The Big 12 Tournament heads into the quarterfinals on Thursday after a two-game opening round. It’s a Quarterfinal Thursday in Kansas City, with seven of the eight teams below basically guaranteed a spot in the NCAA tournament.
We’ve got everything you need to know for today’s action from T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri on what should be a day fill with some terrific college hoops.
No. 5 Oklahoma St. vs. No. 4 West Virginia: 11:30 a.m. ET
Point Spread: WVU -3
Point Total: 151
If the NCAA doesn’t send a certified letter in the next four days or so, Cade Cunningham is going to get to play in the NCAA Tournament. The Cowboys have won six of their last seven to get in The Big Dance no matter today’s result, and they defend at a high level.
The Mountaineers won 85-80 over the Pokes last Saturday to cap the regular season. This isn’t your normal Bob Huggins team, as these Mountaineers actually can shoot a bit. But they still are a Top 10 offensive rebounding team because nature is healing and Huggy Bear still gets kids with the sharpest elbows in the game.
It should be a good one, and this total seems a bit light.
The pick: Over 151
No. 9 Kansas State vs. No. 1 Baylor: 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/2
Point Spread: Baylor -19.5
Point Total: 136
Congrats to Kansas State, who was 1-13 in the Big 12 three weeks ago, but has won four of their last five. They’re still pretty bad, but they’ve salvaged what was a brutal season.
Part of that brutal season was losing to Baylor by a combined 79 points in two games. It’s not often in college basketball you’ll gladly lay 20, but Baylor should start scoring when they get off the bus and never stop.
The pick: Baylor -19.5
No. 7. Oklahoma vs. No. 2 Kansas: 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/2
Point Spread: Kansas -3
Point Total: 138.5
You know your league is stacked when a team that’s guaranteed an NCAA berth is playing in the preliminary round. Oklahoma lost four in a row to close the regular season before beating Iowa State 79-73 yesterday, but they still turn it over less than any team in the Big 12 per possession.
Kansas beat Baylor 71-58 to close the regular season... and then was down 37-20 at home at halftime to (checks notes) UTEP five days later. And that was before the loss of their best player in David McCormack for this tournament.
This is one where betting the second half probably makes more sense, but Marcus Garrett will need to be huge for the Jayhawks today.
The pick: Kansas -3?? We think??
No. 6 Texas Tech vs. No. 3 Texas: 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/2
Point Spread: Texas Tech -1
Point Total: 135.5
The Longhorns won three in a row all on the road to close the regular season, but their last loss was 68-59 to the Red Raiders in Lubbock. It’s a bit surprising that on a neutral floor this game favors Tech. But TTU can get to the rim (39.5% free throw rate is 20th nationally), and Texas fouls a lot (295th in free throw rate allowed, 37.3%).
Expect a lot of points with the clock stopped.
The pick: Over 135.5
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