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Big 12 MBB Preview: 2/20-2/22

Big 12 hoops enters its second to last week as the race for first remains as tight as ever!

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

Oklahoma State @ West Virginia

Monday, February 20th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN2

Oklahoma State (16-11, 7-7) had been on a pretty major hot streak prior to their last two matchups. They had won five games in a row, before losing by 11 to Kansas and then 25 to TCU. They now look to get things back on track as they travel to Morgantown to take on West Virginia (15-12, 4-10). The Mountaineers are in the middle of a three game losing streak, which includes losses to Texas, Baylor, and Texas Tech. Both of these teams could really use some wins down the stretch to solidify their tournament odds. Oklahoma State beat West Virginia by seven in their last meeting. Given how bad WVU has looked in their last few games, I like Oklahoma State to win this one on the road.

75-72 Oklahoma State

#3 Kansas @ #24 TCU

Monday, February 20th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN

#24 TCU (18-9, 7-7) finally got Mike Miles Jr. back from injury in their last game against Oklahoma State, and it showed with the Horned Frogs dropping 100 points on the Cowboys. They now host #3 Kansas (22-5, 10-4) who is coming off of a monster second half comeback against Baylor. Kansas and Texas sit tied for first place in the Big 12, and with only four conference games left, every game makes a difference, especially road challenges. Kansas lost by 23 at home the last time they played TCU, and with Miles back in the lineup this TCU squad seems to have a ton of new life. I like the Horned Frogs at home.

78-74 TCU

#9 Baylor @ Kansas State

Tuesday, February 21st 6:00 PM CT, ESPN2

After a highly disappointing second half performance on Saturday, #9 Baylor (20-7, 9-5) sits one game back from first place in the Big 12 behind Kansas and Texas. The Bears were red hot in their first half in Lawrence, before going completely ice cold for basically all of the second half. They’ll need to figure out whatever offensive funk happened there, as they face another road game in the state of Kansas. #14 Kansas State (20-7, 8-6) got back in the win column with a six point home win over Iowa State. Still, the Wildcats have lost four of their last six games. While Kansas State barely beat Baylor in their first meeting, a lot has changed about these two teams since then. Even with that abysmal second half performance, I think Baylor will come out with solid energy and beat a somewhat struggling KState squad.

73-66 Baylor

#23 Iowa State @ #8 Texas

Tuesday, February 21st 8:00 PM CT, LHN

#8 Texas (21-6, 10-4) needed overtime to survive a close call against rival Oklahoma. They now sit tied for first in the conference with Kansas. Next up for the Longhorns is a home game against #23 Iowa State (17-9, 8-6). The Cyclones have proven a complete inability to win games on the road, as they have amassed a 2-7 road record. That includes their most recent loss to Kansas State. The one thing that gives me pause here is that Iowa State really doesn’t like Texas this year, given the defection of former Cyclone Tyrese Hunter. And Iowa State did hand Texas an 11 point loss in their last meeting. Still, until I see the Cyclones do much of anything on the road, I’ve got Texas winning this one.

76-72 Texas

Texas Tech @ Oklahoma

Tuesday, February 21st 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2

Texas Tech (15-12, 4-10) is making a really valiant, late season push for tournament eligibility. After having lost their first eight conference games, the Red Raiders are 4-2 in their last six Big 12 matchups. That includes a three game winning streak against Kansas State, Texas, and most recently West Virginia. If Tech wants to keep driving toward a tournament berth, every game matters, especially this one. Oklahoma (13-14, 3-11) has been awful in Big 12 play, losing eight of their last nine conference games. Their one win was a somewhat random victory over the Wildcats two games ago. And granted, the Sooners gave Texas a run for their money in their last game, pushing it to overtime. Still, momentum is clearly on the side of Texas Tech and I like them in this one, even though Oklahoma beat Tech by five in their first game.

81-75 Texas Tech