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Big 12 MBB Preview: 2/22-2/26

Baylor is finally back in action with two weekday games!

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Iowa State The Register-USA TODAY NETWORK

#18 Texas Tech @ Oklahoma State

Monday, February 22nd 8:00 PM CT, ESPN

#18 Texas Tech (14-7, 6-6) suffered a disappointing loss to Kansas over the weekend, meaning the Red Raiders have lost two games in a row (with three postponed games in between). They are now looking to rebound as they travel to Oklahoma State (14-6, 7-6). The Cowboys have picked up two wins in a row over Kansas State and Iowa State before their weekend game against Baylor was postponed. Both teams need some wins to boost their tournament resumes (Oklahoma State is in NCAA postseason ban limbo so they would probably still be eligible as the appeals process plays out). Texas Tech lost their last matchup against Oklahoma State by 5 at home. I like the Cowboys to complete the sweep of the Red Raiders here.

78-72 Oklahoma State

#10 West Virginia @ TCU

Tuesday, February 23rd 6:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#10 West Virginia (15-6, 8-4) starts its Texas road trip double header against TCU (11-9, 4-7). The Horned Frogs suffered a crushing loss to Kansas State, one of the worst teams in the conference. West Virginia recovered from a close loss to Oklahoma with a two point win over Texas. The Mountaineers are vying for tournament seeding at this point and their pair of games this week could make some big moves in that regard. A loss to TCU would probably drop them a spot or two. A win against Baylor could move them up some. West Virginia should be able to take care of business in this first game against the Horned Frogs.

72-61 West Virginia

#2 Baylor vs. Iowa State

Tuesday, February 23rd 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#2 Baylor (17-0, 9-0) is finally back in action after a seemingly endless COVID break. The Bears’ last game, back on February 2nd, was an excellent win over Texas. Baylor looked to be in peak form in that game. The question will be if they will be able to keep up the momentum they had built after such a long pause. Luckily, they resume play against the bottom team in the Big 12, Iowa State (2-16, 0-13). The Cyclones have been playing teams close lately but have been unable to secure a win in conference play yet. Even if Baylor is rusty, a road win against the league’s top team seems like too high of a bar for the Cyclones. This game might be closer than some would like, but Baylor should get the win. Baylor beat Iowa State by 11 the last time they faced off.

78-69 Baylor

#7 Oklahoma @ Kansas State

Tuesday, February 23rd 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#7 Oklahoma (14-5, 9-4) has been on a hot streak, winning their last three games. Two of those wins were against Iowa State and one was against West Virginia. They now travel to Kansas State (6-18, 2-13) who finally picked up a second conference win against TCU during the week. A win here would be huge for momentum both immediately and into the next season. However, Oklahoma has been one of the best surprises in Big 12 play this season and should be able to handle the Wildcats just fine. The Sooners beat Kansas State by 26 in their last meeting.

81-63 Oklahoma

#17 Kansas @ #14 Texas

Tuesday, February 23rd 8:00 PM CT, ESPN

#14 Texas (13-6, 7-5) has a huge home game this week against surging #17 Kansas (17-7, 11-5). Kansas has recovered from early season woes, winning their last five games in a row. Meanwhile, Texas had its two win streak broken by a two point loss to West Virginia. Texas won their last matchup with Kansas in blowout fashion, securing an 84-59 victory. However, the Jayhawks have gotten much better since when that first game was played. I like the hot hand that is Kansas in this game.

75-72 Kansas

#2 Baylor vs #10 West Virginia

Thursday, February 25th 4:00 PM CT, TBD

#2 Baylor (17-0, 9-0) should finally be facing off against #10 West Virginia (15-6, 8-4) after multiple postponements between the two teams. Again, this game is a little difficult to call right now because we don’t know what Baylor will look like coming off of a long break. For what it’s worth, Michigan had a similar long break and has come back into play in stride. Hopefully Baylor has been taking similar measures. If this is peak performance Baylor or something close to that, the Bears should be just fine, especially at home. However, we Baylor fans should know that West Virginia has often been a thorn in the side for Baylor athletics. I like Baylor here, especially with the possible ramifications for the conference title race given Baylor’s extended absence.

76-68 Baylor