Basketball

Big 12 Basketball 2019: Game Four

We recap an eventful week in Big 12 basketball, plus a preview of the upcoming games this weekend.

A lot went right for the Red Raiders during the week. The rest of the remaining undefeated conference teams lost except for the defensive juggernaut out in West Texas. Here were the results from last week:

  • Oklahoma State 61, Texas 58 – Oklahoma State just dominated from the get go. And like their game against Iowa State, they didn’t have a great second half, except this time they held on. Every Big 12 game is tough, and this just proves it right here. I said that the key was the three point shooting last week, and Texas was 2-22 while Oklahoma State was 8-19, which includes a red hot Lindy Waters III (19 Pts, 9 Reb, 5-5 3PT).
  • Baylor 73, Iowa State 70 – This is the lone game that I incorrectly picked the overall winner. I started watching the second half due to work, and Baylor held an eight point lead at the time. Iowa State climbed back, but Yale graduate transfer Makai Mason (25 Pts, 8-15 FG%) was incredibly clutch and made shots way behind the three point line. He may be the best Big 12 player not many people talk about. Huge result for the Red Radiers’ title chances.
  • Texas Tech 66, Oklahoma 59 – I think this is going to be Texas Tech a lot of this season. They won’t win a lot of spreads because of their defense and lack of scoring, but so far they have been incredibly clutch down the stretch. Oklahoma took an early lead, but Texas Tech kept the Sooners close before Jarrett Culver (23 Pts, 8-13 FG%, 13 Reb) dominated in the final five minutes to give the Red Raiders the win.
  • Kansas State 61, West Virginia 59 – This was a weird game. The Wildcats only scored three points in the first 11 or 12 minutes, and West Virginia was making every three pointer it seemed like. Kansas State was down 21 at one point, but then shot 62% in the second half and pulled off the great comeback in the program’s history. Barry Brown (29 PTs, 9-14 FG%, 6 Stl) had a crazy good game in the second half, including the game winning lay-up. Kind of nice seeing West Virginia collapse.
  • Kansas 77, TCU 68 – It seemed that TCU had every opportunity to win this game. Although they were never leading, they would always get it close before they had bad turnovers or fouls. It definitely didn’t help that Dedric Lawson (31Pts, 10-19 FG%, 14 Reb) was unstoppable shooting the ball and on the boards. I think the flaws you saw from these teams this game was the big moment mistakes for TCU and I’m not sure who I trust on Kansas outside of Lawson.

Here is my record overall and against the spread after the third slate of games (14 games total):

Overall: 13-1 (4-1 last game); Against The Spread: 7-7 (2-3 last game).

Finally got my first loss picking the overall record, but some more bad luck when it comes to the spread. This is why basketball is hard to bet on. Late intentional fouls can change the spread result. Here’s the games this week.

Big 12 Schedule: Game Four

Oklahoma State (7-8, 1-2) at West Virginia (8-7, 0-3)

Line Watch Interest
WVU -5.5, O/U 145 1/12, 11 a.m., ESPNU *

Match-Up: Even though I think this game may be closer than some of the games listed below, the reason I think this game will be hard to watch is a expect a lot of bad basketball. Oklahoma State isn’t as bad as their 7-8 record, but they are playing in Morgantown. When West Virginia isn’t good, there’s just a lot of ugly play. I don’t expect much from this game.

If you want pluses from this game, Derek Culver has been playing really well and is looking like a Top 100 recruit that he was. Him vs. Cameron McGriff will be a fun match-up I think. But these teams are the two worst teams in assists/turnover ratio and two of the worst teams in turnover margin. But it’s 11 a.m., so I might still have it on a TV.

Prediction: West Virginia has to get a win at some point, right? Despite blowing a huge lead to Kansas State, the Mountaineers have been in all three of their Big 12 games in the end. I’ll say West Virginia wins but they won’t cover.

Kansas State (11-4,1-2) at No. 20 Iowa State (12-3, 2-1)

Line Watch Interest
ISU -10, O./U 134 1/12, 11 a.m., ESPN2 **

Match-Up: Just a reminder that this game is on ESPN 2, yet Texas Tech has played on ESPNU, ESPNNews and Longhorn Network. This game has potential to be a slaughter. The Wildcats were a historic comeback away from being winless and struggle to score, and Iowa State is a hot shooter away from being undefeated.

This is a battle of which gives up first, the offensive of Iowa State or the defense of Kansas State. Iowa State is near the top in every offensive category in the Big 12, while Kansas State is near the bottom. Barry Brown is going to need another big game for the Wildcats to pull the upset.

Prediction: This is the most confident I’ve felt picking a winner. I’m going with the Cyclones. Now will they cover? I bet the line will be low enough to say they will, as it is the Big 12 and I don’t foresee any crazy lines.

No. 7 Kansas (13-2, 2-1) at Baylor (9-5, 1-1)

Line Watch Interest
KU -3.5, O/U 137.5 1/12, 3 p.m., ESPN ****

Match-Up: I have this ranked as a 4-star interest and here’s why. Yes, Kansas is the highest ranked team in the Big 12, and Baylor has the third worst overall record in the Big 12. But the Bears have played well in the past month and Kansas has shown signs that they aren’t as good as years past. And remember, Baylor did upset Iowa State on Tuesday and lost in Waco last year.

There isn’t a ton of (healthy) good big men in the Big 12 right now, but were going to get a heck of match-up between Dedric Lawson and Tristan Clark. Clark has to limit Lawson for the Bears to win. I think this will be a lot like Texas-Oklahoma State where it’s going to be who can make the most outside shot.

Prediction: I originally had this as Kansas wins, but not covering. However, the line is lower than I expected, so I think Kansas ends up winning and covering. That being said, Waco has been tough on the Jayhawks, even when the Bears aren’t at an elite level.

No. 25 TCU (12-2, 1-1) at No. 23 Oklahoma (12-3, 1-2)

Line Watch Interest
OU -4.5, O/U 145.5 1/12, 1 p.m., FSSW *****

Match-Up: You’d probably think a match-up between two ranked teams would be the marquee game, but I don’t think so. Maybe I’m biased, but I think the other game is a little more interesting. TCU has the highest FG%, while Oklahoma is second in defensive FG%, so I’m curious to see which one gives out.

Both teams have great offenses, with TCU ranking second in points scored in Oklahoma ranking fifth. That being said, TCU is first in assists per game while Oklahoma is last, so we’re going to see two completely different style on how to score. Desmond Bane vs Christian James will one of the most underrated match-ups in the Big 12, but I think the key will be how their secondary scorers do.

Prediction: This is the hardest game I’ve had to pick so far. Maybe the line won’t reflect that, but I kept on going back and forth on this one. I’ll pick the Sooners to win and cover this one because I think they have a little bit more depth and they’re at home.

No. 8 Texas Tech (14-1, 3-0) at Texas (10-5, 2-1)

Line Watch Interest
TTU -1, O/U 125 1/12, 1 p.m., LHN *****

Match-Up: So why do I have a match-up between a Top 10 team and unranked team as the best game of the weekend? Because Texas Tech is fighting for their first win in Austin since 1996, Texas like to play up (and down) to their competition, and the result of this game can really mess with the Big 12 standings.

Since Big 12 play started, these two teams boast the two best scoring defenses, the two best defensive FG%, the two best in blocks per game, and two of the three highest scoring margins. I expect a lot of outside shots this game due to the blocks, but I hope the Red Raiders don’t settle for three. We saw in the second half of the Oklahoma game that their FG% went up when they attacked the basket.

Kerwin Roach has potential to drop 30 at any moment, so I wonder who will be the main assignment. Perhaps Culver, or maybe they’ll rotate players around. So that being said, I think the keys to the game are the ability to hit the outside shot, and who will turnover the ball the least, since fastbreak points will be crucial.

Prediction: Unfortunately, I don’t envision the Red Raiders going undefeated in Big 12 play. I’m guessing we get at minimum four loses from the team due to a top to bottom depth of the conference, and most of those will be on the road.

That being said, the Longhorns have played the three worst teams in the Big 12 thus far. But also, as I mentioned earlier, they play to the competition a lot. Sorry, I’m going to pick the upset here. Hope I’m wrong.

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