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Big 12 Conference Weekend Preview: Status Quo at Top

Baylor, Kansas Tied for First Entering Regular-Season Finale

Kansas and Baylor came into the season as the teams to beat in the Big 12 and looked like the class of the conference for most of the season. Now with one game left to play, the two national championship contenders are tied atop the standings as they look to improve their March Madness odds.

Sixth-ranked Kansas appears to have the tougher task with No. 21 Texas coming to Lawrence while No. 3 Baylor squaries off against unranked Iowa State.

Big 12 Conference Weekend Preview, March 5
Chris Covatta/Getty Images/AFP

Baylor is fourth, Kansas ninth and Texas Tech 11th in the NCAA NET rankings, which is one of the tools used by the NCAA selection committee to come up with the field of 68.

Ochai Agbaji of Kansas is tied for the fourth-best odds at +1200 to be named the winner of the Wooden Award.

Here’s a look at this weekend’s games in the Big 12 with some information for those who bet online.

Texas Longhorns vs Kansas Jayhawks

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

Sixth-ranked Kansas set the stage for a wild final day in the Big 12 by rallying past TCU on Thursday. The Jayhawks enter the final day of the regular season tie with Baylor atop the conference standings.

Texas is looking for its fourth win in a row against Kansas and a sweep of the regular-season series after a 79-76 home win on Feb. 7 as a 1½-point underdog. Texas is 3-0-1 against the spread in the last four games in the series while each of the last three games went over the total.

The last time the Longhorns made the trip to Lawrence, the result was an 84-59 win as a 4½-point underdog according to the Las Vegas odds. Kansas had won the previous nine home games in the series.

No. 21 Texas (21-9, 10-7) has slipped a bit recently, splitting its last six games while going 0-3-1 against the spread over the last four contests. Five of its last seven games went over the total.

Kansas (24-6, 13-4) dropped back-to-back games for the first time all season to fall to a No. 2 seed in many of the March Madness brackets despite having the second-strongest strength of schedule in the country.

Kansas will take the top-scoring offense in the Big 12 against a Texas team leading the conference in scoring defense.

Iowa State Cyclones vs Baylor Bears

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Injuries to key personnel have made Baylor’s national championship defense a bit of a bumpy ride, but the Bears could find themselves as a No. 1 seed in the March Madness brackets.

Baylor (25-5, 13-4) has won its last four games and six of its last seven, although the Bears are just 4-3 against the spread during that span. Three of Baylor’s last four games went under the total.

Iowa State (20-10, 7-10) saw its four-game winning streak halted with a 53-36 loss at home to Oklahoma State. The Cyclones dropped to 3-6 against the spread over the last nine games while five of the last seven contests went over the total.

Baylor has won the last five meetings with Iowa State but has failed to cover in the last three. The Bears won 77-72 at Iowa State on Jan. 1 as a 7½-point favorite. The Cyclones haven’t won in Waco since 2013.

Baylor and Iowa State rank first and second in the conference in 3-point percentage defense.

TCU Horned Frogs vs West Virginia Mountaineers

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, 2 p.m. ET, Big 12 Now/ESPN+

Texas Christian almost did it again.

The Horned Frogs were up by six points on Big 12 co-leader Kansas two days after upsetting the Jayhawks, but this time TCU couldn’t seal the deal.

TCU (19-10, 8-9 in the Big 12) went into Thursday’s rematch against Kansas having won three of its last four games and going 4-0-1 against the spread in its last five. Three of the Horned Frogs’ last four games finished over the total.

West Virginia (14-16, 3-14) has dropped its last seven games and gone 2-5 against the college basketball spreads during that time. Five of the Mountaineers’ last seven games went over the total.

West Virginia has won four of the last six meetings against Texas Christian with four of those games going over the total. The winning score ranged from 74-77 and the losing score from 66-67 in the last three matchups.

TCU has covered in three of the last four games in the series.

The Horned Frogs lead the Big 12 in offensive rebounds per game and rebounding margin. One issue for West Virginia is that no team in the conference has allowed its opponents to attempt more free throws.

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs Oklahoma State Cowboys

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, 3 p.m. ET, Big 12 Now/ESPN+

Texas Tech has dealt with the absence of key players at various stages in the season, but that hasn’t stopped the March Madness predictions from having the Red Raiders as high as a No. 3 seed.

Texas Tech (23-7, 12-5) has won five of its last six games, although the Red Raiders have failed to cover in the last two.

Oklahoma State (14-15, 7-10) has not won back-to-back games since Jan. 15-19. The Cowboys have dropped eight of their last 12 to fall into a tie for sixth place in the conference standings. Each of the Cowboys’ last three games went under the total.

Texas Tech snapped a three-game losing streak against Oklahoma State with a 78-57 win at home on Jan. 13 as a 7½-point favorite. It was the eighth time in the last nine matchups that the game finished over the total. Oklahoma State has won four of the last five times Texas Tech came to town.

Texas Tech is second in the Big 12 in scoring defense while Oklahoma State is the conference leader in blocked shots per game.

Oklahoma Sooners vs Kansas State Wildcats

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, Big 12 Now/ESPN+

Oklahoma is looking to sweep the regular-season series against Kansas State for the first time since the 2011-12 season after its 71-69 win at home on Jan. 1 as an eight-point favorite. Kansas State has covered in six of the last seven games while five of the last six games in the series finished under the total.

Oklahoma (16-14, 6-11) has won its last two games but all that managed to do was move the Sooners into a tie for eighth place in the Big 12 standings. Each of the last three games for Oklahoma went under the total. The Sooners are just 2-8 on the road and have lost their last five games away from home.

Kansas State (14-15, 6-11) has lost four consecutive games and is tied for eighth in the Big 12. The Wildcats have covered against the spread in six of their last nine outings while each of the last games has finished over the total.

Kansas State and Oklahoma are first and third in the Big 12 in 3-pointers attempted.

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