#5 Baylor @ West Virginia
Tuesday, January 18th 4:00 PM CT, ESPN2
What a bad week for #5 Baylor (15-2, 3-2). It seems that nearly all of the confidence the Bears had built up over 15 consecutive wins evaporated in the matter of two brutal home losses to Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. While it feels like the sky is falling, it is important to remember that the Bears still only have two losses on the entire season. They are certainly still very good, we have seen how well this team can play. They just need to take a deep breath and figure it out offensively, because that’s where the Bears have really been struggling. They also could really use Jeremy Sochan back and healthy. The problem is, getting your confidence back on the road in Morgantown is a tall order. West Virginia (13-3, 2-2) has been okay in conference play. Their most recent game was a loss to Kansas that was close in the first half before getting out of hand in the second. Bob Huggins teams always bring stingy, annoying defenses so the Bears will certainly have a tall order for getting back in the offensive flow of things. On the plus side, it seemed like the Bears started to figure it out somewhat later in the Oklahoma State game (just too little too late). Ideally, that will continue into this game and Baylor will find a way to secure a win in Morgantown.
#7 Kansas @ Oklahoma
Tuesday, January 18th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN
#7 Kansas (14-2, 3-1) picked up a nice bounce back win against West Virginia after their own loss to Texas Tech. They now travel to Norman to take on Oklahoma (12-5, 2-3) who is on a rough two game losing streak, with losses to rival Texas and TCU. In both of those game, the Sooners scored less than 60 points. So needless to say, they need to get back on track offensively. I don’t really see that happening against Kansas, who is in the pole position of the Big 12 race after Baylor’s stumbles. Of potential concern especially is that David McCormack finally had a good game for Kansas against West Virginia, putting up 19 points. If that becomes more consistent Kansas becomes a lot more dangerous.
Kansas State @ #23 Texas
Tuesday, January 18th 7:30 PM CT, LHN
Kansas State (9-7, 1-4) finally broke through and got a surprising, upset win against Texas Tech on Saturday. That’s part of what makes the Big 12 so good this year: even the Wildcats, who are almost certainly the “worst” team in the league, can beat anyone else in the league on any given day. The Wildcats will see if they can take that momentum forward as they rematch #23 Texas (13-4, 3-2). The last time these teams squared off, Texas won by 13 against a shorthanded Kansas State squad. However, the Wildcats have momentum. And on the flipside, Texas suffered a disappointing loss in Ames in their last game. Ultimately, I think Texas wins this one at home but it wouldn’t surprise me if Kansas State keeps up the momentum.
#15 Iowa State @ #18 Texas Tech
Tuesday, January 18th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU
#15 Iowa State (14-3, 2-3) secured a much needed win over Texas over the weekend to begin their climb out of the hole they put themselves in in the conference race. They now have another huge opportunity as they rematch #18 Texas Tech (13-4, 3-2). Texas Tech almost had one of the best weeks imaginable last week, beating Kansas and Baylor back to back. The problem is they then stumbled mightily against Kansas State. They’ll be looking to bounce back here against Iowa State. The Cyclones beat Texas Tech in their first meeting in a disgusting offensive showing. The Red Raiders were on the road and shorthanded then. I expect Texas Tech to win this one.
67-61 Texas Tech
TCU @ Oklahoma State
Wednesday, January 19th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+
Both of these teams are coming off of huge wins over the weekend. Oklahoma State (9-7, 2-3) manhandled Baylor in Waco, securing their program’s first #1 victory. TCU (12-2, 2-1) got a gritty, one point win over Oklahoma. While both wins were great, given what I saw from both teams I would say Oklahoma State is the hotter hand. However, TCU has the single best player on the court in this game in Mike Miles. I like TCU to secure a road win here off of Oklahoma State’s emotional hangover and move up to a surprising 3-1 in conference play.