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Big 12 MBB Preview: 2/4

Another weekend chock-full of Big 12 hoops action!

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

#8 Kansas @ #13 Iowa State

Saturday, February 4th 11:00 AM CT, ESPN

#13 Iowa State (15-6, 6-3) is coming off of one of the most brutal losses of Big 12 conference play so far. They held a 23 point lead over Texas Tech with just over 12 minutes to play, before squandering that lead and losing in overtime: giving Texas Tech their first conference win. That means the Cyclones have lost three of their last four games. Not great. Meanwhile, #8 Kansas (18-4, 6-3) has recovered nicely from their three game losing streak with back-to-back wins over Kentucky and top ten Kansas State. In these two teams’ first meeting, Kansas handed Iowa State a two point loss in Lawrence. While that might suggest Iowa State would get a win on their own court, the Cyclones have been in a pretty significant slump as of late. I’ve got Kansas winning this one.

75-71 Kansas

Texas Tech @ #11 Baylor

Saturday, February 4th 12:00 PM CT, CBS

#11 Baylor (16-6, 5-4) suffered a disappointing loss on Monday to Texas. While the loss itself was obviously a setback, the Bears fought hard throughout the game. Conference road wins are hard in the Big 12 so I wouldn’t be too concerned about that outcome. However, Baylor needs to focus up as they have a suddenly hot Texas Tech (12-10, 1-8) coming to Waco. The Red Raiders got their first win in over a month when they defeated LSU on Saturday, then they followed that up with an absurd, come-from-behind victory in overtime against Iowa State to get their first conference win. Baylor came out of these two’s last meeting in Lubbock with a seven point win. I expect a win by about a similar margin in this one.

78-71 Baylor

#15 TCU @ Oklahoma State

Saturday, February 4th 1:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#15 TCU (17-5, 6-3) was able to pick up a gritty win against West Virginia during the week despite missing their top scorer, Mike Miles Jr. Part of that success came from the return of big man Eddie Lampkin Jr. from injury. The Horned Frogs now look to continue fighting for a top spot in the Big 12 as they travel to take on Oklahoma State (13-9, 4-5). The Cowboys are on a two game winning streak, that includes a 22 point win over Ole Miss and a 10 point road win over rival Oklahoma. Both of those are nice wins that the Cowboys will look to use to build momentum moving forward in conference play. While I like TCU better as an overall team, I think that the potential continued loss of Miles, especially on the road, is going to catch up to them. This is a game where I can see that happening.

73-70 Oklahoma State

#10 Texas @ #7 Kansas State

Saturday, February 4th 3:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#10 Texas (18-4, 7-2) picked up a big win against Baylor on Monday to launch themselves into sole possession of first place in the Big 12. They now battle another team fighting for that top spot in #7 Kansas State (18-4, 6-3). The Wildcats suffered a tough loss to Kansas during the week, and are now sitting one game behind the Longhorns. These two teams put on an absolute offensive clinic when they first met, with KState beating Texas 116-103. I expect this rematch to be significantly lower scoring, but I still like the Wildcats to secure a home victory against the Longhorns to tighten the Big 12 race up once again.

82-78 Kansas State

Oklahoma @ West Virginia

Saturday, February 4th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN2

Both West Virginia (13-9, 2-7) and Oklahoma (12-10, 2-7) suffered deflating losses during the week that have set them in a tie for second to last in the Big 12. West Virginia followed up a top 15 win against Auburn with a close road loss to TCU. Oklahoma fell back down to earth after their 24 point trouncing of then #2 Alabama with a 10 point home loss to Oklahoma State. One of these teams is going to continue their slide away from a stellar nonconference win, while the other will be potentially back on track for building conference momentum. Oklahoma won the last meeting between these two by a single point. Given this time the Sooners are on the road, I like the Mountaineers to secure a close victory.

78-74 West Virginia