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Big 12 Men’s Basketball Preview 2/16-2/17

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Baylor Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma @ TCU

Saturday, February 16th 11:00 AM CT, ESPN2

TCU (17-7, 5-6)... you were so close, so so close to beating Kansas. The Horned Frogs took the Jayhawks to overtime but ultimately couldn’t get it done, even with three Jayhawks fouled out. Oklahoma (15-10, 3-9) continued its slide by losing a close one in Waco. While both teams had close losses, TCU showed a lot more fight than Oklahoma. Oklahoma couldn’t figure out how to score enough to beat Baylor, even though Makai Mason was very off. Horned Frogs get a home win this weekend.

71-64 TCU

Oklahoma State @ Texas

Saturday, February 16th 12:00 PM CT, CBS

Oklahoma State (9-15, 2-9) is on a seven game losing streak. They just got beat by 28 by Texas Tech. Texas (14-11, 6-6) lost a close one to Kansas State during the week. Even though Texas has been very up and down this season, I’ll keep this one short and sweet: Oklahoma State isn’t winning this one on the road. In fact, I’d be willing to bet the only other game Oklahoma State might win on its schedule will be their last conference game, at home against West Virginia. Texas picks up a win.

77-67 Texas

Baylor @ #15 Texas Tech

Saturday, February 16th 1:00 PM CT, ESPN

Baylor (16-8, 7-4) triumphed in what felt like a must win game against Oklahoma on Monday. The Bears probably need to win three or four more down the stretch to feel like they’re solidly in the NCAA Tournament. There’s a lot of tough road games left on the schedule for the Bears starting with this one. If they can find a way to beat #15 Texas Tech (20-5, 8-4) for the second time this year that would go a long way toward locking up a bid. Texas Tech annihilated Oklahoma State on the road earlier this Wednesday. But here’s a key scheduling advantage for Baylor: Baylor’s game against Oklahoma was on Monday, Tech’s game against Oklahoma State was on Wednesday. Granted, Tech didn’t have to work too hard to get the win. But still, two extra days of rest and preparation is a big deal for Baylor who has an injured King McClure and a Makai Mason that didn’t look like himself coming off an injury. With that extra time to recover and game plan for the Red Raiders, I’m going to go with the big upset.

77-73 Baylor

#23 Iowa State @ #18 Kansas State

Saturday, February 16th 3:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#23 Iowa State (18-6, 7-4) had a bye this week after their home loss to TCU last Saturday. They now travel to red hot #18 Kansas State (19-5, 9-2). The Wildcats took care of business this week, beating the Longhorns. Kansas State holds sole possession of first place in the league, but both teams are still in the thick of the conference race. Iowa State will need to recover from their loss to TCU and Kansas State, even though it beat Texas, will need to play better than they did on Tuesday to beat the Cyclones. Kansas State wins a close one.

78-76 Kansas State

West Virginia @ #14 Kansas

Saturday, February 16th 3:00 PM CT, ESPN

#14 Kansas (19-6, 8-4) barely escaped Fort Worth with a win. They now host West Virginia (10-14, 2-9) who beat the Jayhawks earlier int he season. However, the Mountaineers already bad season got worse with the news that Esa Ahmad and Wes Harris were dismissed from the team for violations of athletic department policies. The Mountaineers got blown out in their last road game at Texas Tech. I don’t expect them to do much better in Lawrence. Kansas keeps the Big 12 race tight.

85-67 Kansas