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Big 12 MBB Preview 2/29

Baylor vs. TCU Round 2 and a slew of other Big 12 games!

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

Texas @ #22 Texas Tech

Saturday, February 29th 11:00 AM CT, ESPN

#22 Texas Tech (18-10, 9-6) took a gut-punch in their loss to Oklahoma during the week. They now have to rebound against rising, instate rival Texas (17-11, 7-8). I don’t quite get how they’ve so drastically turned their situation around, but the Longhorns have won three straight games including a Top 25 win over West Virginia. Shaka Smart might actually save his job for at least another season (an outcome I don’t think many Baylor fans would be overly upset about). However, I’m not sure that trend can continue in a road game against a mad Red Raiders team. Texas Tech beat the Longhorns by five on the road in their last meeting. They protect their home court now against Texas.

72-66 Texas Tech

#1 Kansas @ Kansas State

Saturday, February 29th 12:30 PM CT, CBS

#1 Kansas (25-3, 14-1) is about to annihilate Kansas State (9-19, 2-13) and hopefully no stools will be involved this time. While Baylor would really like Kansas to lose this game, I just don’t see how that’s possible given how bad KState is this season. Baylor blew out the Wildcats during the week and the Jayhawks blew out Oklahoma State in their last game. The only intrigue here might be if Kansas State keeps it within 20 and if there’s any lingering drama from the brawl that broke out in the closing seconds of these teams’ last meeting.

88-54 Kansas

#2 Baylor @ TCU

Saturday, February 29th 1:00 PM CT, ESPN

#2 Baylor (25-2, 14-1) bounced back really nicely after their loss to Kansas with a blowout win against Kansas State. They now have to travel to rival TCU (15-13, 6-9) in a must win game for the Bears’ Big 12 title hopes (really all the games from here on are must wins). TCU’s road woes continued during the week as they dropped a heartbreaking loss to Iowa State in Ames. However, TCU is a different beast at home. Of their 13 losses, only four have been on their home court. Baylor needs to be ready for that. Luckily, the Bears are a road tested team that is coming off an offensive outburst against Kansas State. If Baylor can continue to foster that offense, which includes the further development of Matthew Mayer who scored a career high 19 against Kansas State, they shouldn’t have too many issues with TCU. Baylor won their last meeting with TCU by 16. It might end up being a bit closer than that, and closer than Bears fans would like, but Baylor should come away with the win.

62-56 Baylor

Oklahoma @ #20 West Virginia

Saturday, February 29th 3:00 PM CT, ESPN2

Oklahoma (17-11, 7-8) nabbed a critical win against Texas Tech during the week. #20 West Virginia (19-9, 7-8) continued its worrying trend with a loss to Texas during the week, a team the Mountaineers beat by almost 40 points earlier in the season. West Virginia has now lost five of their last six games. They have to right the ship quick, otherwise they’ll be limping into the NCAA tournament, ready to grab an early exit. Interestingly enough, Oklahoma was the team that actually started this losing trend when they beat the Sooners by 10 at home. I actually like Oklahoma to get it done on the road as well as West Virginia still hasn’t shown me they’ve figured out the solution to their recent woes and Oklahoma is playing like a team on a mission.

65-61 Oklahoma

Iowa State @ Oklahoma State

Saturday, February 29th 3:00 PM CT, ESPNU

Iowa State (12-16, 4-10) got a nice, payback win over TCU during the week. Oklahoma State (14-14, 4-11) got absolutely dismantled by Kansas in their last game. However, Iowa State is clearly no Kansas. Also, Oklahoma State has been doing quite well at home as of late, winning their last three home games against Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and TCU. One loss against the now #1 team in the country doesn’t do a whole lot to change my opinion. I’ll take the Cowboys to keep that home streak going against an inconsistent Cyclones team.

68-60 Oklahoma State

Overall Prediction Record

60-25 (70.6%)