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Big 12 MBB Preview: 2/1-2/5

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

#9 Oklahoma @ #13 Texas Tech

Monday, February 1st 8:00 PM CT, ESPN

#9 Oklahoma (11-4, 6-3) is on an incredible hot streak, winning their last five games and picking up three straight top 10 victories, including their most recent victory over Alabama. They now have a chance to get another key victory as they travel to Lubbock to take on #13 Texas Tech (12-5, 4-4). The Red Raiders pulled together a late comeback to defeat LSU in their last game. This should be an excellent, high level Big 12 matchup that comes down to the last few possessions. Texas Tech is a 5 point favorite but I like picking the hot hand that is Oklahoma.

78-76 Oklahoma

#2 Baylor @ #6 Texas

Tuesday, February 2nd 6:00 PM CT, ESPN

This is likely the most important game the Bears have played so far this season. #2 Baylor (16-0, 8-0) travels to Austin to take on #6 Texas (11-3, 5-2). At this point in the season, the Longhorns are the only realistic competitors left standing between Baylor and a Big 12 regular season title. Texas has had a lot of postponements recently, with three of their last four games being postponed or cancelled. The game they did play was a one point loss to Oklahoma. If Baylor can win this game, they’ll have a three game lead in the loss category for the conference race. If they lose, that gap narrows to a one game lead. Baylor looked as Baylor as ever in their win over Auburn, struggling some offensively in the first half before easily putting the Tigers away in the second half. Baylor outclasses the Longhorns statistically in nearly all categories except rebounding. That could be a key element to watch in this game. However, as the Auburn game showed, Baylor can struggle in rebounding margin (the Bears ultimately ended up tied with Auburn in rebounds, 43-43) and still handily win. So Baylor should be fine here, although this could be one of the closer games they play.

82-75 Baylor

#17 West Virginia @ Iowa State

Tuesday, February 2nd 6:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#17 West Virginia (11-5, 4-3) suffered a disappointing loss to Florida over the weekend. However, nothing cures a team’s woes like facing Iowa State (2-9, 0-6) this season. Iowa State played quite possibly its worst game in recent memory against Mississippi State, losing 95-56. Even though these two teams’ previous matchup was close, Iowa State has continued to decline throughout the season and has been shorthanded, so I expect nothing less than a blow out win for the Mountaineers.

78-50 West Virginia

#23 Kansas vs Kansas State

Tuesday, February 2nd 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+

I’ll be blunt: This is one of the worst Jayhawks teams in a long time. #23 Kansas (11-6, 5-4) got blown out by Tennessee over the weekend and are only one game above neutral in conference win-loss. However, luckily for the Jayhawks, this is one of the worst Wildcat teams in a long time as well. Kansas State (5-13, 1-8) has lost 8 straight games, with their most recent loss being a surprisingly close game against Texas A&M. Even though the Jayhawks aren’t very good this year, they should cruise past their rivals in this one.

73-51 Kansas

Oklahoma State @ TCU

Wednesday, February 3rd 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2

Oklahoma State (11-4, 4-4) had a nice pair of games last week, blowing out Iowa State and getting a victory over Arkansas. They now travel to Fort Worth to face a TCU squad that was on the verge of two major victories but couldn’t pull either off. The Horned Frogs lost an extremely low scoring affair to Kansas before losing a blistering offensive shootout to Missouri. There’s certainly some fight in the Horned Frogs, but I like Oklahoma State in this one given the offensive firepower of Cade Cunningham.

79-72 Oklahoma State