All eyes in the college basketball universe were on Waco, Texas on Saturday afternoon when Kansas tangled with Baylor in a matchup we could very well see two more times this year in the postseason.
The now No. 1 ranked Jayhawks (24-3, 13-1 Big 12) used an outstanding performance from Udoka Azubuike and fended off a ferocious late Baylor rally in a 64-61 win.
The victory stopped Baylor’s 23-game winning streak and gave Kansas revenge for a loss earlier this season, the lone blemish in conference play for the Jayhawks to date.
[table id=284 /]
Kansas and No. 2 Baylor (24-2, 13-1 Big 12) are far and away the class of the Big 12 Conference, and the likely rubber match to this series is coming in the Big 12 Tournament Final.
Oddsmakers have each of these teams favored highly to get to the tournament final and setup a Round 3 to determine it all. The Jayhawks are the short favorites to win the Big 12 Tourney (Big 12 Odds: +150), while the Bears are close behind them at +200.
This week Kansas (+700) and Baylor (+850) both saw their National Championship odds decrease a tad, as the markets begin to tighten ahead of the NCAA Tournament.
No. 1 Kansas – February 24: vs. Okla. St. (14-13, 4-10 Big 12); February 29: at Kansas St. (9-18, 2-12 Big 12)
No. 2 Baylor – February 25: vs. Kansas St. (9-18, 2-12 Big 12); February 29: at TCU (15-12, 6-8 Big 12)
Texas Tech Solidifies Tournament Standing
The Red Raiders shook off their upset loss to Oklahoma State with a pair of wins last week over Kansas State and Iowa State.
The victories lifted Texas Tech (18-9, 9-5 Big 12) back off the bubble and squarely in the field of 68 heading into this week’s action.
While any shot at a share of the regular season conference crown is faint at best, Texas Tech does still get the opportunity to add a win over Baylor or Kansas to their resume as they close the season with a home and road split of each opponent.
Last year’s National Runner-Ups aren’t getting completely unnoticed by oddsmakers this week, as the Red Raiders are listed at +650 to catch a little fire in Kansas City and win the Big 12 Tournament.
But at the least, their at-large standing in the NCAA Tournament appears to be very strong for now.
February 25: at Oklahoma (16-11, 6-8 Big 12); February 29: vs. Texas (16-11, 6-8 Big 12)
West Virginia Continues to Struggle on the Road
If the NCAA Tournament were to be played in Morgantown, West Virginia (19-8, 7-7 Big 12) would be the runaway favorite to win the entire thing.
Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, that’s not how that thing works. And the Mountaineers will need to figure out how to win away from Morgantown if they are to have any hope at having any type of run in the postseason.
West Virginia’s road woes were exposed once again last week when the Mountaineers fell in Fort Worth to TCU in overtime 67-60.
For now, Bob Huggins’ crew appears to be safely in the dance. But with road games looming against Texas and Iowa State, along with Baylor coming to visit and well, you can’t feel too safe just yet.
This appears to be a pretty big week coming up for West Virginia.
On the betting front, oddsmakers have the Mountaineers at +550 to win the Big 12 Tournament later next month.
Oklahoma’s At-Large Chances Hanging by a Thread
Oklahoma (16-11, 6-8 Big 12) lost its third consecutive game on Saturday, 83-66 to rival Oklahoma State, to put their at-large status very much in doubt as we inch closer to Selection Sunday.
The Sooners schedule does not get any easier this week as it hosts red hot Texas Tech and then travels to Morgantown to face a West Virginia team also suddenly in need of a win.
A rough week could leave Boomer Sooner in need of winning the Big 12 Tournament to punch their ticket into the dance.
At current writing, we don’t favor Oklahoma’s chances very much to win the tournament outright (Big 12 Odds: +1500).
Here is how the rest of the field stacks up to win the Big 12 Conference Tournament:
Kansas State +6000
Oklahoma State +6000
Iowa State +8000
Big 12 Betting Nuggets
- Baylor UNDER is 6-2 in their L8 games
- Kansas UNDER is 12-1 in road games this season
- Texas Tech OVER is 7-2 in their L9 games
- West Virginia UNDER is 7-0 in their L7 games
- Oklahoma UNDER is 10-5 in their L15 games
- TCU is 3-9 ATS in their L12 games
- Iowa State OVER is 7-2-1 in their L10 games
- Oklahoma State is 5-1 ATS in their L6 games
- Kansas State OVER is 9-3 in their L12 games
Best Sportsbook 2020
[table id=284 /]