By John Rader on March 12, 2014
The Big 12 Tournament begins at 7 p.m. and promises be one of the more interesting conference battles. Seven of the 10 teams in the conference have at least 20 wins, so the field will be balanced and guarantee that almost every game is challenging.
Kansas has the talent to run the table, but they have stumbled; let’s see how it might play out.
The teams played twice during the regular season with each team winning the game on their home court. Oklahoma State is playing much better, winning four of their last five games; while Texas tech is struggling, losing six of their last seven games. Oklahoma State scores a lot of points -- eighth most in the nation per game -- and will be hard to slow down.
Prediction: Oklahoma State wins 80-62.
TCU did not win a single Big 12 game this season, and they won’t be starting tonight. Baylor has won seven of their last eight games and crushed TCU twice this season. Baylor scores a lot, and TCU is weak on defense.
Prediction: Baylor wins 83-60.
This could be one of the best matchups of Championship week, and it will be in the quarterfinals. The two teams split their matchups this season, and Oklahoma State has given Kansas all they can handle this season. In the game Kansas won, Andrew Wiggins was held to just three points. Joel Embiid is out for two weeks, and Wiggins will have to carry the team.
Prediction: Oklahoma State wins 81-80.
Iowa State likes to move the ball around and score points; they’re best in the nation in assists per game and 7th in the nation in points per game. In their two meetings this season, they split the series, each team winning on their home court.
Prediction: Iowa State wins 83-79.
WVU is riding high off their win over Kansas in their season finale, but they have struggled to put consecutive wins together down the stretch. In their two regular season games, Texas won both games convincingly. Texas is big, rebounds very well and should handle WVU with ease.
Prediction: Texas wins 85-72.
Both teams enter the tournament playing good basketball. Oklahoma is 10-4 in their last 14 games, and Baylor has won seven of their last eight. Oklahoma won both of their regular season matchups, including a 16-point blowout in February. They are eighth in the nation in scoring, averaging 82.5 points per game.
Prediction: Oklahoma wins 74-69.
Iowa State and Oklahoma State provided two of the best Big 12 regular season games, but Iowa State won both in overtime. The first game took three overtimes to determine a winner, and the second game, their season finale, took a single overtime. Needless to say the teams are very even.
Prediction: Oklahoma State wins 78-75.
Oklahoma swept the season series with Texas, beating them twice. The teams have different styles but both like to score points. Texas will rely on their big men for rebounds and points in the paint, and Oklahoma will try to open a gap with three-pointers. Oklahoma attempted 198 more threes than Texas and made 104 more.
Prediction: Oklahoma wins 79-73.
Nothing like an in-state rivalry in a conference championship game. Oklahoma swept their state-mates during the regular season, but both games were close. There’s no doubt that both teams can put up points, but it's Oklahoma State’s defense that will make the difference. They allow 6.7 fewer points per game and produce points off turnovers.
Prediction: Oklahoma State wins 78-75.
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