#12 Kansas @ #2 West Virginia
Monday, January 15th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN
This could end up being one of the biggest games in deciding the regular season conference champion. #12 Kansas (14-3, 4-1) travels to #2 West Virginia (15-2, 4-1) in a battle of highly ranked, one loss conference teams. Kansas survived for a one point victory over Kansas State on the weekend, while West Virginia dropped a close road loss at Texas Tech. The quick turnaround from two difficult, emotional games could be apparent. I like West Virginia, with their stifling Press Virginia, to take advantage of a not fully rested Kansas squad.
76-74 West Virginia.
Oklahoma State @ Baylor
Monday, January 15th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU
It seems a little early in conference play to call a game a “must win” but this game certainly seems like a must win for Baylor (11-6, 1-4). After having coasted primarily on “good” losses, the Bears might have suffered their first bad loss at the hands of Iowa State (which, lets be real, even that isn’t that bad of a loss in Hilton). The Bears DESPERATELY need Manu Lecomte to fix whatever has caused his massive cold streak from outside the arc. Oklahoma State (12-5, 2-3) just won a one point game against the Longhorns. Will they have the energy after such a contested game to quickly turnaround and play hard in Waco? I’m calling the Bears to win with the belief that Manu might get things figured out back in the Ferrell Center.
#9 Oklahoma @ Kansas State
Tuesday, January 16th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU
#9 Oklahoma (14-2, 4-1) just finished up a critical sweep of TCU, winning in overtime. Trae Young put up a casual 43 points against the Frogs, topping his 39 point performance from the first game the two teams played. I will keep saying this until I’m blue: Young is the real deal. Kansas State (12-5, 2-3) just suffered a heart wrenching 1 point loss at Allen Fieldhouse. Will the Wildcats be able to get back up for another important game? I think so.. but I don’t think that’s enough to stop Trae Young.
#8 Texas Tech @ Texas
Wednesday, January 17th 7:00 PM CT, LHN
#8 Texas Tech (15-2, 4-1) is feeling great about themselves after a critical, court storming win over West Virginia. This put them in a three-way tie with Kansas and West Virginia. The Red Raiders need to keep up the momentum against a struggling Texas (11-6, 2-3). The Longhorns suffered a very close, one point loss in Stillwater. Can they bounce back against the Red Raiders, whose defense is far superior to the Cowboys’? I don’t think so.
67-59 Texas Tech.
Iowa State @ #16 TCU
Wednesday, January 17th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU
Iowa State (10-6, 1-4) got a desperately needed first conference win against Baylor over the weekend. They’ll need to string together a streak of wins to start getting serious tournament contention. That could start against #16 TCU (13-4, 1-4) who was undefeated in non-conference play but has since struggled heavily in Big 12 play, tied for last in the conference. The Cyclones are starting to find production beyond just Donovan Jackson and Lindell Wigginton. Solomon Young had a big performance against the Bears as well. If the Cyclones can start consistently producing on offense, their defensive woes might be covered up enough to grab some wins. I’ll take the Cyclones to win a critical road game.
88-87 Iowa State.