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Big 12 Men’s Basketball Preview 2/11-2/15

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

#14 Kansas @ TCU

Monday, February 11th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN

This is an important one for the unfolding Big 12 conference race. #14 Kansas (18-6, 7-4) heads on the road to play TCU (17-6, 5-5). Kansas sits tied for second in the conference with Texas Tech and Iowa State. They are a game and a half behind Kansas State and a half a game ahead of Baylor. TCU, while still mathematically in the race for the title, is basically out of contention at this point. They’re fighting for an NCAA Tournament berth and seeding. Really everyone but Kansas should be rooting for TCU in this one. The Horned Frogs showed grit last week, getting a two point win over Oklahoma State before handling Iowa State in Ames. That momentum will carry them to this home game, which should favor the Horned Frogs for one key reason: Kansas is 1-6 in true road games this season. As good as the Jayhawks are at home, they’re very average on the road. TCU gets a big win tonight, even though they lost their first match up with Kansas.

84-78 TCU

Oklahoma @ Baylor

Monday, February 11th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2

Baylor (15-8, 6-4) took a bit of a beating last week. They lost in somewhat ugly fashion by Texas, before dropping a heart breaker to Kansas State. While moral victories don’t count for much at this point in the season, the fact that Baylor was right there with Kansas State throughout most of their game without Makai Mason or King McClure is a good reason for optimism. They now take on a worse team in Oklahoma (15-9, 3-8) just two days later. Baylor thumped the Sooners in Norman a few weeks back. However, that was with Mason and McClure. As far as I know, Mason and McClure are still day-to-day, so whether or not they play tonight is up in the air. Regardless, if the Bears can put up the same fight and energy they had against Kansas State, I think they can get this one done. The Sooners are riding a four game losing streak that started with their loss to Baylor. Since that game, they’ve also lost to West Virginia, Iowa State (by one point), and Texas Tech. The Bears really need this one to rebuild momentum. Baylor W incoming tonight, especially if Baylor fans have a strong showing.

75-70 Baylor

#18 Kansas State @ Texas

Tuesday, February 12th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#18 Kansas State (18-5, 8-2) just secured sole possession of first place this weekend with their win in Waco. They now need to protect that lead by traveling to Texas (14-10, 6-5). Texas was on the brink of their season going off the rails. However, they scored two big wins over Baylor and West Virginia last week. They have to maintain that momentum to keep NCAA Tournament hopes alive. Kansas State is a team with a strong defense and an offense that scores in a lot of unique ways. I think the Longhorns will have trouble shutting down the Wildcats like they did Baylor.

72-65 Kansas State

#15 Texas Tech @ Oklahoma State

Wednesday, February 13th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#15 Texas Tech (19-5, 7-4) is still in the thick of the Big 12 conference race. They won both of their games last week, beating West Virginia and Oklahoma. I’m sorry Oklahoma State (9-14, 2-8), but you all are just not very good this year. Oklahoma State’s two conference wins were close ones over Texas and West Virginia. Teams have been winning at Oklahoma State fairly easily this year. After losing to TCU and Kansas last week, I think the losing streak continues with a loss to Texas Tech.

85-74 Texas Tech