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Big 12 MBB Preview 2/15

Baylor hosts the Mountaineers along with other action around the league!

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma @ #3 Kansas

Saturday, February 15th 11:00 AM CT, ESPN

#3 Kansas (21-3, 10-1) survived a big challenge during the week when they won in Morgantown to complete a sweep of the Mountaineers. They now return to Lawrence where they face Oklahoma (16-8, 6-5). OU is probably a tournament team but a win here would certainly help that cause. Still, Kansas has proven they are in the Big 12 race for the long haul: the Big 12 Champion will either by KU or Baylor. Again, we want Kansas to lose this game. Again, they likely won’t.

65-53 Kansas

#24 Texas Tech @ Oklahoma State

Saturday, February 15th 12:00 PM CT, CBS

#24 Texas Tech (16-8, 7-4) is on a three game winning streak and absolutely annihilated TCU during the week, 88-42. They look like they’ve really hit tournament form. They now face Oklahoma State (12-12, 2-9) who has actually looked pretty decent over the past couple of games. They kept it close with Baylor and beat Kansas State in Manhattan. While that win was a good morale boost, the Red Raiders have been playing plenty well enough to defeat the Cowboys, especially if they’re knocking down threes anywhere close to how they were against TCU.

70-56 Texas Tech

Texas @ Iowa State

Saturday, February 15th 1:00 PM CT, ESPN2

So Iowa State (10-14, 3-8) showed some fight against Oklahoma, even with the loss of star Tyrese Haliburton for the season. Still, that wasn’t enough and the Sooners ultimately pulled away. With how inconsistent Iowa State’s supporting cast has been this season, it’s difficult to see how they might string together many, if any, Big 12 wins for the remainder of the season. Texas (14-10, 4-7) kept it close with Baylor, but thanks in no part to their offense. However, Iowa State clearly does not have Baylor-level defense. The Longhorns were already able to beat Iowa State earlier in the season, even while they still had Haliburton. They do it again to sweep the Cyclones.

63-59 Texas

#14 West Virginia @ #1 Baylor

Saturday, February 15th 3:00 PM CT, ESPN+

This is an immensely important game for #1 Baylor (22-1, 11-0). While they are one game up on Kansas in the conference race, KU has one advantage in that they have already played and defeated WVU twice. For Baylor to have a real chance at winning the Big 12 regular season title, they must defeat the Mountaineers, especially at home. #14 West Virginia (18-6, 6-5) is fresh off a loss to Kansas that will almost certainly drop them out of the Big 12 race. Still, the Mountaineers are a dangerous squad with serious tournament ambitions. They’ll be hungry for a win against the top team in the country. Baylor has struggled some this year when their physicality is met. Mark Vital will need to have a strong game, Tristan Clark needs to stay out of foul trouble so all the burden isn’t on Freddie Gillespie, and, most importantly, the Baylor offense needs to rediscover the grove it has lost over the past couple games. That’s all possible in front of what should be a strong home crowd.

65-62 Baylor

Kansas State @ TCU

Saturday, February 15th 4:00 PM CT, ESPN+

Kansas State (9-15, 2-9) just suffered a demoralizing loss to Oklahoma State at home. They now have to hit the road and take on TCU (13-11, 4-7). TCU’s tournament hopes are fading fast. With Kansas State already functionally eliminated, TCU HAS to win this game (and a slew of others) to keep their hopes alive. Luckily, TCU is at home for this one and has just looked like a significantly better team than Kansas State for most of the season. The Horned Frogs won their first matchup with the Wildcats and I don’t see anything to make me think this outcome will be any different.

61-55 TCU

Overall Prediction Record:

49-16 (75.4%)