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Big 12 MBB Preview: 1/16 - 1/17

After another exciting weekend of Big 12 games, conference play continues with Baylor and Texas Tech leading the pack!

NCAA Basketball: Detroit at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

#19 TCU @ Cincinnati

Tuesday, January 16th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#19 TCU (13-3, 2-1) is fresh off of a phenomenal week of basketball, as they knocked off two top 10 teams at the time in Houston and Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs now travel to take on Cincinnati (12-4, 1-2). The Bearcats had a much more heartbreaking week of basketball, as they lost to Texas by one point and Baylor by three points. And while I think TCU has way more momentum right now, that streak is bound to falter and Cincinnati should catch a break. I think this home game for the Bearcats will serve both of those purposes.

75-72 Cincinnati

#9 Baylor @ Kansas State

Tuesday, January 16th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+

Watching #9 Baylor (14-2, 3-0) this year is not for the faint of heart. On the plus side, the Bears are undefeated and tied for the top of the Big 12 with Texas Tech. But all of those victories have been close, single-digit victories. Yet, all that matters at the end of the day are wins and losses and so there’s little to complain about as long as the Bears keep winning. They’ll look to do that against a strong Kansas State (12-4, 2-1) squad helmed by former Baylor assistant coach Jerome Tang. The Wildcats fell one point short of Texas Tech in their last game, otherwise this would have been a battle of conference undefeateds. Admittedly, this game worries me as no one knows the Drew system better than Tang and Baylor has been just getting by. I think this tough road match up is where Baylor likely picks up its first conference loss.

65-63 Kansas State

#24 Iowa State @ #20 BYU

Tuesday, January 16th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#20 BYU (13-3, 1-2) finally snagged its first Big 12 win in its inaugural conference season, topping UCF by a 63-58 margin. They now host #24 Iowa State (13-3, 2-1) who is on fire after back-to-back wins. The Cyclones took down then #2 Houston before handing Oklahoma State a 24 point loss. However, both of those games were at home for the Cyclones. Iowa State seems to be a bit more gettable away from Hilton so far this season. I’ve got BYU squeaking out a win here.

68-67 BYU

#3 Kansas @ Oklahoma State

Tuesday, January 16th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN

#3 Kansas (14-2, 2-1) got itself back on track after a head-scratching loss to UCF with a solid, 12 point win over Oklahoma. The Jayhawks now travel to Stillwater to take on Oklahoma State (8-8, 0-3). For the most part, even though the Cowboys are winless in Big 12 play, they have shown some fight. However, they looked pretty atrocious against Iowa State in their last game, only scoring 42 points. I chalk a lot of that up to some pretty bizarre travel conditions. While I have no doubt the Cowboys will get a Big 12 win, I have my doubts it will come against Kansas.

81-67 Kansas

West Virginia @ #15 Oklahoma

Wednesday, January 17th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#15 Oklahoma (13-3, 1-2) had a brutal week of conference play, as they dropped games to TCU and Kansas. They now host West Virginia (6-10, 1-2). The Mountaineers are certainly one of the worst, if not the very worst, teams in the Big 12 this year. And yet, they showed that they are still quite dangerous after upsetting then top 25 Texas over the weekend. And while the Mountaineers certainly needed something to go positively for them, I see little hope of that developing into a streak with their depleted roster. Oklahoma wins big.

78-59 Oklahoma

UCF @ Texas

Wednesday, January 17th 7:00 PM CT, LHN

Texas (12-4, 1-2) has fallen extremely flat in conference play so far this year. They opened with a loss to Texas Tech, before barely beating Cincinnati in a game they should have probably lost on a travel no-call. They then lost to West Virginia in their most recent game, with the Mountaineers looking pretty atrocious otherwise. So Texas is not in a great spot right now. UCF (10-5, 1-2) is also dealing with its own issues, but they have a very random win over Kansas which is elevating their Big 12 performance thus far. And while Texas looks very vulnerable, winning on the road is extremely difficult in the Big 12 so I have the Longhorns securing a close win.

71-69 Texas

#25 Texas Tech @ #5 Houston

Wednesday, January 17th 8:00 PM CT, ESPNU

#5 Houston (14-2, 1-2) had one of the worst weeks for an undefeated, top-two team in recent memory as they lost back-to-back to Iowa State and TCU. “Welcome to the Big 12,” as the refrain goes. They now turnaround and host #25 Texas Tech (14-2, 3-0) who sits at the top of the Big 12 after a huge win over Kansas State. While I think Houston will figure itself out well enough to end up somewhere in the middle of the conference pack by season end, I don’t see them stacking up well against a red-hot Red Raiders squad. Give me Tech getting to 4-0 in league play and Houston falling into a 1-3 hole.

77-73 Texas Tech