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Big 12 Men’s Basketball Preview 3/4-3/8

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

#18 Kansas State @ TCU

Monday, March 4th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#18 Kansas State (22-7, 12-4) travels to TCU (18-11, 6-10) in a game both teams really need to win for different reasons. TCU is moving itself closer and closer to the bubble. They’ve lost to the bottom two teams in the league, Oklahoma State and West Virginia, in recent weeks and got beat by Texas Tech this weekend. With only two games to go in conference, they probably need another win to feel good about their chances. Kansas State is a tough out, but the way Texas is shooting the ball currently, their next game at Texas might be even more difficult. Kansas State, on the other hand, is firmly in the tournament. What they’re playing for is a Big 12 championship and ending rival Kansas’s 14 year conference championship streak. While this could be a big trap game for KState, I like them to pick up the victory.

74-60 Kansas State

Texas @ #8 Texas Tech

Monday, March 4th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN

Texas (16-13, 8-8) travels to Lubbock to take on #8 Texas Tech (24-5, 12-4). Texas got a win it desperately needed over Iowa State this weekend. The Longhorns have been shooting lights out from 3 point range their past few games. However, while their defense failed against Baylor, it stepped up enough in their last game to get a win over Iowa State. Texas still shouldn’t consider its tournament hopes safe though. A win over Texas Tech would be a huge step in that direction. Texas Tech, on the other hand, is tied for first in the Big 12 and really needs to win its last couple games to ensure they win the title and end Kansas’s streak. Tech has looked really good defensively in their last few and I expect the same against Texas.

75-67 Texas Tech

#13 Kansas @ Oklahoma

Tuesday, March 5th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#13 Kansas (22-7, 11-5) is in do or die mode. They do not control their own destiny. They have to win out and hope both Kansas State and Texas Tech lose a game to get a share of the Big 12 title and extend their streak. They travel to Oklahoma (18-11, 6-10), who has had a rough time in conference. They did pick up a critical win over West Virginia over the weekend. An Oklahoma win here would essentially lock up their tournament bid and just about knock Kansas out of the Big 12 running. A Kansas win keeps Oklahoma on the bubble and keeps their Big 12 hopes alive. Kansas hasn’t been great on the road this year, but I think they’re a lot more talented than Oklahoma.

75-71 Kansas

Iowa State @ West Virginia

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

Iowa State (20-9, 9-7) continued its tumble as they took a blowout loss at Texas. No one seems certain what has caused a minor collapse of the Cyclones, but Cameron Lard’s second suspension of the season and an injury to Nick Weiler-Babb certainly doesn’t help. They now travel to West Virginia (11-18, 3-13) in a game that doesn’t really matter for either team outside of seeding and morale. Iowa State has a tournament bid essentially locked up and West Virginia would have to win the conference tournament to have a chance. A loss here would likely set Iowa State back a seed and further their frustrations. However, if there was ever a team to get a rebound win against, it’s the Mountaineers. Cyclones get the win.

78-64 Iowa State

Oklahoma State @ Baylor

Wednesday, March 6th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2

Baylor (19-10, 10-6) takes on Oklahoma State (10-19, 3-13) who is tied for bottom of the conference. At this point, Baylor should feel pretty good about its tournament bid. A win here would absolutely ensure it. A loss probably wouldn’t knock Baylor out but it could hurt seeding. After a tough road loss to Kansas State, the Bears are looking to bounce back on senior night at the Ferrell Center. This will be the last home game for Makai Mason and King McClure who will certainly want it to be a win. Plus, if some really wild stuff happens in the last week, Baylor still has a very small chance to split the Big 12 title. They have to win both games and Tech and KState have to lose both of their remaining games for that to happen. Very unlikely, but hey, a conference sweep of Oklahoma State isn’t a bad consolation. Bears get it done at home.

78-67 Baylor