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Big 12 MBB Preview 3/7

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The last set of regular season games!

NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Baylor Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports

#4 Baylor @ West Virginia

Saturday, March 7th 12:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#4 Baylor (26-3, 15-2) travels to West Virginia (20-10, 8-9) with a Big 12 regular season championship potentially on the line (more on that in the Kansas preview). Baylor was down both Mark Vital and Tristan Clark but were still able to outlast Texas Tech in overtime. One of the most impressive aspects of that win was that Tech’s coach Chris Beard used a specific strategy of trying to wear down the Baylor players since they were short handed, but Baylor was still able to get the win. Much of that effort is owed to Devonte Bandoo, who stepped up with a big 18 points, going 4 of 5 from three point range. One of those was an absolutely clutch three from deep with a defender in his face. When Baylor is short on big men, it’s reassuring to know that the guards can step up and drain big shots. It’s unclear if Baylor will be shorthanded again this weekend or not, but the Bears should be okay either way. Baylor won their last meeting with WVU by 11 points. On top of that, West Virginia has been going through a historic late season collapse, losing six of their last eight games. The Mountaineers were able to barely beat Iowa State in Ames... but I’m not sure that was a convincing enough win to right the ship. With a title possibly on the line, Baylor gets it done this weekend.

65-57 Baylor

#1 Kansas @ Texas Tech

Saturday, March 7th 1:00 PM CT, ESPN

We REALLY need Texas Tech (18-12, 9-8) to beat #1 Kansas (27-3, 16-1) this Saturday. A win by Tech would mean that Baylor gets a share of the Big 12 regular season title with a win in Morgantown. The Red Raiders did show quite a bit of fight against Baylor (a hurt Baylor, but nonetheless). Could they bring that same effort to senior night in Lubbock? I would imagine they would with an NCAA tournament bid potentially on the line. Further, Texas Tech gets an extra two days of rest and preparation time which might help. Tech only lost by three in their last meeting with Kansas in Lawrence. With fairly little on the line for Kansas, I could see them being less aggressive with players that might have lingering discomforts. I like Tech to get this win, potentially gifting Baylor a Big 12 title.

63-61 Texas Tech

Oklahoma State @ Texas

Saturday, March 7th 3:00 PM CT, ESPN2

Texas (19-11, 9-8) has been on an absolute tear down the stretch, something they desperately needed for an NCAA at-large bid. The five win streak they are on included a buzzer-beater, road victory over rival Oklahoma in their most recent game. A win here against Oklahoma State (16-14, 6-11) probably secures them a tournament spot (and likely saves Shaka Smart’s job). That might be a bit trickier than expected, as the Cowboys have won their last two games against Iowa State and Kansas State. But, both of those games were in Stillwater and the Cowboys have been much worse on the road. Texas wins this one by double digits and keeps their roll going.

77-64 Texas

Iowa State @ Kansas State

Saturday, March 7th 3:00 PM CT, ESPN+

I’ll be blunt: this game really, truly, does not matter. Iowa State (12-18, 5-12) is currently 9th in the Big 12. Kansas State (9-21, 2-15) is 10th. Iowa State could potentially move up to 8th with a win here but that would not change their Big 12 tournament seeding: They will play Oklahoma State in the 8/9 game no matter what happens this weekend. Kansas State has been pretty terrible this whole season, so I’ll take Iowa State to get a win to cap off their also pretty abysmal regular season.

73-67 Iowa State

Oklahoma @ TCU

Saturday, March 7th 5:00 PM CT, ESPN2

Both of these teams could really use a win here. Oklahoma (18-12, 8-9) is firmly on the bubble after blowing what should have been a win against Texas. If they lose to TCU and then get bounced in the first round of the Big 12 tournament they’d wind up with a 18-14 overall record and a losing conference record... that doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence. For TCU to have a shot they probably need to win this game and then make a run in the Big 12 tournament. But winning here would certainly help. The Horned Frogs were shooting the absolute lights out in their first half against Kansas, but their defense could do nothing to slow the Jayhawks down and the Horned Frogs ultimately slipped behind in the second half. I like Oklahoma to get a critical win in Fort Worth.

60-58 Oklahoma

Overall Prediction Record

66-29 (69.5%)