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Big 12 MBB Preview: 1/25-1/29

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

#10 Texas Tech @ #11 West Virginia

Monday, January 25th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN

#10 Texas Tech (11-4, 4-3) had its last week of games cancelled, so their most recent outing is still their loss to Baylor from over a week ago. They will now travel to #11 West Virginia (10-4, 3-3) who has had their own share of COVID postponements, but finally had a game against Kansas State which saw them winning by 22 points. This is a critical game for both programs, as both are battling for their spots in the upper-middle of the Big 12 standings. I think Tech is the more complete team so far this season, so I expect them to secure a close road win.

75-72 Texas Tech

Oklahoma State @ Iowa State

Monday, January 25th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2

As Baylor fans saw on Saturday, Oklahoma State (9-4, 3-4) is a very solid team, even without their best player Cade Cunningham. The Cowboys certainly seem like a tournament caliber team, while Iowa State (2-7, 0-5) is having its worst season in recent memory. The Cowboys should cruise over Iowa State, especially if they get Cunningham back (but even without him they should be just fine).

73-52 Oklahoma State

#5 Texas vs. #24 Oklahoma

Tuesday, January 26th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN2

This is probably the most important game for Baylor fans to watch this week other than Baylor’s own game. #5 Texas (11-2, 5-1) only has one conference loss on the season, making the margin for error for Baylor razor thin. Baylor fans should be against Texas, hoping they pick up a couple more losses to create a cushion in the standings. I could see that happening as #24 Oklahoma (9-4, 5-3) comes to Austin. The Sooners have quietly put together an impressive three game winning streak, which includes blowout wins over TCU and Kansas State and a wire-to-wire win over then top 10 Kansas. The Sooners have the fire power, especially in a rivalry game, to spring an upset so I’ll make that call here.

76-74 Oklahoma

#2 Baylor vs. Kansas State

Wednesday, January 27th 8:00 PM CT

#2 Baylor (14-0, 7-0) has had a bit of a concerning trend of starting out slow against inferior competition. We saw that against Oklahoma State, where the Bears went down by as many as 9 points in the first half. However, in typical Baylor fashion, the three point shots started raining in the second half and the Bears pulled away for a comfortable victory. Baylor should focus on ironing out that slow start problem as they host Kansas State (5-11, 1-7). Realistically, this game shouldn’t be very close at all as the Wildcats are pretty clearly the second worst team in the conference. Still, every conference game matters and a good performance here would bode well as Baylor enters the Big 12/SEC challenge over the weekend.

78-50 Baylor

#15 Kansas vs. TCU

Thursday, January 28th 7:00 PM CT

#15 Kansas (10-5, 4-4) had one of its worst weeks in years last week, losing to Baylor and Oklahoma. More concerning than the losses themselves were how they happened: Kansas got dominated by both Baylor and Oklahoma pretty much from start to finish. With a loss to Oklahoma State before those games as well, the Jayhawks enter this matchup with the Horned Frogs on a three game losing streak. TCU (9-5, 2-4) is realistically one of three Big 12 teams that are not tournament caliber this season, so this should provide a good opportunity for the Jayhawks to bounce back. In their last meeting, Kansas beat TCU by 29 points in Fort Worth. I don’t expect them to win by much less in Lawrence unless the Jayhawks’ confidence has really been shaken.

88-62 Kansas