By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Here are Saturday’s five Big 12 games:
Texas Tech at Iowa State (12:45 p.m. on ESPN3) - The Red Raiders are 3-20 in Big 12 road games the past three years. Iowa State has won 21 straight games at Hilton Coliseum (an underrated home court advantage), including 12 against conference foes. I’m sure this’ll be a fun one.
Oklahoma State at West Virginia (1 p.m. on ESPN2) - This feels like a vital game for the Pokes. They can come out fired up, shake off that brutal double OT loss to Kansas and start a new win streak against one of the worst West Virginia teams in years. Or they could show up hungover and traumatized from Wednesday night’s dramatics, play sloppy and sluggish, giving WVU and its disappointed crowd a reason to get into it. We should know which way it’s going early in the game.
TCU at Kansas (3 p.m. on ESPN3) - The Jayhawks revenge tour continues. And this one could get ugly. TCU somehow (and I’m still not sure how the basketball Gods pulled it off) beat KU down in Fort Worth. How much does Vegas care? They labeled Kansas as 25-point favorites in this one. I’m not sure I’ve seen a conference line that high. Guess that’s what happens when some angry eight-time defending champs play a floundering 1-12 squad.
Baylor at Oklahoma (4 p.m. on ESPNU) - Enormous for tourney implications and conference placement. The biggest Big 12 game of the day. OU feels secure in its NCAA bid, already up to 17 wins and with an easy closing schedule. But Baylor (along with Iowa State) remain as one of the two teams right behind the Sooners with a chance to upset them in Norman, possibly pass them in the standings and send them back to the bubble. And BU, by the way, is on the bubble itself. On the outside looking in, if you ask bracketologists. So they could be playing for their tourney lives today, always a dangerous thing.
Kansas State at Texas (7 p.m. on LHN) - Ew. The Big 12 closes out the day with an ugly one. First one to 50 wins, if someone can get there (likely KSU). Both defenses are stout and Texas’ offense is just brutal. The Wildcats are heavily favored, like they should be. But the return of Myck Kabongo gives the Longhorns a sliver of hope and OSU and KU (both near the top of the conference with KSU) at least a slight reason to watch.
Current Big 12 standings