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Big 12 Men’s Basketball Preview 1/19-1/20

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NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Baylor Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

#7 Kansas @ West Virginia

Saturday, January 19th 1:00 PM CT, ESPN

West Virginia (8-9, 0-5)... what are you all doing? The Mountaineers are 0-5 to start conference play and just lost by over 30 points at TCU. They are really not good this year and it seems like the team has quit. They host #7 Kansas (15-2, 4-1) who is tied for 1st in the Big 12. Kansas nabbed a close, 2 point win over Texas in their last game. I expect Kansas to roll.

88-57 Kansas

TCU @ Kansas State

Saturday, January 19th 3:00 PM CT, ESPN2

TCU (13-3, 2-2) travels to Kansas State (13-4, 3-2) for a purple-on-purple matchup. TCU just got news that star guard Jaylen Fisher is out for the season AND will not return to TCU. That’s certainly a big blow, but the Horned Frogs have still been able to play good enough to beat Baylor and West Virginia in conference play. We’ll see if they are able to compete with Kansas State who, since the return of Dean Wade, has looked like the top 25 team everyone thought they’d be in the preseason. Kansas State has won three in a row, including two top 20 road wins over Iowa State and Oklahoma. I expect them to hold serve at home against the Horned Frogs.

76-71 Kansas State

#8 Texas Tech @ Baylor

Saturday, January 19th 5:00 PM CT, ESPN2

Alright, confession time. I have gone 0-3 in my last three picks involving the Bears. Just when I think they’re down, they pull off a surprise win. And when I think they’ve got it put together, they get clobbered by Kansas and lose their best big man, Tristan Clark. Then, when I think they are back down, they pull off a road win at Oklahoma State. So, I’m going to hope the wrong-pick trend continues this week as Baylor (10-6, 2-2) hosts #8 Texas Tech (15-2, 4-1). Tech just dropped a home loss to Iowa State on Wednesday. The Bears picked up a big win in Stillwater on Monday, charged by a career performance by King McClure. Both teams are trending in opposite directions, but I still think Texas Tech is just the superior team on paper. Let’s hope I get to an 0-4 streak on predicting Baylor games.

65-60 Texas Tech

Oklahoma State @ Iowa State

Saturday, January 19th 5:00 PM CT, ESPNU

Iowa State (13-4, 3-2) is a paradox of a team. They have gone 2-2 in their last 4 games, beating top 10 Kansas and Texas Tech. Their losses came to Baylor and Kansas State. They seem to do their best against top teams and their worst against lesser competition. The Cyclones host Oklahoma State (8-9, 2-3) who is fresh off a loss to Baylor. However, these two teams already played in their first conference game and Iowa State won in Stillwater by 6. The Cyclones will be able to complete the sweep in Ames.

72-60 Iowa State

#20 Oklahoma @ Texas

Saturday, January 19th 7:00 PM CT, LHN

#20 Oklahoma (13-4, 2-3) faces off against rival Texas (10-7, 2-3) in a battle that could prove who is destined for the upper half of the conference and who will be in the lower half. Texas lost a very close game at Kansas during the week while Oklahoma laid an egg at home to Kansas State. ESPN gives Texas the edge and I think home-court advantage will be enough to push them over the edge.

71-69 Texas