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Big 12 MBB Preview: 1/23-1/25

This week’s slate of games features some huge matchups at the top of the Big 12 standings!

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

#9 Kansas @ #17 Baylor

Monday, January 23rd 8:00 PM CT, ESPN

#17 Baylor (14-5, 4-3) continues to build momentum in conference play as they extended their winning streak to four games with a tightly contested victory over Oklahoma on Saturday. They now look to add what would be a massive resume win as they host #9 Kansas (16-3, 5-2). The Jayhawks are fresh off of what was an unmitigated disaster of a game on Saturday, as they lost at home by 23 points to TCU. Home losses have been extremely rare for Kansas, let alone a home loss in blowout fashion. If history is any indicator, coach Bill Self will not take a defeat like that lying down and will have his squad remotivated with renewed energy. Still, one of the problems Baylor has had in their wins is stretches where the players seem to be lacking motivation and energy. If there is any game where that shouldn’t be the case, it’s this one. Bears get it done in Waco.

78-73 Baylor

Oklahoma @ #11 TCU

Tuesday, January 24th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#11 TCU (15-4, 4-3) recovered very nicely from a disappointing loss to West Virginia with a massive, road win over Kansas on Saturday. They now need to keep their motivation high as they host a struggling Oklahoma (11-8, 2-5). The Sooners are on a two game losing streak, which includes a blowout loss to Oklahoma State and a close loss to Baylor. The Sooners have the ability to be a dangerous team but have been largely unable to pull it all together all at once. With this game being in Fort Worth, the Frogs should be able to secure a victory with their high tempo offense.

82-71 TCU

Oklahoma State @ #10 Texas

Tuesday, January 24th 7:00 PM CT, LHN

#10 Texas (16-3, 5-2) followed up their loss in Ames with an important win in Morgantown over the Mountaineers. Now they host a red hot squad in Oklahoma State (11-8, 3-4). The Cowboys are on a two game winning streak which includes a beatdown of rival Oklahoma and a comeback victory over then #12 Iowa State. While OSU hasn’t looked incredible offensively, their defense has really tightened up and led them to key victories. The problem is that Texas’s offense is really good. Good enough that I suspect they’ll be able to do just enough to overcome Oklahoma State’s stingy defense.

74-70 Texas

#5 Kansas State @ #12 Iowa State

Tuesday, January 24th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU

This is a huge matchup in the grand scheme of the Big 12 title race. #5 Kansas State (17-2, 6-1) currently sits alone at the top of the Big 12 standings. #12 Iowa State (14-4, 5-2) is positioned just one game behind the Wildcats. The Cyclones looked like they were going to cruise to a victory on Saturday, before they went extremely cold offensively and let Oklahoma State comeback and beat them by two. Kansas State recovered from their only conference loss to TCU with back to back wins over Kansas and Texas Tech. The key to this game will be the homecourt advantage for Iowa State, as the Cyclones are undefeated at home this season. And you can see a palpable energy lift for the Iowa State team when they’re in Hilton. This is a series that probably gets split during the regular season, so I’ve got the Cyclones in Ames.

72-68 Iowa State

West Virginia @ Texas Tech

Wednesday, January 25th 6:00 PM CT, ESPNU

The only Big 12 game on Wednesday features a battle for the bottom of the conference, as Texas Tech (10-9, 0-7) and West Virginia (11-8, 1-6) face off. If Texas Tech can’t pull this game off at home, then they might very well be looking down the barrel of a dismal, perhaps even winless, conference campaign. West Virginia got their first win a week ago against TCU, but couldn’t follow that up against Texas as they suffered an eight point defeat. I do think Texas Tech is a good enough squad that they should be able to get a few wins in conference play. You’d have to think this is one of them if that’s the case.

73-67 Texas Tech