#8 Kansas @ #20 Texas
Monday, February 7th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN
#8 Kansas (19-3, 8-1) bounced back from their blowout home loss to Kentucky in a big way, beating Iowa State in Ames and then dominating Baylor at home. They now face #20 Texas (17-6, 6-4) who also bounced back nicely from their loss to Texas Tech with a lopsided win against Iowa State. While both teams are generally trending up, Kansas is playing the best basketball they’ve played all season right now. Even though this game is in Austin, I expect a Jayhawk victory here. Their defense has been stifling and their offense is functioning with upsetting precision.
Iowa State @ West Virginia
Tuesday, February 8th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN+
Iowa State (16-7, 3-7) is really going through a severe offensive funk. They only mustered 61 points in their loss to Kansas two games ago and then in their most recent loss to Texas they only scored 41 points. They’ll need to figure that out in a big way if they want to pick up some more conference wins and secure a tournament berth. West Virginia (13-9, 2-7) similarly has a lot they need to figure out, as they have lost seven games in a row. I think this is a game where even if Iowa State struggles offensively, West Virginia likely will too. Give me the Cyclones.
61-56 Iowa State
Tuesday, February 8th 6:00 PM CT, ESPNU
Oklahoma State (11-11, 4-6) is fresh off a big rivalry win against Oklahoma that ended their four game losing streak. They now travel to TCU (15-5, 4-4) who suffered a disappointing home loss to Kansas State. This is a game the Horned Frogs really need to win to continue to feel good about securing a spot in the tournament. Oklahoma State doesn’t have the same stakes but they have been somewhat impressive despite that. Interestingly, TCU has been better on the road than at home this year: three of their four conference losses were at home. Given that and Oklahoma State’s momentum off a key win, I like the Cowboys here.
68-65 Oklahoma State
#10 Baylor @ Kansas State
Wednesday, February 9th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+
#10 Baylor (19-4, 7-3) got a huge wake up call over the weekend, getting absolutely smacked down by Kansas. Such a humbling defeat can either make or break a team. While things might feel bleak right now, you only need to look as far as Kansas themselves to see how a defeat like this can rally a team. Kansas got beat nearly as badly by Kentucky at home but have bounced back in a big way since. This road game against a potential landmine Kansas State (12-10, 4-6) ought to be quite telling about which way this will go. The Wildcats are on a two game winning streak, securing victories over Oklahoma State and TCU. Baylor beat the Wildcats by almost thirty in their last game. I expect this game to be closer than that, but how much closer will tell a lot about where Baylor’s confidence lies. I’ve got Baylor winning by upper single digits.
#9 Texas Tech @ Oklahoma
Wednesday, February 9th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU
#9 Texas Tech (18-5, 7-3) had a really pair of games last week, securing wins over Texas and West Virginia to put them on a three game winning streak. They now face Oklahoma (13-10, 3-7) who is really going through it. The Sooners have lost eight of their last ten games. Not great. That losing stretch has put Oklahoma’s tournament chances in serious jeopardy. A home win against Tech would really help them. But I just don’t see it. Tech has been very impressive throughout conference play while Oklahoma has been anything but. I expect a double digit victory for the Red Raiders.
74-60 Texas Tech