild are slight -125 road favorites, as Washington played on Monday night on Long Island. The Capitals erased a 3-0 deficit and beat the Islanders in overtime.

Other intriguing matchups include the Toronto Maple Leafs hosting the Florida Panthers. The Panthers have won two straight games as they try to dig themselves out of the hole they've created. However, they are +145 road underdogs in Toronto. Out West, the Edmonton Oilers are -165 home favorites against the surprisingly good Seattle Kraken.

Who cashed tickets on Monday?

The Dallas Cowboys provided their backers an easygoing Monday night, as they cruised to a 31-14 victory on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to wrap up the first round of the NFL playoffs. The Cowboys were 2.5-point road favorites. The game finished with 45 points, meaning under 45.5 was the winning side. Under bettors got some help from four missed extra points by Cowboys kicker Brett Maher as well as two red-zone turnovers by Tom Brady. It was the first game in these playoffs to go under the total.

Here's an early look at the betting lines for the four divisional round games coming up this weekend: