The 2021 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament officially gets underway Wednesday evening in Kansas City, Missouri. This year’s conference tournament brings about a great sense of unfinished business for every team in the tournament given how the season was abruptly ended last March as COVID-19 took over the world.
The tournament kicks off Wednesday even with two matchups:
Game 1: No. 8 TCU vs. No. 9 Kansas State | 6:30 p.m. on ESPN
Game 2: No. 7 Oklahoma vs. No. 10 Iowa State | 9:30 p.m. on ESPN
TCU vs. Kansas State:
Ethan Bock: This essentially is the Super Bowl for who gets to lose to Baylor, as both Kansas State and TCU are young, unexperienced teams. I have Kansas State giving TCU a game, and actually beating the Horned Frogs. It’s March, so expect the unexpected. TCU—led by RJ Nembhard—are limping into Kansas City, Missouri, on a three-game losing streak, while Kansas State is a young team looking to show people what they’re capable of in a few years.
KSU – 65 TCU – 63
Ashley O’Brien: TCU-Kansas State is a matchup destined for Thursday pain; going up against a one-loss Baylor is not going to be an easy task. Both teams are extremely young and still have a lot of growing and learning to do. If TCU plays as well as they played versus West Virginia last week, I see TCU surprising Kansas State but ultimately falling short. Both teams have had uphill battles this season and I predict this to be a low scoring game.
KSU — 59 TCU — 55
Oklahoma vs. Iowa State:
Ethan Bock: The Sooners somehow are playing day one of the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday. Luckily, for OU, they’re playing the conference-winless Iowa State Cyclones. ISU might be the best 2-21 team in the history of the NCAA, as the Cyclones have played well against Baylor, Texas, WVU and Oklahoma. The Cyclones have talented players in Rasir Bolton, Jalen Coleman-Lands and Tyler Harris but I’m sure Lon Kruger will have his team ready to end their four-game skid.
OU – 75 ISU – 68
Ashley O’Brien: Going up against Iowa State on day one of the tournament is a moment to breathe for the Oklahoma Sooners. The Cyclones, who normally have fans traveling to Kansas City in droves, have not won a conference game yet this season. Sadly, for the Cyclones, I don’t think this is their year to make a conference tournament run. The Sooners can use this almost as a practice game for the rest of March, I don’t see the Sooners having any issues with this one.
OU — 82 ISU –71