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Big 12 MBB Tournament Preview: Quarterfinals

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

#4 Kansas State vs. #5 TCU

Thursday, March 8th 11:30 AM CT, ESPN2

TCU (21-10, 9-9) is almost certainly in the tournament and Kansas State (21-10, 10-8) is very likely in the tournament. A win here would lock things up for the Wildcats. Both teams are fairly evenly matched, each defending their own homecourt during the regular season. I expect a stronger showing of Kansas State fans than TCU fans given the tournament proximity which might be what puts the Wildcats over the edge, advancing them to the semifinals. Dean Wade and Barry Brown are just so talented, as well.

74-71 Kansas State.

#1 Kansas vs. #8 Oklahoma State

Thursday, March 8th 1:30 PM CT, ESPN2

Oklahoma State (19-13, 8-10) beat Oklahoma last night to make their way into this game. They probably need to beat Kansas (24-7, 13-5) for a third time to make the NCAA tournament field. Luckily, the Cowboys swept Kansas in the regular season and now get them without Udoka Azubuike who has a sprained knee. It is mind blowing that Kansas got swept by the conference 8 seed, and even more mind blowing that I’m going to pick Oklahoma State to beat them for a third time.

73-68 Oklahoma State.

#2 Texas Tech vs. #7 Texas

Thursday, March 8th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN2

Texas (19-13, 8-10) got a close, critical win against Iowa State last night to advance to this game against Texas Tech (23-8, 11-7). The Longhorns, according to ESPN, now have a 99% chance of making the tournament field. Obviously a win here would boost that to functionally 100%. Texas Tech is assuredly in the tournament field. The Red Raiders lost their first matchup against Texas and then won a close one in their second meeting. However, given the absence of Mo Bamba for Texas and how they struggled against Iowa State last night, Texas Tech will get the win.

68-63 Texas Tech.

#3 West Virginia vs. #6 Baylor

Thursday, March 8th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2

Baylor (18-13, 8-10) NEEDS this win. The Bears are firmly on the bubble. A win likely moves the Bears into the tournament field. A loss could very well leave them out. The Bears lost both of their regular season games, one in blow out fashion and one a three point loss. Hopefully third time is the charm for the Bears in handling West Virginia (22-9, 11-7) who is already comfortably in the tournament field. West Virginia poses matchup problems for Baylor, as they have a big that can match Baylor’s bigs in Sagaba Konate and they have physical guard play. However, I don’t think West Virginia is 3 wins better than Baylor. I trust after a long week leading up to this game, Scott Drew has something figured out.

69-65 Baylor.