It is day two of the Big 12 men’s basketball conference tournament and we’re back with more predictions. Today has a matchup that is very clearly near and dear to the hearts of the Mountaineers; West Virginia faces off against Oklahoma State for the third time this season. The Mountaineers will need a win to advance to tomorrow’s semifinals.
Game 3: No. 4 West Virginia vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State | 11:30 a.m. on ESPN or ESPN2
Game 4: No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 9 Kansas State | 2:30 p.m. on ESPN or ESPN2
Game 5: No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 7 Oklahoma | 6:30 p.m. on ESPN or ESPN2
Game 6: No. 3 Texas vs. No. 6 Texas Tech | 9:30 p.m. on ESPN or ESPN2
West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State:
Ethan Bock: I feel bad if you bet on this game, due to the unpredictability of the money line, spread and O/U. Gut says WVU but not by much. I will be very surprised if this game doesn’t reach the 80s or 90s in points. Even though Oklahoma State is bringing back Cade Cunningham and Isaac Likekele for this game, they shouldn’t have the game they had last Saturday, playing what was probably their best game of the year. I think Huggs will have the boys ready this time. WVU cannot allow 50 points in the paint again. Derek Culver needs to be aggressive and foul out if he has to stop easy layups. Stress Virginia will be in full effect from 11:30 till 1:30 tomorrow.
WVU – 90 OKST – 89
Ashley O’Brien: The thought of this game just gets me a little annoyed. Try as I might, I really wish the Mountaineers were not going up against the Cowboys again Thursday morning. Oklahoma State will have a healthy Cade Cunningham and Isaac Likekele in the late morning matchup, but West Virginia will hopefully bring some pent up aggression after forgetting to show up last Saturday in Morgantown. The Mountaineers are playing for NCAA seeding and a 900th win for Coach Bob Huggins. I think the Mountaineers bounce back Thursday and do what they should have been able to to a week ago in Morgantown; win.
WVU — 87 OKST — 83
Baylor vs. Kansas State:
Ethan Bock: No debate here. If Kansas State pulls the upset, then March Madness is back early. Baylor on their worst day should beat KSU. Wildcats are another two years away from being great again.
BU – 78 KSU – 58
Ashley O’Brien: This one isn’t even going to be close. Scott Drew and the Bears will do what they’ve done all season; win and win big. The Wildcats are too young to take on a Baylor team who has been consistently great all season. Easy win for Baylor.
BU — 102 KSU –79
Kansas vs. Oklahoma:
Ethan Bock: Oklahoma ended their four-game losing streak last night against Iowa State. This Sooners team has proven that they’re a streaky team this season. I think them even beating a team like ISU gives them confidence again; they’re just able to see a win again. Kansas will be without David McCormack and Tristan Enaruna for the whole tournament. I think Oklahoma takes advantage of the Jayhawks missing the inside presence of McCormack. Austin Reaves, Umoja Gibson and Brady Manek will be sent out to do their thing.
OU – 84 KU – 76
Ashley O’Brien: This game intrigues me. Both teams have struggled this season, while also winning big games at the same time. The Jayhawks are all too familiar with winning in the Sprint Center and this will be a matchup that surely makes Fran Fraschilla go all heart-eyed. The Jayhawks will be fighting for their almost annual trip to the conference tournament finals and the Sooners will be fighting to stop the Jayhawks from doing their normal. Kansas City magic keeps the Jayhawks advancing in a late game layup to win.
KU — 79 OU — 77
Texas vs. Texas Tech:
Ethan Bock: To round out the night, Texas and Texas Tech have the potential to have the best game of the day. In both matchups this season, Tech has beaten the Longhorns twice. The game in Austin was closer than Lubbock. It’s so damn tough to beat a team three times in one season (Ask Bob Huggins – 1992 v. Memphis State 4X). I think Texas Tech has a chance to be the most dangerous team out of the top 7 in the Big 12—yes, even more dangerous than Baylor. Mac McClung was brought in to be a contributing piece, but he’s exceeded those expectations. With McClung, the Red Raiders have Terrence Shannon, Kyler Edwards and Marcos Santos-Silva. That has potential to be a dangerous team. Don’t bet against Chris Beard in March.
TTU – 72 TU – 66
Ashley O’Brien: Chris Beard is hands down my second favorite coach in the Big 12, I love what he has done with their program and the energy he brings. Texas Tech is only a few years out from their Final Four run and the team has consistently played in the top tier of the Big 12. Texas and Shaka Smart have had ups and downs but I really think this is where the Longhorns take over. Despite the talent on Texas Tech’s team, I see Texas just barely edging out this win.
UT — 91 TTU –89