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Big 12 Men’s Basketball Preview 2/23-2/24

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Texas @ Oklahoma

Saturday, February 23rd 11:00 AM CT, ESPNU

Oklahoma (16-10, 4-9) and Texas (15-11, 7-6) play for the second time this season in a game that could carry massive tournament implications. Texas won the first matchup on their home court. If they want to win on the road as well, Kerwin Roach will need to have a big game against the Sooners, who had been struggling mightily until they got a road win over TCU. Texas has been pretty up and down this season, but they’ve been playing better in recent weeks. I think on a neutral court Texas wins this one, but the home crowd in a rivalry game might be enough for the Sooners to squeak it out.

72-70 Oklahoma

#19 Iowa State @ TCU

Saturday, February 23rd 1:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#19 Iowa State (19-7, 8-5) suffered another hard, home loss to Baylor during the week. Some fans are beginning to question if Hilton Magic is gone this season (for good reason, most of their best wins have been on the road save Kansas). Luckily (?) for the Cyclones, they are on the road this weekend against a downward trending TCU (17-9, 5-8). Unluckily for the Cyclones, it sounds like TCU will get Kouat Noi back from injury for this game. He does a lot to open up the TCU offense. Still, I think Iowa State has too much talent to drop this game after a loss earlier in the week.

76-71 Iowa State

West Virginia @ Baylor

Saturday, February 23rd 1:00 PM CT, ESPNU

Baylor (17-9, 8-5) did the thing. They got a massive road win over top 25 Iowa State. That win will do wonders for their tournament resume. Winning this game against West Virginia (10-16, 2-11) won’t help their tournament resume monumentally, but losing it could be a major blow. For that reason, and the extreme talent differential, Baylor really needs to win this game. West Virginia is on a four game losing skid in conference, with their closest loss being by 14 points. Baylor should handle this one, especially if Makai Mason is able to play again and/or King McClure returns from injury.

73-58 Baylor

Oklahoma State @ #23 Kansas State

Saturday, February 23rd 3:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#23 Kansas State (20-6, 10-3) has to keep defending its first place Big 12 spot if they want to be the ones to potentially unseat Kansas. That comes with what should be a relatively easy home game against Oklahoma State (10-16, 3-10). Granted, the Cowboys just picked up a nice win against TCU. But Kansas State is on a totally different level. Even if Dean Wade is still out, the Wildcats should be able to get this one done.

74-63 Kansas State

#12 Kansas @ #14 Texas Tech

Saturday, February 23rd 7:00 PM CT, ESPN

This is huge for the Big 12 race. #12 Kansas (20-6, 9-4) and #14 Texas Tech (21-5, 9-4) are both tied for second in the league, one game behind Kansas State. A win by Texas Tech deals a major blow to Kansas’s hopes of repeating. A win by Kansas and I’d be just about betting the house that the Jayhawks will win the Big 12 again. Kansas has been really bad on the road, only getting two road conference wins so far (one of which went to overtime). I think Tech can get the huge win in Lubbock behind Jarrett Culver.

68-64 Texas Tech