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Big 12 MBB Preview: 1/20

Baylor vs. Texas and a pair of top 25 matchups headline this weekend’s Big 12 action!

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

#9 Baylor @ Texas

Saturday, January 20th 11:00 AM CT, ESPN

#9 Baylor (14-3, 3-1) is looking to bounce back after a disappointing, overtime loss to Kansas State. The Bears had all the opportunities in the world to secure a key road win, but sloppy shooting (especially from the free throw line!) and poor decision making doomed them down the stretch. They now travel to Texas (12-5, 1-3) who is coming off of their own blown game. The Longhorns were up 13 points with under 12 minutes to go on UCF, before collapsing down the stretch and losing, 77-71. This Texas team just seems mentally weak, exemplified by head coach Rodney Terry blowing up at UCF players after the game for throwing horns down. I think Baylor will have a better shooting performance and out-tough the Longhorns in this one.

74-67 Baylor

#15 Oklahoma @ Cincinnati

Saturday, January 20th 12:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#15 Oklahoma (13-4, 2-2) picked up a crucial win over West Virginia in their last game. With a .500 conference record, they now travel to another .500 conference foe, Cincinnati (13-4, 2-2). The Bearcats are fresh off of a really solid win over #19 TCU that saw the two teams going neck and neck down the stretch before Cincy won in overtime, 81-77. Can the Bearcats get it done at home again against Oklahoma? I think so.

71-68 Cincinnati

#24 Iowa State @ #19 TCU

Saturday, January 20th 1:00 PM CT, ESPNU

Both #24 Iowa State (13-4, 2-2) and #19 TCU (13-4, 2-2) are looking to move past disappointing losses from earlier in the week. For the Horned Frogs, it was an overtime loss on the road to Cincinnati. For the Cyclones, it was a 15 point loss on the road to BYU. Both teams are dangerous but both also have their share of flaws. Ultimately, I feel much more comfortable going with the home team in situations like this. TCU by half a dozen.

66-60 TCU

UCF @ #5 Houston

Saturday, January 20th 1:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#5 Houston (15-2, 2-2) halted their two-game losing streak in impressive fashion, beating #25 Texas Tech by 23 points. The Cougars now host UCF (11-5, 2-2) who is a really hard team to gauge. Based on the season thus far, the Knights are likely the third or fourth worst team in the conference. But they are certainly a scrappy and dangerous squad, with wins over Kansas and Texas. And while they might challenge Houston some early, I like the Cougars to secure a home win here.

81-64 Houston

#3 Kansas @ West Virginia

Saturday, January 20th 3:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#3 Kansas (15-2, 3-1) is back on track after their earlier loss to UCF. Since then, they have beaten Oklahoma and Oklahoma State by a combined 36 points. They now travel to Morgantown to take on West Virginia (6-11, 1-3). Even though the Mountaineers are one spot off of the bottom of the conference, in reality they are the worst team in the league outside of a puzzling victory over Texas. WVU’s most recent game was a 14 point loss to Oklahoma. And Kansas is definitely a better squad than OU this year.

78-71 Kansas

#20 BYU @ #25 Texas Tech

Saturday, January 20th 5:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#20 BYU (14-3, 2-2) is fresh off of a really solid win over #24 Iowa State. They now travel to #25 Texas Tech (14-3, 3-1) who needs to quickly shake off a 23 point loss at the hands of Houston. BYU is a bit stronger of an offensive and defensive squad so far this season. Yet, both of these teams are close enough in those statistics that any advantage is marginal. Thus, in a tight match up like this, I’ve got to go with the home Red Raiders to pick up a recovery victory.

77-74 Texas Tech

Oklahoma State @ Kansas State

Saturday, January 20th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN+

Kansas State (13-4, 3-1) secured a gutsy, home victory over #9 Baylor in overtime. They now turn their attention to Oklahoma State (8-9, 0-4). The Cowboys are desperately looking for their first win in conference play, after suffering a 24 point blowout loss to Kansas. Oklahoma State is still a team that should be a scrappy foe in most games, but they have been seemingly fading further and further away with each loss that they take. That is exemplified by starting conference play with a five point, overtime loss to Baylor, followed by 17, 14, and 25 point losses. I’ve got Kansas State extending their winning streak here.

76-59 Kansas State