#14 Texas @ #18 Texas Tech
Saturday, February 27th 11:00 AM CT, CBS
#14 Texas (14-6, 8-5) faces off against instate rival #18 Texas Tech (14-8, 6-7) in a battle for Big 12 and NCAA tournament seeding. Texas scored a big win in their last game against Kansas, which moved them to fifth in the conference. Texas Tech has been on a pretty brutal string of losses, losing three in a row to West Virginia, Kansas, and Oklahoma State. Those losses have dropped Texas Tech all the way to 7th in the Big 12. In other words, the Red Raiders are at the bottom of the pack of teams that will likely make the NCAA tournament. That’s an issue after many had high hopes for the team this year. Still, barring a complete collapse next week where they play TCU and Iowa State (and Baylor), the Red Raiders shouldn’t be too worried about making the NCAA tournament. Nevertheless, a win here would really help that case and help with seeding. Texas Tech beat the Longhorns by 2 in these two teams’ last game. Still, the Longhorns have been playing much better basketball than the Red Raiders recently. Texas by a few.
#7 Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State
Saturday, February 27th 2:00 PM CT, ABC
This Saturday marks the first of two back-to-back games between rivals #7 Oklahoma (14-6, 9-5) and Oklahoma State (15-6, 8-6). The Sooners suffered a really bad loss during the week to Kansas State, one of the worst teams in the country let alone the Big 12. They really need to bounce back here to preserve momentum and seeding. Oklahoma State is on a three game winning streak, which includes a nice win over Texas Tech during the week. Oklahoma is the more rounded team, but Oklahoma State will have the best player on the court in Cade Cunningham. I think these teams will split their back-to-back games, so I like Oklahoma at home in this one.
#10 West Virginia vs. Kansas State
Saturday, February 27th 3:00 PM CT, ESPN2
This is a big game for Baylor fans to keep an eye on. While Baylor is about as close to a lock as they can be for winning the Big 12 without actually being a lock, West Virginia (16-6, 9-4) is the only team that could derail Baylor. If West Virginia were to lose here, then Baylor would lock up the Big 12 regular season title before they even play Kansas in the evening. Kansas State (7-18, 3-13) did just score a very impressive win against Oklahoma during the week and are on a two-game winning streak, so this game isn’t as hopeless for the Wildcats as it might have seemed initially. However, West Virginia is still my heavy favorite in this game, especially at home. West Virginia beat Kansas State the last time these two played by 22 points.
81-64 West Virginia
TCU @ Iowa State
Saturday, February 27th 5:00 PM CT, ESPNU
Iowa State (2-17, 0-14) is very realistically looking down the barrel of a winless conference season. Considering Iowa State was one of the conference’s top contenders only a couple years ago, that’s really not good. The Cyclones have been playing teams tough enough to potentially win any of their last four games (Baylor fans know that well from this past week). However, their most realistic chances are this game and their final game against Kansas State. TCU (11-10, 4-8) has been an inconsistent grab bag this season: some good, but mostly bad. They are on a three game losing streak which includes losses to Texas, Kansas State, and West Virginia. Iowa State has been playing too many teams too close to go winless, I think. So I’ll go out on a limb and say this is where they get a victory. TCU won the last meeting between these teams by 3 points.
84-82 Iowa State
#2 Baylor @ #17 Kansas
Saturday, February 27th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN
This is a historic matchup for #2 Baylor (18-0, 10-0) as they look to secure their first ever Big 12 regular season championship. We are predicting that Baylor will lock up the Big 12 championship with a win in this game. However, that is far from a forgone conclusion as the Bears travel to Lawrence to take on #17 Kansas (17-8, 11-6). The Jayhawks are fully eliminated from a chance at the regular season championship after a loss to Texas. However, many Jayhawks fans feel that Baylor missing as many games as they have for COVID should in some way disqualify their Big 12 success. Another win over Kansas here would shut out that noise. Baylor dominated Kansas in their first meeting from start to finish, picking up an 8 point win in a game that really wasn’t as close as that final might indicate. However, the Bears are fresh off of a very long COVID break and that rust showed as Baylor had to fight at home to beat Iowa State. Kansas had been on a five game winning streak before losing to Texas. So this is very much a game Baylor could lose. The biggest thing for me is if Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua is still out for COVID protocol for this game. If he becomes available, that gives Baylor a huge energy and depth boost in the post (although, credit where credit is due, Flo Thamba brought a much needed energy in the paint in Baylor’s win over Iowa State). Either way, I have no doubt Baylor will be energized to win in Lawrence and lock up a Big 12 title. I’ll take Baylor in a close one from wire-to-wire.