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Big 12 Men’s Basketball Preview 3/2-3/3

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Baylor Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

#15 Kansas @ Oklahoma State

Saturday, March 2nd 11:00 AM CT, CBS

Every game is big coming down the stretch for Kansas (21-7, 10-5). If they lose one more, they almost certainly will not get a share of the Big 12 title (barring complete last week meltdowns). Oklahoma State (10-18, 3-12) isn’t a team the Jayhawks can take lightly. For one, the Cowboys just took Texas Tech to overtime on the Red Raider’s home court. Second, Oklahoma State has had Kansas’s number over the past few years. Third, Kansas has been very mediocre on the road. I think Kansas has enough firepower to get past Oklahoma State. But hey, this is the same Jayhawk squad that lost on the road to West Virginia, the other team tied for last in the Big 12 with Oklahoma State.

72-61 Kansas

Iowa State @ Texas

Saturday, March 2nd 1:00 PM CT, ESPN2

Iowa State (20-8, 9-6) got a much needed home win against Oklahoma on Monday. The Cyclones finally showed the offense again that had many so optimistic for the team. They now travel to Texas (15-13, 7-8) who took an absolutely demoralizing loss, letting Baylor comeback 19 points and win in OT. If Iowa State plays offense like they did on Monday, they should win. Granted, if Texas plays offense like they did against Baylor they should also win 99% of their games. However, I think the edge is for Iowa State here with two extra days of rest and not the fatigue of a catastrophic overtime game.

77-70 Iowa State

West Virginia @ Oklahoma

Saturday, March 2nd 1:00 PM CT, ESPNU

Oklahoma (17-11, 5-10) is firmly on the bubble after their loss to Iowa State. The plus side for the Sooners is they had a decent non-conference and are inching close to the wins needed to make the tournament. The downside is they are 5 games under .500 in conference. That’s not ideal. They host West Virginia (11-17, 3-12) who is bottom of the Big 12. While West Virginia is at the bottom of the standings, they still have plenty of fight. Baylor almost learned a hard lesson from that a week ago. Plus, the Mountaineers beat the Sooners in Morgantown. Still, I think Oklahoma barely edges this one out.

65-64 Oklahoma

#11 Texas Tech @ TCU

Saturday, March 2nd 3:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#11 Texas Tech (23-5, 11-4) sits tied for first in the conference, after almost suffering a disastrous loss to Oklahoma State. The Cowboys brought Tech to overtime in Lubbock, but the Red Raiders were able to pull away in the extra period. They travel to face TCU (18-10, 6-9) who could really use one more big resume win to feel good about their tournament chances, especially after losing to West Virginia, where they let the Mountaineers score 104 points on them in triple overtime. This feels very much like a trap game for Texas Tech with the quick turnaround after an OT game (you’ll notice a trend here). I’ll call the upset (that would really help Baylor, if the Bears can win out).

81-78 TCU

Baylor @ #16 Kansas State

Saturday, March 2nd 7:00 PM CT, ESPN2

This is probably the biggest game of the weekend for the Big 12 title race. #16 Kansas State (21-7, 11-4) sits tied for first in the conference after getting thoroughly beat in Lawrence. Baylor (19-9, 10-5) is tied for third in the conference after a HUGE comeback victory over Texas. They sit only one game back from the lead. If the Bears can win this, they will at the very least move up to second, potentially first with a Texas Tech loss. If Kansas State wins, they’re that much closer to winning the conference title and the Bears are essentially knocked out of the race. This is a tough road game for the Bears: Manhattan is a hostile environment, the Wildcats are good, and there’s a lot on the line. Plus, Baylor has a short turn around after an OT game, whereas the Wildcats have two extra days of rest (the scheduling feels really poorly done by the conference this week). I have to go with the Wildcats, but this Baylor team has a ton of fight and is starting to get somewhat healthy again at the right time. I would not be surprised if Scott Drew and company find a way to win.

74-70 Kansas State