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Big 12 MBB Preview: 2/14-2/16

A week full of Big 12 Valentine’s treats!

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Kansas State vs TCU Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia @ Kansas State

Monday, February 14th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN2

Kansas State (13-11, 5-7) picked up a much needed, gritty, overtime victory over Iowa State on Saturday. They now need to build on that momentum, where they have won three of their last four games, and secure another win over a struggling West Virginia (14-10, 3-8). The Mountaineers got absolutely embarrassed by Oklahoma State, losing by 23 points to the Cowboys. West Virginia was able to beat the Wildcats at home by three in their last meeting. However, these teams are trending in very different directions since that last game. I think Kansas State gets a big home win to keep building momentum.

74-61 Kansas State

Oklahoma State @ #6 Kansas

Monday, February 14th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN

Oklahoma State (12-12, 5-7) continued its trend of being wildly unpredictable and blew the doors off of West Virginia in the second half, picking up a big victory. They now take on #6 Kansas (20-4, 9-2) who struggled against Oklahoma in their last game but ultimately prevailed. The Jayhawks won by 11 in Stillwater the last time these two teams faced off. However, I think Oklahoma State has gotten a bit better since then. Still, it’s a tall order to win in Lawrence. A Cowboys win would really help Baylor out in the conference race, but I just don’t see it.

78-65 Kansas

#20 Texas @ Oklahoma

Tuesday, February 15th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#20 Texas (18-7, 7-5) and Oklahoma (14-11, 4-8) face off for the second rendition of the Red River Rivalry this season. In these teams’ first meeting, Texas beat Oklahoma by 14 points. That was really the start of a massive losing streak by the Sooners. However, Oklahoma showed signs of life last week, beating top 10 Texas Tech and giving Kansas a very good fight on the road. Texas had a similar type of week, picking up a huge win over Kansas before getting meticulously blown out by Baylor. At this point in the season, Texas is clearly the better team. However, if Oklahoma is playing like they did in their last couple games, I think they could get a big home win here. The question is how long they can keep playing at that level. For now, I’ll take the Sooners.

68-65 Oklahoma

Iowa State @ TCU

Tuesday, February 15th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU

Iowa State (16-9, 3-9) continued its bad conference stretch with a brutal, overtime loss to Kansas State. They now travel to Fort Worth to take on a gutsy TCU (16-6, 5-5). The Horned Frogs picked up a win against Oklahoma State last week before losing at Texas Tech. TCU has been a thorn in many teams’ sides this year, including Iowa State. Their last meeting was a disgusting, defensive battle where the Horned Frogs prevailed by a final score of 59-44. The problem is that I am not convinced Iowa State has improved enough offensively to avoid a similar outcome. While the Cyclones might score more than 44 points, I still don’t seem them scoring enough to break out of their rut on the road.

65-58 TCU

#7 Baylor @ #11 Texas Tech

Wednesday, February 16th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2

BU-TT round two takes place in Lubbock on Wednesday as a shorthanded #7 Baylor (21-4, 9-3) looks to build off the momentum it gained from their big win over Texas. The Bears were already down leading scorer LJ Cryer. Then, to add injury to insult, Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua went down with a pretty gruesome knee injury. So the Bears are going to have to learn to play smaller in his absence. The plus side is that Baylor’s guards finally seemed to start clicking again, something they hadn’t done for a while. If they can keep up that offensive fluidity, they have a chance in this game. The problem is that #11 Texas Tech (19-6, 8-4) is a notoriously stingy defensive team. That’s why I think the Bears’ chances of victory start on the defensive side of the ball. In four of Tech’s six losses, they were unable to score more than 55 points. In the last matchup between these teams, Baylor let Tech score 65. They need to keep that scoring lower. If they can do that with their swarming defense, much like they were able to do against Texas, then I think the Bears pick up a road win here.

61-56 Baylor