#23 Texas Tech @ Kansas State
Tuesday, January 14th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+
#23 Texas Tech (10-5, 1-2) is coming off a rough week where they lost at home to Baylor and on the road to West Virginia. Both of those are good teams, but the Red Raiders needed to at least split those matchups to remain in the heat of the Big 12 race early. They did not. They’ll still have plenty of opportunities, and that starts with a bounce-back opportunity against Kansas State (7-8, 0-3). KState sits at the bottom of the conference, but a couple of close losses to Oklahoma and TCU could have completely changed their trajectory if they had gone the other way. Still, this is a game that could go much like Tech’s game against Oklahoma State where they blew the Cowboys out by over 35 points. Tech has seemed to dismantle lesser competition but struggle with equal or better opponents so far this season. So I see that holding true in this game, even on the road.
69-58 Texas Tech
TCU @ #12 West Virginia
Tuesday, January 14th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU
#12 West Virginia (13-2, 2-1) did what they needed to do this past week, dominating both Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. They now face TCU (12-3, 3-0) who is currently tied with Baylor for first place in the conference. However, that won’t last long. The Horned Frogs benefited from easy games early, two of which required last second shots to win or go to overtime. They now face a staunch road test in Morgantown. West Virginia ought to handle this relatively easily, just like they took care of Texas Tech over the weekend.
66-52 West Virginia
#6 Kansas @ Oklahoma
Tuesday, January 14th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN
#6 Kansas (12-3, 2-1) is certainly a bit shell shocked after getting more or less blown out by Baylor on their home court. Now they have to rally, with injury questions surrounding star player Devon Dotson, and travel to Oklahoma (11-4, 2-1). Oklahoma is also looking to bounce-back after a surprising beatdown they received in Ames. Picking this game is tricky without knowing the status of Dotson. Still, Oklahoma getting their doors blown off by one of the weaker teams in the conference doesn’t inspire an abundance of confidence. I’ll take the Jayhawks to get back on course on the road.
Iowa State @ #2 Baylor
Wednesday, January 15th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+
#2 Baylor (13-1, 3-0) is absolutely on fire right now, winning 12 straight games and picking up two ranked, road wins last week. They now return home to take on Iowa State (8-7, 1-2), who is fresh off of a much needed victory over the Sooners. Iowa State’s problem this season can really be summed up like this: they play a style of basketball like they’re a really great shooting team, but they only shoot the ball well on random nights. Other nights, they go cold and they don’t play strong enough defense to make up for it. With Iowa State shooting the ball well against Oklahoma (and, notably, playing better defense than they typically do), one might expect them to drop back down to poorer shooting, especially on the road against a very strong defensive team. Even if the Cyclones start shooting the ball well, Baylor’s loaded stable of guards like Jared Butler and Macio Teague should be able to win in a shootout against Iowa State’s weak defense (see the Villanova game). As long as Baylor can keep itself from getting overconfident, they should be able to win this game. Also, a (hopefully) strong fan showing with students back on campus and Baylor’s massive success this season will definitely help, so if you have the opportunity make it the Ferrell Center for this one!
Texas @ Oklahoma State
Wednesday, January 15th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+
So Oklahoma State (9-6, 0-3) is a strong candidate for the worst team in the Big 12 right now. Their offensive performance in conference play has been abysmal, with the Cowboys scoring 50, 41, and 40 in their three games so far. They now host Texas (11-4, 1-2) who finally picked up a conference win against Kansas State over the weekend. While Texas is certainly not a world beater this year, they have scored at least 60 points in two of their conference games (granted, they only scored 44 against Baylor). The Cowboys just simply won’t be able to keep up offensively to stay in this game, especially if Matt Coleman heats up for the Longhorns.