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Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament First Round Preview

NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Oklahoma Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The first round of the Big 12 tournament kicks off today. Here is a copy of the full bracket for the tournament, which will be played at the Sprint Center in Kansas City:

#8 TCU vs. #9 Oklahoma State

Wednesday, March 13th 6:00 PM CT, ESPNU

8 seed TCU (19-12, 7-11) takes on 9 seed Oklahoma State (12-19, 5-13) in an absolute must win scenario for both teams. TCU needs to get at least this win to have a good feeling about making the tournament. As it stands at the writing of this article, Joe Lunardi has the Horned Frogs as one of the last four in. A loss to Oklahoma State, one of only two teams in the Big 12 that are essentially eliminated from the tournament, would be devastating to their postseason hopes. Oklahoma State has to win this game purely to extend their season. The Cowboys could make the NCAA tournament if they won the entire Big 12 tournament, so they’re playing with that goal in mind. TCU won their home matchup with Oklahoma State by 2 and lost their road matchup by 7. The Cowboys have been playing some quality basketball down the stretch. TCU was in a major slide before thoroughly beating Texas. On paper, TCU should probably win this matchup. But I think an upset is brewing, I’ve seen a lot more hustle out of Oklahoma State than TCU in recent weeks.

71-67 Oklahoma State

#7 Oklahoma vs. #10 West Virginia

Wednesday, March 13th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU

7 seed Oklahoma (19-12, 7-11) is in a better position than Oklahoma State thanks to a late season win over Kansas. However, they still aren’t a lock and a loss to bottom of the Big 12 West Virginia (12-19, 4-14) could throw them firmly on the bubble. If the Sooners can win this game, I think they’re in the NCAA tournament regardless of how the rest of the Big 12 tournament goes. 10 seed West Virginia has no hopes for a post season berth unless they can win the entire Big 12 tournament. While I think Oklahoma State has a very remote chance of pulling that off, I just can’t see this Mountaineers team achieving that. They’ll likely get bounced first round by Oklahoma, even though the teams split their regular season matchups.

75-68 Oklahoma