Iowa State @ #7 Baylor
Saturday, March 4th 11:00 AM CT, ESPN2
#7 Baylor (22-8, 11-6) picked up a nice, although somewhat frustrating road win on Monday as they took down Oklahoma State. That game saw the Bears come dangerously close to blowing an eighteen point lead and the loss of Langston Love to an eye injury, but at this point in the season a conference road win is a conference road win. They now host Iowa State (17-12, 8-9) for their last home game of the season. The Cyclones are down horrendously right now and are looking to limp into March after what was an impressive start to their season and conference play. Iowa State has lost eight of their last ten games, and have not had a road win since the first week of January. Further, Iowa State just announced on Wednesday that they dismissed guard Caleb Grill from the team, Iowa State’s highest percentage three point shooter. So even with Baylor potentially juggling some lingering guard injuries, the Bears are in a much more favorable position coming into this game. Baylor lost in Ames in the first meeting of conference play, but both of these teams have trended in very different directions since then.
#11 Kansas State @ West Virginia
Saturday, March 4th 1:00 PM CT, ESPN+
West Virginia (17-13, 6-11) squeaked out a really important win on Monday, as they beat Iowa State in Ames. That victory probably kept West Virginia narrowly in the tournament field. They’ll really want to win here and pick up another victory in the Big 12 tournament to feel solid about their position, though. #11 Kansas State (23-7, 11-6) secured a fairly dominate win over Oklahoma on Wednesday. With a win here, Kansas State would lock up the 2 seed for the Big 12 tournament. With a loss, that spot would likely fall to either Baylor or Texas (but there are some scenarios where Kansas State could still be the 2 seed). KState only beat WVU by six at home in these two’s first meeting. Ultimately, West Virginia needs this win a lot more, and I expect them to play with a higher passion in front of their home crowd and secure the upset.
76-74 West Virginia
#22 TCU @ Oklahoma
Saturday, March 4th 2:00 PM CT, ESPN+
#22 TCU (20-10, 9-8) snagged a big, upset win over instate rival Texas on Wednesday. That victory has the Frogs looking to secure a five seed in the Big 12 tournament if they can prevail in this game. Oklahoma (14-16, 4-13) is already guaranteed to be the lowest seed in the Big 12 tournament, and unless they win the whole Big 12 tournament they are almost certainly not going to make the NCAA tournament. So this game is really just about pride for them. And at this point, there isn’t a whole lot of pride to go around for the Sooners. TCU won the first meeting between these two by 27. I’ve got TCU completing the sweep here.
#3 Kansas @ #9 Texas
Saturday, March 4th 3:00 PM CT, ESPN
#3 Kansas (25-5, 13-4) has secured an outright Big 12 regular season title thanks to their win over Texas Tech and the fact that #9 Texas (22-8, 11-6) lost to TCU. So regardless of this outcome, Kansas will be the one seed in the Big 12 tournament and they are likely just playing for pride and one seed jockeying in the NCAA tournament. Texas, on the other hand, could wind up anywhere between the two and the four seeds in the Big 12 tournament, so a win here is important for that and for their NCAA tourney seeding. Texas lost by eight when these two played in Lawrence, and the Jayhawks seem to have hit enough of a stride that I expect them to win on the road here as well.
Oklahoma State @ Texas Tech
Saturday, March 4th 5:00 PM CT, ESPN2
Oklahoma State (16-14, 7-10) missed a golden opportunity to solidify their tournament resume on Monday, as they fought back a little too late against Baylor. They now travel to Texas Tech (16-14, 5-12), a team that is similarly battling for its tournament life after losing a close game in Lawrence. Both of these teams desperately need to win this game, so it will be a question of who wants it more. It is also hypothetically possible or Oklahoma State to battle its way out of a play in game in the Big 12 tournament. Oklahoma State won the first meeting between these two by a mere three points in Stillwater. With Texas Tech trending upward and Oklahoma State trending downward, I like the Red Raiders to pick up a key victory at home.
73-68 Texas Tech