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Big 12 Men’s Basketball Preview 1/2-1/4

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Conference play tips off!

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Basketball Media Day Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12 conference play tips off tonight for everyone!... except for Baylor and TCU, who start conference play on Saturday.

#11 Texas Tech @ West Virginia

Wednesday, January 2nd 6:00 PM CT, ESPNU

#11 Texas Tech (11-1) travels to Morgantown to take on West Virginia (8-4). Texas Tech is one of a handful of teams that are favored to be the #2 team in the Big 12. Their sole loss was to Duke in a game they played well in until the final 5 or so minutes. West Virginia has struggled some in the non-conference, losing to the likes of Buffalo, Western Kentucky, Florida, and Rhode Island. If Texas Tech is going to make a run for the Big 12 title, they have to pick up road wins like this one. Tech is favored by 4.5 points.

77-70 Texas Tech

#23 Oklahoma @ #5 Kansas

Wednesday, January 2nd 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2

The marquee matchup of tonight comes between #23 Oklahoma (11-1) and #5 Kansas (11-1). Kansas is the near unanimous pick to win the Big 12. Their sole loss was against Arizona State. Oklahoma’s one loss came to Wisconsin. Oklahoma is one team that could attempt an upset bid against the Jayhawks. For Kansas to win yet another Big 12 title, they’ll need to defend their home-court well. That starts with this game. Kansas is favored by 8.5. I think it will be a little closer than that but the Jayhawks still get the win.

82-80 Kansas

Texas @ Kansas State

Wednesday, January 2nd 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU

Texas (8-4) and Kansas State (10-2) tipoff Big 12 play tonight in Manhattan. Kansas State dropped two games back-to-back to Marquette and Tulsa. In their last game, they barely beat George Mason by one point. Texas, after a huge win over North Carolina, dropped three in a row to Michigan State, Radford, and VCU. They also lost a home game to Providence. The Longhorns can be really good when playing their best and really average or bad when not. They have a lot to figure out as conference play begins. They may very well become a dangerous team as the season progresses, but a home-court advantage for Kansas State should be enough to get a Wildcats victory tonight. The Wildcats are favored by 2.

66-62 Kansas State

Iowa State @ Oklahoma State

Wednesday, January 2nd 8:00 PM CT, ESPNN

Iowa State (10-2) is one of the more interesting Big 12 teams to watch this season. They lost their top player, Lindell Wigginton, to injury in the first game of the season. They have still maintained a great offense, scoring wins over Missouri and Illinois. Their two losses were to Arizona and Iowa. Wigginton returned in Iowa State’s last game before conference play and looked just as good as before. With a full strength team, Iowa State has become a trendy pick for #2 in the Big 12. Oklahoma State (6-6), meanwhile, certainly seems to be the bottom of the Big 12. Their losses include Charolette, Villanova, Minnesota, Tulsa, Houston, and Nebraska. Their top wins are against LSU and Memphis. While Oklahoma State is the clear bottom of the league, they still rank 89th in KenPom. The Big 12 will certainly be strong from top to bottom. Iowa State is favored by 4. They should cover.

80-71 Iowa State