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Big 12 MBB Preview: 2/5 - 2/6

Seven Big 12 teams are all within one loss of each other at the top of the conference, making every new slate of matchups critical!

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

#4 Kansas @ Kansas State

Monday, February 5th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN

The Sunflower Showdown is back with some huge implications at play in the race for the Big 12 title! #4 Kansas (18-4, 6-3) is fresh off of a dominant home win against Houston. The Jayhawks got up big early and never looked back, as they cruised to a 78-65 win over the Cougars. Kansas State (14-8, 4-5), on the other hand, is very suddenly on life support, as they have lost four straight games since being tied at the top of the league. Their most recent loss to Oklahoma State was particularly bad, as OSU is sitting at the bottom of the conference standings even with that win. And while this is a rivalry game and Kansas State has the Jayhawks at home, these two teams are trending in totally opposite directions. I have Kansas winning this one.

78-69 Kansas

Oklahoma State @ #5 Houston

Tuesday, February 6th 6:00 PM CT, ESPN2

#5 Houston (19-3, 6-3) is looking to bounce back quick from the thrashing they received in Lawrence. Hosting Oklahoma State (10-12, 2-7) should be the remedy. The Cowboys are the worst team in the Big 12. But, they did just beat Kansas State in a fairly impressive showing. Still, Houston is far to potent offensively and defensively, especially at home, for me to think this will be anything other than a 20-ish point victory for the Cougars.

84-63 Houston

#14 Iowa State @ Texas

Tuesday, February 6th 7:00 PM CT, LHN

As Baylor fans are keenly aware, #14 Iowa State (16-5, 5-3) was on the losing end of one of the most bizarre Big 12 games in recent memory. The Cyclones really looked like they were going to get ran out of Foster Pavilion, before being gifted a comeback on some extremely head-scratching technical foul calls against Baylor. Still, to Iowa State’s credit, they took advantage of the situation and were about .1 seconds away from coming out of Foster with a win. It’ll be interesting to see how the Cyclones respond as they face another road game in Texas, this time against Texas (15-7, 4-5). The Longhorns picked up a solid road victory at TCU, winning 77-66. I think Iowa State will be motivated enough in this match up, especially against former teammate Tyrese Hunter, to secure a win. (Also, as a side note, I am so ready for Texas to be out of this conference because it is a TRAVESTY that this game is on the Longhorn Network and, thus, inaccessible to most of the country, including Iowa).

74-71 Iowa State

#21 BYU @ Oklahoma

Tuesday, February 6th 7:00 PM CT, ESPN+

After losing two straight to Texas Tech and Houston, #21 BYU (16-5, 4-4) has recovered very nicely and strung together two consecutive wins over Texas and West Virginia. The BYU Cougars, who are one game back from first place in the loss column, will look to extend that winning streak as they travel to Oklahoma (16-6, 4-5). The Sooners have been in a bit of a slump, losing three of their last four games. The one win in there was a beat down of Kansas State, but their most recent game was an eleven point road loss at UCF. So as things stand, these teams are trending a bit in opposite directions. Even with this being in Norman, I like the Cougars to come out on top.

73-68 BYU

#23 Texas Tech @ #13 Baylor

Tuesday, February 6th 8:00 PM CT, ESPN

This year’s first BU-TT matchup is truly massive, as both #13 Baylor (16-5, 5-3) and #23 Texas Tech (16-5, 5-3) are tied for first in the Big 12 in terms of loss (both sitting a half game behind Kansas and Houston because of how bye scheduling has worked so far). Baylor, as we all know, escaped their game against Iowa State and the referees with a win by the skin of their teeth. Texas Tech suffered their second straight loss in heartbreaking fashion to Cincinnati, as the Bearcats’ Simas Lukosius scored the go-ahead shot with 21 seconds left. This is going to be a close, gritty game between the Bears and Red Raiders. Baylor, for better or worse, is extremely battle-tested in close games, as every single Big 12 game they have played has been decided by single digits. And with Baylor surging a bit with two wins, I like the Bears to beat Tech in a final possession type of game.

77-75 Baylor