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Big 12 Men’s Basketball Preview 1/14-1/18

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor @ Oklahoma State

Monday, January 14th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU

After losing star player Tristan Clark, Baylor (9-6, 1-2) will again be looking to find its offensive footing when it travels to Oklahoma State (8-8, 2-2). Oklahoma State is on a two game conference win streak, beating Texas and West Virginia back to back. Baylor was looking good after it beat Iowa State, and put up somewhat of a fight against Kansas, but the loss of Clark is really devastating for this team. Without him, the Bears do not have a reliable post presence to generate points in the paint. That was extremely apparent in their last game. The Bears will have to start shooting the three far better than they have if they want to get some wins in conference play. I’m not sure the offense will have itself figured out in time for this road game given the very quick turnaround.

70-59 Oklahoma State

Texas @ #7 Kansas

Monday, January 14th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN

#7 Kansas (14-2, 3-1) is still sitting at second in the Big 12, but it has itself in a position to strike if Texas Tech falters. They host Texas (10-6, 2-2), who is on a two game slide, dropping to Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. The Jayhawks beat Baylor pretty bad over the weekend, having one of their best shooting performances of the season. If that level of shooting continues Kansas is going to be a very tough out, especially at home. Jayhawks get it done.

74-64 Kansas

West Virginia @ TCU

Tuesday, January 15th 6:00 PM CT, ESPNU

West Virginia (8-8, 0-4) is in the danger zone. They have yet to pick up a conference win, losing to Tech, Texas, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State. They travel to TCU (12-3, 1-2) who dropped a close, 2 point loss to Oklahoma over the weekend. Nevertheless, TCU is still a sneaky good team in the conference and will be even better when Jaylen Fisher is healthy again (a return date is still unclear). TCU gets the home win and West Virginia drops to a losing record overall.

66-58 TCU

Kansas State @ #20 Oklahoma

Wednesday, January 16th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#20 Oklahoma (13-3, 2-2) picked up an important, close win over the weekend against TCU. They now host Kansas State (12-4, 2-2) who is also got a huge win, barely sneaking out of Ames with a W. The return of Dean Wade to Kansas State’s lineup is a game changer, even if his minutes are still somewhat limited. His presence, especially with rebounding, helped lift the Wildcats over the Cyclones. Still, a road win in Norman will be difficult. A close one in favor of Oklahoma.

66-65 Oklahoma

Iowa State @ #8 Texas Tech

Wednesday, January 16th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU

Iowa State (12-4, 2-2) had a real rough week last week. They dropped a close game on the road to Baylor and then gave up a late five point lead to lose by one to Kansas State at home. The injury to Cameron Lard definitely hurt the Cyclones but their mental toughness seemed to be tested down the stretch in both games. #8 Texas Tech (15-1, 4-0) will certainly test that mental toughness with its extremely effective defense. The Cyclones will get back to winning sooner rather than later, but on the road in Lubbock likely isn’t where that starts.

61-54 Texas Tech