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Big 12 MBB Preview: 1/9 - 1/10

There were plenty of upsets and intrigue in the first batch of Big 12 conference games as we make our way into the second wave of matchups!

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

#2 Houston @ Iowa State

Tuesday, January 9th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#2 Houston (14-0, 1-0) rolled in their Big 12 conference debut, beating West Virginia 89-55. They now travel to Ames for their first taste of Hilton Magic as they take on Iowa State (11-3, 0-1). The Cyclones fought hard at Oklahoma in their last game, leading with just over four minutes left. However, Iowa State faded down the final stretch and lost 71-63. And while Houston is likely the more talented team in this meeting, I do think that it’s going to take a little bit for the Cougars to get used to playing such a challenging schedule game after game. This is a road game I could definitely see them dropping as they get used to that adjustment.

74-71 Iowa State

#25 Texas @ Cincinnati

Tuesday, January 9th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#25 Texas (11-3, 0-1) suffered a firm, home loss to Texas Tech to open their final Big 12 conference bid. They now travel to newcomer Cincinnati (12-2, 1-0). The Bearcats picked up a surprisingly good conference-opening win, beating then #12 BYU by a 71-60 margin. Big 12 play is, in large part, about putting together streaks. So while I think Texas is probably more talented than Cincinnati, the fact that they lost at home in demoralizing fashion and then have to turn around for a long road trip makes me lean toward the homecourt advantage of the Bearcats.

69-65 Cincinnati

Kansas State @ West Virginia

Tuesday, January 9th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN+

Things are not looking good in Morgantown. West Virginia (5-9, 0-1) got absolutely clobbered by Houston in their last game, losing by 34 points. Add that to a very bad nonconference and the Mountaineers look like the far and away worst team in the Big 12 this year. They now host Kansas State (11-3, 1-0) who opened conference play in very strong fashion, thrashing UCF 77-52. Given how the Wildcats looked against a team that is probably better than WVU, I don’t see the Mountaineers standing much of a chance here.

81-59 Kansas State

Oklahoma State @ Texas Tech

Tuesday, January 9th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+

Texas Tech (12-2, 1-0) certainly paid their respects to Texas on their way out of the conference, beating the Longhorns in Austin by 11 points. The Red Raiders now host Oklahoma State (8-6, 0-1) who gave Baylor everything they could handle in their last game, before ultimately losing in overtime. And while the Cowboys are a very scrappy team, especially at home, I don’t see them matching up well with a fiery Tech on the road.

78-65 Texas Tech

#18 BYU @ #14 Baylor

Tuesday, January 9th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN+

#14Baylor (12-2, 1-0) survived a road scare in their conference opener, ultimately beating Oklahoma State in overtime by a 75-70 margin. I don’t put a whole lot of stock in that overly close win, as it was an ugly offensive performance, particularly from beyond the arc, which is likely a statistical outlier. The biggest thing in Big 12 conference plays is finding ways to win your clunkers and putting together winning streaks. Baylor did the first against Oklahoma State and has a chance to do the second as they host #18 BYU (12-2, 0-1). The NCAA’s official ranking metric, the NET, has really liked BYU but that has been somewhat confounding to me as their schedule has been highly mediocre. I think we saw evidence of that overrating on Saturday as the Cougars suffered an 11 point loss at Cincinnati. Combine that with Baylor coming back home and hopefully having a more typical shooting performance and I like the Bears to come out on top here.

78-66 Baylor

#3 Kansas @ UCF

Wednesday, January 10th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN+

Speaking of surviving clunkers, #3 Kansas (13-1, 1-0) was taken down to the wire by TCU in their first Big 12 game of the season. Still, be it through talent or some officiating gifts, Kansas won their opener. They now travel all the way to UCF (9-4, 0-1). The Knights lost 77-52 in their opener to Kansas State. While TCU is likely to be in the better half of the Big 12 this year, I just don’t see UCF doing much other than probably beating West Virginia. So Kansas should win this one with some ease.

78-57 Kansas

#9 Oklahoma @ TCU

Wednesday, January 10th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN2

TCU (11-3, 0-1) fought really hard in their first conference game, but ultimately came up just short against Kansas. They now host #9 Oklahoma (13-1, 1-0), who took care of business in their last game against Iowa State. Both of these teams figure to be somewhere in the upper-middle of the conference, so this ought to be a really solid early test for both. I like TCU to bounce back at home and secure their first Big 12 victory of the season.

73-68 TCU