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Big 12 MBB Preview: 1/23

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

#9 Kansas @ Oklahoma

Saturday, January 23rd 11:00 AM CT, ESPN

#9 Kansas (10-4, 4-3) is looking to bounce back after a demoralizing defeat against Baylor earlier in the week. The Jayhawks got outplayed for the entire game, even though they looked like they were consistently giving some of their best effort and kept trying to claw back into the game. That type of defeat can be almost more demoralizing than a blowout or a game where a lot of things go wrong. They have to shake that off and travel to Oklahoma (8-4, 4-3) who is fresh off of a 26 point victory over Kansas State. I fully expect Kansas to be the favorite when Vegas odds come out, but ESPN’s BPI likes Oklahoma and I think I might as well, especially at home.

77-75 Oklahoma

#2 Baylor @ Oklahoma State

Saturday, January 23rd 1:00 PM CT, CBS

#2 Baylor (13-0, 6-0) looks nearly unstoppable as they collected another relatively easy, top 10 win over Kansas earlier in the week. They now have to refocus for their trip to Stillwater against a sneaky good Oklahoma State (9-3, 3-3). The key to the Cowboys’ success this season has been electric true freshman Cade Cunningham, who is averaging 17.8 PPG. While Cunningham has been impressive and will probably get a few buckets, I think everyone knows that Baylor’s elite defense will have a plan to deny him touches and open shots. Bears should be fine if they can figure out a defensive strategy that works, which they have had no issues with thus far this season. Also worth noting, the Cowboys have had their last two games postponed. Their last game was a five point win over Kansas. So they will be quite rested but also potentially rusty. Since Baylor’s game was on Monday, I don’t expect rest to be much of an issue.

79-68 Baylor

#14 West Virginia @ Kansas State

Saturday, January 23rd 3:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#14 West Virginia (9-4, 2-3) has had their program shut down for the last three games due to COVID protocol. Their last game was a close, two point loss to Texas. The Mountaineers had looked a bit shaky before the shut down so it’s a bit hard to determine how they’ll look coming out of an extended break. However, that shouldn’t be an immediate issue in this game as Kansas State (5-10, 1-6) is just not good. They have lost their last five games straight and only one of those losses was by single digits. West Virginia cruises here.

75-59 West Virginia