Oklahoma @ West Virginia
Saturday, February 2nd 11:00 AM CT, ESPN2
Talk about two teams coming off of bad losses. Oklahoma (15-6, 3-5) suffered a 30 point loss to Baylor on their home court. West Virginia (9-11, 1-6) lost by 25 at Iowa State and saw their head coach, Bob Huggins, get ejected. It seems like the Mountaineers players have given up on the season and Huggins might be right there too. Oklahoma still has a lot to fight for, but they got absolutely embarrassed earlier in the week. I think the Sooners bounce back but this could go either way depending on who puts in the effort.
Texas @ #20 Iowa State
Saturday, February 2nd 1:00 PM CT, ESPN2
Both Texas (12-9, 4-4) and Iowa State (16-5, 5-3) are coming off of big weekday wins to lead into this game in Ames. Texas beat Kansas, which is always a big win. Iowa State beat West Virginia by nearly 30 points. I think the home crowd environment of Hilton will give the Cyclones an edge over the Longhorns. Lindell Wigginton finally had a strong, breakout game and has moved himself into the second points per game scorer on the roster. If that continues, the Cyclones are a very dangerous team. Texas has the potential to win any game they play, but their season has marked by a few high points and a lot of low points. I suspect the high of Kansas will be followed by the low of a road loss.
84-76 Iowa State
#16 Texas Tech @ #11 Kansas
Saturday, February 2nd 3:00 PM CT, CBS
#11 Kansas (16-5, 5-3) hosts #16 Texas Tech (17-4, 5-3) in a battle of second place teams in the Big 12. Kansas took a major hit during the week, suffering a road loss at Texas. Texas Tech got back to its winning ways by beating up on TCU at home. ESPN gives Kansas a 64.9% chance of winning and for good reason: it is very, very hard to win in Lawrence. If someone else is going to win the Big 12 title, some teams need to beat Kansas on their home court. I think Texas Tech is one of the few teams that can do that. I’m going with a major upset bid, fueled by Tech’s defense.
65-62 Texas Tech
Kansas State @ Oklahoma State
Saturday, February 2nd 5:00 PM CT, ESPNU
Both Kansas State (15-5, 5-2) and Oklahoma State (9-11, 2-5) were off during the week, so this is each team’s first conference game since the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Oklahoma State picked up a close win against South Carolina in their game and Kansas State got ran off the court by a bad Texas A&M team. I don’t know what to make of that because Kansas State had been looking really good up to that point. Regardless, Oklahoma State has a really thin roster and no one that is really very scary. I think either Dean Wade or Barry Brown Jr. have a solid game for Kansas State and they get the road W.
74-65 Kansas State
TCU @ Baylor
Saturday, February 2nd 7:00 PM CT, ESPNU
Baylor (14-6, 5-2) and TCU (15-5, 3-4) match up for the second time this season. The first game, played in Fort Worth, barely went to the Frogs after the Bears made an impressive comeback attempt. A lot of things have changed since then. Baylor lost its best big man, Tristan Clark, and they have improved to first place in the conference. Much of that has to do with the exotic personnel looks Scott Drew has been using since the loss of Clark. During the Bears’ win streak they’ve typically seen one player really step up. Well, in the best way possible, that wasn’t the case in their blowout road win over Oklahoma during the week. All 11 Baylor Bears scored, with Makai Mason barely leading the pack with 12 points. Everyone was on fire and the Bears pulled together maybe the best team performance I’ve ever seen from a Baylor basketball team. On the other side of things, TCU played pretty poorly at Texas Tech, getting handled with relative ease. ESPN favors Baylor by 65.7%. There’s a lot of reasons I think picking Baylor would be the correct call. BUT WAIT JUST A MOMENT. If you’ve been reading my previews, you know my streak of incorrectly picking Baylor games was at 5 games. Well with that blowout Oklahoma win I’m now at 0-6 in the last 6 games. I refuse to mess with whatever Scott Drew sorcery is occurring right now, so I’m picking the Frogs. Here’s to 0-7.