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Big 12 MBB Preview: 2/25

Big 12 conference play enters its second to last weekend!

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

Oklahoma @ #23 Iowa State

Saturday, February 25th 11:00 AM CT, ESPNU

#23 Iowa State (17-10, 8-7) is digging around for a win pretty badly right now. The Cyclones have lost four of their last five games, including receiving an 18 point beating in Austin on Tuesday. They now host Oklahoma (13-15, 3-12) which just might be what the doctor ordered for Iowa State. The Sooners have slid down to definitively last in the Big 12, having lost six of their last seven games. That includes an 11 point home loss to Texas Tech on Tuesday. Oklahoma lost to Iowa State in their last meeting by three. Given Iowa State’s impressive home record this season (13-1), I see little chance of Oklahoma pulling this one off.

73-61 Iowa State

#24 TCU @ Texas Tech

Saturday, February 25th 11:00 AM CT, ESPN2

Texas Tech (16-12, 5-10) has been one of the hottest teams in the country over the last two weeks, as they’ve come roaring into the tournament bubble conversation. The Red Raiders have won their last four games in a row, including an 11 point road win over the Sooners on Tuesday. They now face #24 TCU (18-10, 7-8) who has been on a pretty nasty losing streak, but has returned their star player Mike Miles Jr. from injury. In the two games he has been back for, TCU dropped 100 points in a win over Oklahoma State and then lost a close one to Kansas. So the Horned Frogs do look better, but it’s still a little unclear where they stand. TCU beat Texas Tech by six in their last meeting. Given Tech’s surging momentum and confidence, I like them over TCU in what should be a raucous environment in Lubbock.

71-68 Texas Tech

#8 Texas @ #9 Baylor

Saturday, February 25th 1:00 PM CT, ESPN

#9 Baylor (20-8, 9-6) is looking to get back on track after suffering disappointing back-to-back losses to Kansas and Kansas State. That could start with a massive home game against #8 Texas (22-6, 11-4). The Longhorns handily beat Iowa State in their game on Tuesday, keeping them tied with Kansas for first in the Big 12. Texas beat Baylor by five in their first meeting. And while Baylor had a tough back-to-back road stretch, I think they’ll be ready and focused in for this home game against a heated rival. In fact, Baylor has only lost two home games this entire season and both were early in conference play. Bears in a close one that requires some firepower from three point range.

78-76 Baylor

#14 Kansas State @ Oklahoma State

Saturday, February 25th 1:00 PM CT, ESPNU

#14 Kansas State (21-7, 9-6) picked up a huge home win against Baylor on Tuesday. They now travel to Stillwater to take on Oklahoma State (16-12, 7-8). The Cowboys had built quite a bit of momentum in the middle of conference play, before losing their last three in a row. Their most recent 18 point loss to West Virginia was particularly demoralizing. Kansas State beat Oklahoma State by seven in their last meeting. And while the Cowboys are still a dangerous team, until I see them regain their confidence and momentum I’ve got Kansas State winning this one.

73-65 Kansas State

West Virginia @ #3 Kansas

Saturday, February 25th 3:00 PM CT, ESPN

#3 Kansas (23-5, 11-4) maintained its first place tie with Texas through their win against TCU on Monday. They now host West Virginia (16-12, 5-10) who is battling for a spot in the NCAA tournament. WVU had been on a three game losing streak, before they beat Oklahoma State wire-to-wire at home. That helps, but I haven’t seen anything from the Mountaineers that makes me think they’re up to the challenge of beating Kansas on the road. WVU lost their last game against Kansas by 14. I’ve got Kansas winning and maintaining at least a share of first place in the Big 12.

76-61 Kansas