#20 Texas @ #10 Baylor
Saturday, February 12th 11:00 AM CT, ESPN2
#10 Baylor (20-4, 8-3) bounced back nicely after their huge loss to Kansas with a fairly convincing road win against Kansas State. The Bears still looked a bit sloppy and lacking for confidence early, but pulled away with a convincing run near the start of the second half. Even with all of the injury issues and lack of cohesion, it’s always good to remind ourselves that Baylor still only has four losses on the season and is only half a game back from first place in the Big 12. To keep trending the right direction, they’ll need to pick up a very important rivalry victory at home tomorrow against #20 Texas (18-6, 7-4). As much as we Baylor fans generally dislike Texas, the Longhorns actually did us a pretty big favor during the week by beating Kansas to tighten up the Big 12 race once again. Texas is on a two game winning streak now, with wins against Iowa State and Kansas. This would be a really nice game to get LJ Cryer back for, but his status still seems unknown. With the players Baylor should have available for this game, I still think that’s enough to beat Texas at home. Especially since James Akinjo recovered from his awful performance against Kansas by scoring 15 against Kansas State. Bears by a few.
Oklahoma @ #8 Kansas
Saturday, February 12th 12:00 PM CT, CBS
Speaking of teams that helped out Baylor, both #8 Kansas (19-4, 8-2) and Oklahoma (14-10, 4-7) did just that in their last games. For their part, Kansas lost to Texas, putting the Bears just a half game back. Meanwhile, Oklahoma (14-10, 4-7) pulled a surprising upset over Texas Tech. The Sooners had been on a pretty bad losing streak, but they came out and shut Tech down completely, winning 70-55. That gives Baylor a one game lead over the Red Raiders. If Oklahoma really wants to inch in on Baylor’s good side, they need to win this one as well. However, winning in Lawrence a game after Kansas lost is an extremely tall order, one I doubt the Sooners are up for given how atrocious they’ve looked in many of their conference games. Kansas wins this one comfortably.
West Virginia @ Oklahoma State
Saturday, February 12th 1:00 PM CT, ESPN2
West Virginia (14-9, 3-7) secured a desperately needed win during the week against Iowa State. The Mountaineers were on a seven game losing streak before that win. The question now will be if West Virginia can build any momentum off that win. This game against Oklahoma State (11-12, 4-7) provides a solid opportunity for just that. The Cowboys followed up their big rivalry win against Oklahoma with a close loss at TCU during the week. We’ve certainly seen that the Cowboys have some flashes of strong potential, but that level of play is highly inconsistent for them. So while it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Oklahoma State gets a victory here, I think the Mountaineers eke out a tight win.
71-69 West Virginia
TCU @ #9 Texas Tech
Saturday, February 12th 3:00 PM CT, ESPN+
#9 Texas Tech (18-6, 7-4) laid a pretty random egg against Oklahoma in their last game. Generally, Tech has been really good this season, but they have a tendency to go ice cold shooting from time to time. That happened in their loss to the Sooners. Typically, however, that is a one game issue for the Red Raiders. So I would expect a strong bounce back against TCU (16-5, 5-4). The Horned Frogs picked up a close win against Oklahoma State to recover from a loss to Kansas State in the game prior. Still, Tech at home should be too much for TCU.
68-59 Texas Tech
Kansas State @ Iowa State
Saturday, February 12th 3:00 PM CT, ESPNU
Iowa State (16-8, 3-8) has had a really rocky year of conference play after starting with a perfect nonconference record. That’s been especially true as of late, as the Cyclones are on a three game losing streak. Two of those losses were by over 20 points. So Iowa State desperately needs to figure out its issues with some urgency (primarily, scoring consistently). They have a good opportunity here as they host Kansas State (12-11, 4-7) who has also been wildly inconsistent. The Wildcats did have some momentum as they were on a two game winning streak before dropping a double digit home loss to Baylor. The Wildcats are scrappy and have some potential, but I think Iowa State stops the bleeding for now in this game in Ames.
65-61 Iowa State