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Big 12 MBB Tournament Preview: First Round

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Media Day Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Game 1: No. 8 Oklahoma State vs. No. 9 Oklahoma

Wednesday, March 7th 6:00 PM CT, ESPNU

This is a game that could have huge implications for bubble teams. Oklahoma (18-12, 8-10) should be in, even with their abysmal February performance. However, Oklahoma State (18-13, 8-10) is FIRMLY on the bubble after picking up another win over Kansas to sweep the Jayhawks. It actually surprises me how few bracket predictors even give them a chance. But regardless, Baylor fans want Oklahoma to win this and likely eliminate another potential bubble team. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State split in the regular season. Oklahoma State has won 3 of their last 4 while Oklahoma has only won 2 of their last 4 and 3 of their last 10. Oklahoma might be one of the least hot teams currently in the country and Oklahoma State is fighting their hearts out to make it to the tournament. While we want Oklahoma to win, I don’t see it happening. Oklahoma still hasn’t figured out what to do when Trae Young goes cold.

86-80 Oklahoma State.

Game 2: No. 7 Texas vs. No. 10 Iowa State

Wednesday, March 7th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU

This game could also have potentially huge bubble implications. Texas (18-13, 8-10) is the definition of a bubble team, sitting in the last four in category currently on ESPN. Iowa State (13-17, 4-14) would have to win the entire Big 12 tournament to miraculously make it to the NCAA tournament. But, if the Cyclones could find a way to get a win against Texas here, it would very likely knock the Longhorns out of the tournament. Texas swept the Cyclones in the regular season, one by 4 points and one by 16. Those were also both before the Cyclones lost starters Nick Weiler-Babb and Solomon Young. So I wouldn’t count on the Cyclones to win this one. BUT, Texas is also short star Mohammed Bamba, which will definitely help the Cyclones who are by no means a large team. I’m picking Texas but Iowa State could keep it close/win if Donovan Jackson can get hot.

78-70 Texas.