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Big 12 MBB Preview 1/18

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Bears travel to Stillwater and a slate of other games!

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Baylor Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

#2 Baylor @ Oklahoma State

Saturday, January 18th 11:00 AM CT, ESPN2

#2 Baylor (14-1, 4-0) continues its push toward a Big 12 championship with a road game in Stillwater. Oklahoma State (9-7, 0-4) is on the polar opposite of the conference from Baylor, sitting as potentially the worst team in the conference. Baylor showed its ability to manhandle lesser competition in its dominant win over Iowa State, even with the Bears starting slow. The Cowboys are a much weaker squad, especially offensively. They have only reached 60 points in one of their four conference games, only scoring 40 and 41 points in two of their other games. Combine those low outputs with Baylor’s stout defense and the Bears should be able to route the Cowboys, even if Baylor doesn’t have a strong offensive output on the road.

66-42 Baylor

TCU @ Oklahoma

Saturday, January 18th 1:00 PM CT, ESPN+

TCU (12-4, 3-1) looked like they might be a dark-horse contender for the Big 12 title with a 3-0 start. However, that early impression seems to have been aided by an easy start to the schedule, as TCU lost 81-49 to West Virginia in their most recent game. Oklahoma (11-5, 2-2) started conference play with two nice wins before getting blown out by Iowa State and losing to Kansas in a game that they were able to hang around in for a bit. Both of these teams are on the relatively same skill level, so I like Oklahoma to get the win at home and halt their two game slide.

62-57 Oklahoma

#6 Kansas @ Texas

Saturday, January 18th 1:00 PM CT, ESPN

#6 Kansas (13-3, 3-1) recovered from their home loss to Baylor with a road win in Norman. They now travel to Texas (12-4, 2-2) who has picked up much needed, back-to-back wins over Kansas State and Oklahoma State. The only problem is that both of those teams are near the bottom of the conference. Texas has faired terribly against teams in the upper half of the Big 12. Even with Devon Dotson’s status listed as questionable for this game, I like the Jayhawks. Marcus Garrett filled in well enough for Dotson in their last game against Oklahoma.

68-54 Kansas

#12 West Virginia @ Kansas State

Saturday, January 18th 1:00 PM CT, ESPNU

#12 West Virginia (14-2, 3-1) is in the midst of a three game winning streak after an opening loss to Kansas. The Mountaineers’ most recent win was a massive, 32 point win over the Horned Frogs. They now face Kansas State (7-9, 0-4) who has hit some rough luck this season, ending up tied for the bottom of the conference. West Virginia should have zero problems shutting down the Kansas State offense with their strong defense. And Oscar Tshiebwe could have one of his best games of the season against the Wildcats.

81-58 West Virginia

Iowa State @ #23 Texas Tech

Saturday, January 18th 3:00 PM CT, ESPNU

Iowa State (8-8, 1-3) showed some fight in Waco against Baylor, until completely collapsing near the end of the first half and into the second half. They now have to once again travel to the state of Texas, this time to take on #23 Texas Tech (11-5, 2-2). The Red Raiders picked up a much needed win over Kansas State in their last game. They have beaten lesser competition but lost to both Baylor and West Virginia, putting Tech in position as likely the 4th best team in the conference. Still, with their strong defense that should be plenty for taking down the Cyclones. Thus far, Iowa State has struggled when teams lock down Tyrese Haliburton and prevent him from driving and dishing at the rim. Tech is smart enough to do just that.

72-55 Texas Tech