Basketball

Big 12 Basketball 2019: Game Three

A quick recap of last weekend’s Big 12 action and a preview of the games this week. Plus Big 12 power rankings.

All the favorites won last week and there wasn’t really a whole lot of games down the wire. That being said, there was an unexpected blowout and a lot of games that ended close to the spread. The results from last week were:

  • Texas Tech 63, Kansas State 57 – Texas Tech dominated this game from the beginning, not allowing a Kansas State field goal until 10 minutes into the game, when a Wildcat player was cherry picking. However, Tech got sloppy and Kansas State starting hitting some shots to get back in the game. Luckily for Tech, Davide Moretti (19 pts, 7-11 FG, 4 reb) hit every big shot and had a fantastic steal. Another ugly win, but a win indeed.
  • Oklahoma 74, Oklahoma State 64 – This is the second game where I lost my cover by a basket. OU missed a late free throw that would’ve hit the line. I would’ve got this right if I used the updated line, but I made the bet at -11 so we’ll keep it that way, Anyway, this game was close the whole way until Oklahoma pulled away at the end. Oklahoma State will be a hard out the whole season. Kristian Doolittle (16 pts, 4-8 FG, 8-10 FT, 8 reb) had a strong game
  • TCU 85, Baylor 81 – I only watched the first half of this game, but it appeared early on that TCU was going to win comfortably over Baylor. The Bears scored just 28 points in the first half, but 53 points in the second half. They came within one point late in the game and missed a three pointer with eight seconds left to lose. Don’t know if this game says more about Baylor or TCU. Alex Robinson (18 pts, 10 ast) had a strong game for TCU, as did Tristan Clark (18 pts, 6 reb) for Baylor.
  • Iowa State 77, Kansas 60 – I said Iowa State would win, but no way did I think they would tear apart Kansas like they did. As far as points go, this was their second worse defeat in the past three seasons. The stats were pretty similar for both teams, except for Kansas getting a ton of rebounds, but the difference was turnovers. Kansas had 12 more than Iowa State, and the Cyclones had 20 points off turnovers to the Jayhawks four. Marial Shayok (24 pts, 9-12 FG, 5 reb) is going to be an All-Big 12 player this year.
  • Texas 61, West Virginia 54 – Another game where I missed the spread by a point. This game was a lot like the Oklahoma game, except that Texas didn’t win by as much as the Sooners. Both teams went back and forth in the first half, but Texas started the pull away at end of the half and start of the second half. West Virginia got it to within one, but the Longhorns pulled away in the end. Dylan Osetkowski (14 pts, 4-5 FG, 7 reb) had an efficient game for Texas.

Here is my record overall and against the spread after the second slate of games (nine games total):

Overall: 9-0 (5-0 last game); Against The Spread: 5-4 (2-3 last game).

I thought this week wasn’t going to be that good at first, but the more I look at it, the more I am interested. Here’s the games during the week. (The lines have not been posted since I last updated this post. I will update them with my predictions when I get the chance to.)

Big 12 Schedule: Game Three

West Virginia (8-6, 0-2) at Kansas State (10-4, 0-2)

Line Watch Interest
KSU -4, O/U 128 1/9, 6 p.m., ESPNU **

Match-Up: It’s the match-up between the two teams Texas Tech has played so far (along with Texas). Both teams have a solid defense but have the two lowest scoring offenses in conference play. So if you like points, this isn’t the game for you. Unless things change, I don’t think Dean Wade or Sagaba Konate will be back.

Someone from one of these teams needs to step up. Barry Brown scored 17 points against Texas Tech, but shot below 30% from the field. Lamont West had a huge game against the Red Raiders with 22 points on 6-9 shooting. A loss puts both teams in a near impossible hole to climb out of for the Big 12 championship.

Prediction: Kansas State wins this match and covers. The Mountaineers have covered in their two Big 12 games and I think they will do so again. The Wildcats were overrated, but I just have a hard time thinking that they start off the Big 12 with three loses.

Texas (10-4, 2-0) at Oklahoma State (6-8, 0-2)

Line Watch Interest
UT -3, O/U -133 1/8, 6 p.m., ESPNU ***

Match-Up: I originally had this game as a 2-star interest, but the Oklahoma State games have been pretty close thus far. As we know, it’s not easy to win in Stillwater, and Iowa State almost walked out of there with a loss. So a hot Texas team against an Oklahoma State team waiting for an upset? Sign me up.

These teams love to shoot the three ball, as they are second and third in the Big 12 in three pointers made in conference play (behind Iowa State) and two of the top four teams in three point percentage. Lindsey Waters III and Thomas Dziagwa of Oklahoma State and Jase Febres and Matt Colman III of Texas need to get hot for both teams.

Prediction: Calling the upset here. Texas has the potential to get cold and Oklahoma State can match-up up well inside with Texas’ big men with Cameron McGriff. That hard work from the Cowboys has to pay off at some point.

No. 20 Iowa State (12-2, 2-0) at Baylor (8-5, 0-1)

Line Watch Interest
ISU -3, O/U 135 1/8, 6 p.m., ESPNN ***

Match-Up: Iowa State had an impressive win at home against Kansas, and now travel to Baylor to try and stay undefeated. Although I feel like I have a lot of the Big 12 teams down at this point, I’m still struggling to figure out exactly who Baylor is. In the half against TCU I saw, they shot a lot of threes and didn’t close out the shooters enough.

Iowa State has a ton of athletic guards, and I just don’t think Baylor has the athletes to guard all of them. Heck, Lindell Wigginton didn’t do a ton last game and they still won by 17. For them to win, they need to shoot at a high percentage and Tristan Clark has to be a force down low. I don’t see that happening.

Prediction: Iowa State wins and covers. I don’t envision Baylor being a problem for the Cyclones, especially with all the athletes Iowa State has.

TCU (12-1, 1-0) at No. 7 Kansas (12-2, 1-1)

Line Watch Interest
KU -6, O/U 151 1/9, 8 p.m., ESPN2 ****

Match-Up: Kansas is facing some of it’s tougher opponents early on. You could argue their first three opponents will finish in the top half of the Big 12 this season. The Jayhawks need a bounce back game after a horrendous second half performance against Iowa State in Aimes. Quentin Grimes has shown up to play, but Lagerald Vick has been ineffective thus far.

TCU probably should’ve defeated Baylor by more than what they did, and now they have to travel to Lawrence to face a pissed off Kansas team. TCU is going to have to close out their shooters and Kevin Samuel will have his hands full trying to slow down Dedric Lawson.

Prediction: Kansas takes out their anger on the Horn Frogs with a win and a cover. Typically I think I’d have this game closer, but Kansas is a bad mismatch for TCU I believe and Self is going to explode if Kansas loses two in a row.

No. 23 Oklahoma (12-2, 1-1) at No. 8 Texas Tech (13-1, 2-0)

Line Watch Interest
TTU -6.5, O/U 131 1/8, 8 p.m., ESPNN *****

Match-Up: This is the marquee match-up of the week. Oklahoma has had a good season so far and their only losses are to ranked teams. Texas Tech is a Top 10 team and is facing their first real tough Big 12 opponent. Oklahoma doesn’t want to fall down to 1-2 and the Red Raiders want to keep pace with Iowa State.

I think the key to this match is boxing out. Oklahoma is first in offensive rebounds and third in rebounding margin thanks to the likes of Brady Manek. This will be a big game for Norense Odiase and Tariq Owens, so they need to stay out of foul trouble.

The Sooners aren’t a big defensive team, so Texas Tech will likely get some open shots, and they’ll need to knock them down. Davide Moretti has come alive in Big 12 play, so it will be interesting to see if he can keep it up on Tuesday. Another plus is that Oklahoma is near the bottom and Texas Tech near the top in turnover margin.

Prediction: Texas Tech will win, but they won’t cover. With tough opponents, good defense and a somtimes struggling offense, I don’t think Tech will cover a lot this season. This is a weekday game and class isn’t back in session yet, so I hope the crowd can still get after it this game.

Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 2

  • 10. Oklahoma State – I’m not going to move a team up that is below .500 right now, but to their credit, they have been in their two games so far. They need to start getting wins if they even have a chance at the NCAA tournament.
  • 9. West Virginia – The Mountaineers are just not a good basketball team, but much like the Cowboys, they are keeping their games close. Esa Ahmad isn’t playing like the player he’s supposed to be and the Konate injury is really hurting them.
  • 8. Baylor – I only moved Baylor above West Virginia because they have one less loss in conference play. I’m not really sure what to think of this team still, but I still don’t think they’re a tournament team.
  • 7. Kansas State – I probably should’ve dropped Kansas State a while back, and now I definitely will after a 20 point loss to Texas and a loss to Texas Tech. I know Wade is out and Stokes is injured, but the Wildcats haven’t exactly been amazing before Big 12 play.
  • 6. Texas – The Longhorns are having a good start in the Big 12 play, but it’s disrespectful to TCU to jump them after losing four games this season and defeating two of the worst teams in the Big 12. Big test this week against Texas Tech.
  • 5. TCU – I thought the Horn Frogs should’ve defeated Baylor by more, but they have just one loss to the season, and Lispcomb could be a tournament team this season. Have a huge test this week against Kansas.
  • 4. Oklahoma – Oklahoma has a tough beginning part of their Big 12 schedule. First they had to travel to Lawrence, and now they have to go to Lubbock, followed by a home game against TCU. Not going to look good if they fall below .500 in conference play early on.
  • 3. Texas Tech – Yes I dropped Texas Tech down a slot despite winning two games. But the Red Raiders failed to cover against likely two of the weaker teams in the Big 12, while Iowa State had wins at Oklahoma State and a huge victory over Kansas.
  • 2. Iowa State – A huge victory against a Top 5 team gives you the No. 2 spot in the rankings. Iowa State looked impressive in non-conference and they backed up the talk this week. They have athletic guards and have a chance, along with Kansas and Texas Tech, to win the Big 12.
  • 1. Kansas – I know Iowa State just defeated Kansas by 17, but I still feel like this is Kansas’ conference. However, they need Lagerald Vick to start playing well again. Unfortunately, Udoka Azubuike is now ruled out for the season, which is a major blow and makes the conference a wide open race. Another loss or a narrow victory might drop them down.
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