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Big 12 MBB Preview 1/27-1/29

Big 12 conference play gets back underway!

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Florida Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

#3 Kansas @ Oklahoma State

Monday, January 27th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN

#3 Kansas (16-3, 5-1) was able to weather distractions and defeat Tennessee in their Big 12/SEC match-up. They now travel to Oklahoma State (10-9, 0-6) who has historically been a major thorn in their side. The Cowboys picked up a desperately needed win against Texas A&M over the weekend. However, that obviously doesn’t count as a conference game and the Cowboys are still looking for a win in Big 12 play. I don’t see that coming here as the Jayhawks just vastly out-talent OSU.

72-57 Kansas

#12 West Virginia @ Texas Tech

Wednesday, January 29th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#12 West Virignia (16-3, 4-2) took care of business against Missouri this weekend, as was to be expected. They now travel to Texas Tech (12-7, 3-3) who came up just short in an emotional, overtime loss to Kentucky. Will the Red Raiders be able to put that game in the past and battle it out against a very good Mountaineer squad? Tech lost their last game against WVU on the road by 12. I haven’t seen enough out of Tech that makes me think they’ll be able to completely change that outcome, although it will likely be closer. I like WVU to nab a critical conference road win.

68-63 West Virginia

Texas @ TCU

Wednesday, January 29th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+

Texas (12-7, 2-4) feels like they are teetering on the verge of a season breakdown. They are riding a three-game losing streak and lost by two points to LSU over the weekend. TCU (13-6, 4-2) suffered an 11 point loss to Arkansas over the weekend. If Texas wants to set its season on the road to recovery, they probably need to beat TCU and Iowa State back-to-back as their next three games are against Kansas, Tech, and Baylor. Texas has been so up and down this season its hard to pick this game (TCU has had similar up and down issues, but they’re less drastic). I like TCU to defend their home court.

65-62 TCU

Oklahoma @ Kansas State

Wednesday, January 29th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+

Kansas State (8-11, 1-5) suffered a close, three point loss at Alabama over the weekend. They now host Oklahoma (13-6, 3-3) who nabbed a one point win over Mississippi State. Kansas State is in a position where their season is looking pretty much over, sitting three games below .500. Oklahoma is looking more and more likely to be a tournament team come March. In order to help secure that position, they need to avoid weaker losses like a KState loss would be. Oklahoma has a lot more going for it right now too, with Brady Manek and Kristian Doolittle both averaging over 15 points a game. Oklahoma gets a road W.

67-61 Oklahoma

#1 Baylor @ Iowa State

Wednesday, January 29th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU

#1 Baylor (17-1, 6-0) took on a hostile road challenge against Florida and passed it with flying colors, proving why they are the #1 team for a second week. They are now in a strong position to keep that #1 spot locked up for a bit as the Bears won’t play another ranked team for two and a half weeks. However, there are certainly challenges amongst the upcoming games. One of them is going into Ames with the target of #1 on their back and winning. Iowa State (9-10, 2-4) came out strong in their first half against Baylor in their last matchup in Waco, before fading in the second half. The Cyclones did the opposite this weekend against Auburn, letting up a big lead before almost coming back late in the game. If the Cyclones put together a full game it will be a tough task. Luckily, as we saw a few weeks ago, Baylor’s defense can give Iowa State plenty of fits. Part of that is talent, part of that is Baylor just out-hustles most of its opponents. An added plus: Tristan Clark sat out for the Florida game, likely to get a rest against a non-conference foe. He is expected to be back for this game. If Baylor focuses on shutting down Tyrese Haliburton like they did in the last meeting, the Bears should add another road win to their incredible resume.

70-59 Baylor