#19 West Virginia @ #17 Oklahoma
Monday, February 5th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN
#19 West Virginia (17-6, 6-4) got a much needed blowout win over Kansas State this past weekend. Their defense was lights out and they beat the Wildcats by almost 40 points. #17 Oklahoma (16-6, 6-4) suffered a disappointing, close loss to rival Texas. Trae Young only had 19 points and 14 assists. But that was enough for them to lose, especially when the Sooners seem to live and die by Young putting up 30+ points. The Sooners already lost at West Virginia earlier in the season by 13 points. While homecourt advantage may help some, I expect the Mountaineers to win this one, especially if their defense can play like it did on Saturday.
87-80 West Virginia.
Baylor @ Oklahoma State
Tuesday, February 6th 7:00 PM CT, ESPNU
Baylor (13-10, 3-7) got an essential, near blowout win over Iowa State on Saturday to move them from sole last place to tied for last place. The Bears MUST carry that momentum forward into Stillwater and win over another team that is in the bottom half of the Big 12, Oklahoma State (14-9, 4-6). Watch out though, Oklahoma State just got a massive win in Lawrence over top ten Kansas. If Oklahoma State plays like they did against Kansas, they’ll beat the Bears. But that game seemed like more of an exception than the norm for the Cowboys. The Bears already blewout the Cowboys at home earlier in the season. I expect the zone defense to give Oklahoma State troubles again and lead to a Baylor victory.
TCU @ #10 Kansas
Tuesday, February 6th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2
#10 Kansas (18-5, 7-3) is sitting tied for first in the Big 12 with Texas Tech. Both West Virginia and Oklahoma are one game back (although, one will move up to a 1/2 game back and one to 1 1⁄2 games back after Monday). Kansas’ shocking home loss to Oklahoma State has put them in a more precarious position than many thought they were. The Jayhawks absolutely must hold down their homecourt against TCU (16-7, 4-6) otherwise their title streak might be in real jeopardy. Oddly enough, the Jayhawks have seemed to play worse at home than on the road this year. It seems as if they are more afraid of disappointing their own fans than opposing fan bases? Maybe TCU can capitalize on that. I doubt it, but would really appreciate a Horned Frogs victory on Tuesday.
Kansas State @ Texas
Wednesday, February 7th 7:00 PM CT, LHN
In the last preview, I was calling for Kansas State (16-7, 5-5) to be ranked and that they would upset West Virginia. Wow was I wrong on that one... The Wildcats got annihilated by West Virginia. The question then is if the Wildcats can bounce back or if that loss will hurt for some time to come. Texas (15-8, 5-5) has been on a relative hot streak, winning three of their last four games, which includes a win over Oklahoma and a 2 point loss to top 10 Texas Tech. This should be a close, fun ball game. I’ll take the Longhorns to win by a narrow margin.
Iowa State @ #7 Texas Tech
Wednesday, February 7th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU
#7 Texas Tech (19-4, 7-3) should know not to take Iowa State (12-10, 3-7) lightly. After all, the last time these two teams met the Cyclones beat the Red Raiders by 18 points in a game that was never particularly close. The Red Raiders have to get all the wins they can—especially against teams at the bottom of the pack—if they want to break Kansas’ streak and win a Big 12 regular season title. I don’t think the Red Raiders will come in nearly as flat as they did in their first match with the Cyclones, especially with a home crowd backing them.
78-70 Texas Tech.