Baylor @ West Virginia
Monday, January 21st 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU
Baylor (11-6, 3-2) has, oddly enough, been playing some of its best offensive basketball after the season ending injury to its best post player, Tristan Clark. They got a critical road win over Oklahoma State before upsetting top 10 Texas Tech. They now travel to West Virginia (9-9, 1-5) who sits at the bottom of the Big 12. Usually, that would be reassuring to play the last place team in the league. However, that last place team just beat top 10 Kansas in Morgantown. The Mountaineers have been a few points here and there from sitting at a much better conference record. I think the Bears have a good chance of beating the Mountaineers, but West Virginia is a sneaky good team. Also, with the Texas Tech win, I am now 0-4 in picking the last 4 Baylor games. So I’m not going to mess with whatever superstitious streak I have going. Also, speaking of superstition, the last 4 winners of games involving Baylor have had exactly 73 points.
73-67 West Virginia
#24 Iowa State @ #9 Kansas
Monday, January 21st 8:00 PM CT, ESPN
#24 Iowa State (14-4, 4-2) heads to Lawrence for a huge conference match-up of tied for first place teams. #9 Kansas (15-3, 4-2) dropped a road game to previously winless-in-conference West Virginia. Iowa State rebounded after a bad week by beating top 10 Texas Tech on the road and finishing the sweep of Oklahoma State at home. Iowa State throttled Kansas in Ames the last time they played. But winning in Phog Allen is a whole other challenge. Still, the return of Cameron Lard is a big boost for the Cyclones. I think they get it done in a close one.
75-74 Iowa State
#14 Texas Tech @ Kansas State
Tuesday, January 22nd 6:00 PM CT, ESPN2
Kansas State (14-4, 4-2) has got itself moved up to tied for first in the Big 12. They take on Texas Tech (15-3, 4-2) who is also a part of the 4 way tie at the top of the conference. Both of these teams had entirely different weeks to get to this point though. Texas Tech dropped a home game to Iowa State then got beat pretty badly by Baylor. Kansas State has been on a tear through conference since getting Dean Wade back, winning at Oklahoma and against TCU. Unless Texas Tech gets itself turned around in a hurry, I think Kansas State at home gets the big win.
67-62 Kansas State
Texas @ TCU
Wednesday, January 23rd 6:00 PM CT, ESPNU
TCU (13-4, 2-3) has been sliding in conference play. They’ve lost 3 of their last 4, only picking up a win against last place West Virginia during that stretch. Texas (11-7, 3-3) has also lost 3 of their last 4, but they got a big win at home over Oklahoma over the weekend to stop their slide. Both teams need this win in a bad way. ESPN favors TCU by quite a bit in this game. I don’t buy it though, TCU hasn’t gotten itself fully figured out after the loss of Jaylen Fisher.
Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State
Wednesday, January 23rd 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU
Oklahoma State (8-10, 2-4) and Oklahoma (13-5, 2-4) take each other on for the second time this season. Oklahoma won the first one by 10 at home. However, since then, Oklahoma State dismissed 3 of its players. The Cowboys are now down to 9 players on their roster. They can’t even run 5 on 5 drills in practice. It isn’t a good situation. While both teams are sliding in conference play, I would be shocked if the Sooners don’t complete their sweep of the Cowboys.