Texas @ #6 Kansas
Monday, February 26th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN
Texas (17-12, 7-9) is sitting right on the edge of the bubble, with the exact same record as Baylor. The Longhorns needs to pick up a quality win or two more to secure their position in the NCAA tournament. A win on the road at #6 Kansas (23-6, 12-4) would be just that. The Jayhawks, at this point, are playing for two things: Singular possession of the Big 12 regular season title and tournament seeding. The Jayhawks have already guaranteed that they will own a part of the Big 12 regular season championship once again. Accordingly, this game is much more significant for the Longhorns. But, Phog Allen is a difficult place to get a win in. Plus, the Jayhawks seem to be hitting a strong late season stride after their last loss to Baylor, winning their next four straight. There’s no way I can justify picking against the Jayhawks.
#12 Texas Tech @ #20 West Virginia
Monday, February 26th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2
#12 Texas Tech (22-7, 10-6) took a heart breaking loss to Kansas over the weekend, ending their hopes of dethroning Kansas. Now they are in a battle for Big 12 tournament seeding and NCAA tournament seeding. They face #20 West Virginia (21-8, 10-6) who is tied with the Red Raiders for second in the Big 12 standings. This game will have large implications for where these teams are seeded in the Big 12 tournament next week. Texas Tech won by a single point in their first meeting with the Mountaineers. Now, West Virginia has homecourt advantage and is hitting their late season stride, winning 3 of their last 4. I like the Mountaineers to pounce on the Red Raiders’ recent offensive woes and pick up a huge victory, giving Texas Tech their 4th straight loss.
71-65 West Virginia.
Oklahoma State @ Iowa State
Tuesday, February 27th 6:00 PM CT, ESPNU
Oklahoma State (16-13, 6-10) and Iowa State (13-15, 4-12) are both on the outside looking in when it comes to the NCAA tournament. Oklahoma State still has a small chance of playing its way into the field with some wins down the stretch while Iowa State’s only shot is to win out in the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City (which, given the close proximity to Iowa and recent success, isn’t out of the question). This game means A LOT more to the Cowboys, then. But, the Cyclones haven’t quit fighting in recent weeks. Even with starters Solomon Young and Nick Weiler-Babb out for the season, Iowa State has given teams a contest. Oklahoma State certainly cannot waltz into Ames, IA and expect to come out with a victory. I think they know that, though. They know this is a must win game.
86-81 Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma @ Baylor
Tuesday, February 27th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2
Riddle me this. Baylor (17-12, 7-9) and Oklahoma (17-11, 7-9) have nearly identical records, and yet Oklahoma sits comfortably in the field of play at a 9 seed according to ESPN, while Baylor is the second to last team to make the field presently. You’ve got to imagine part of that is the Trae Young factor, assuming the NCAA selection committee won’t keep out the likely player of the year. Regardless, this is a must win game for Baylor. With how close to the edge the Bears are, every game counts, especially senior night and the last home game for the Bears. Baylor was close to knocking of Oklahoma in Norman when OU was still in full stride, can they get it done over a weakened Sooners squad? Yes, but it will require better offense than the Bears have shown in their past two games. Luckily, Oklahoma’s defense is pretty atrocious. Baylor wins a nail biter, assuming the players get senior night turnout they deserve.
Kansas State @ TCU
Tuesday, February 27th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU
According to ESPN, Kansas State (20-9, 9-7) is in the last four to receive byes category of the NCAA tournament. TCU (20-9, 8-8) is meanwhile more firmly in at a 6 seed after their win over Baylor. This game probably means a little more for the Wildcats, but both teams could really use a win here. The Horned Frogs should be looking to take advantage of their homecourt and beat out the other purple team from up north, putting Kansas State in an extreme bubble predicament entering their weekend game against Baylor.