Big 12 Tournament 2013: Predictions for Each Game of the Tournament
The Big 12 tournament gets underway with first-round action from the Sprint Center in Kansas City on Wednesday night.
The Kansas Jayhawks are the favorites coming into the tournament, but their rivals, the Kansas State Wildcats, tied them for the regular-season conference title and could walk away with the hardware in Kansas City.
There will also be some teams like the Baylor Bears who are just trying to get some quality wins to pad their resume and make the NCAA tournament.
Here are predictions for every game in the Big 12 tournament.
West Virginia vs Texas Tech
It has been a very difficult first year in the Big 12 for the Mountaineers of West Virginia. They are 13-18 on the season and lost their final six games of conference play. They should have no problem reversing their losing streak against Texas Tech though.
West Virginia beat the Red Raiders in each of the two meetings between these teams this season. Texas Tech has only mustered up three conference wins, and it would be asking a lot of them to get a win in the Big 12 tournament since it has lost 11 of their last 12 games.
Pick: West Virginia
Texas vs TCU
It still remains a mystery how TCU managed to knock off Kansas back in February. The win was one of only two that the Horned Frogs have managed to pick up in their first season in the Big 12 conference.
Texas has struggled at times this year, but it does have some talent on its basketball team. The Longhorns have shown the ability to get hot, and if they do, they might be able to win a couple games in Kansas City. They will not have to get very hot to beat TCU in the first round though.
Kansas vs West Virginia
Kansas has had some very confusing losses this season, the latest being a 23-point loss to Baylor. Regardless, the Jayhawks are still the favorites coming into the Big 12 tournament.
West Virginia competed with Kansas the first time these two teams met, but the same can not be said for the second time they met. The Jayhawks will look for three straight against West Virginia in the quarterfinals.
Oklahoma vs Iowa State
When the Sooners traveled to Iowa this year, they got smacked. When the Cyclones traveled to Oklahoma, they got smacked. Now they meet again on a neutral court in the rubber match of the season series.
The Sooners stumbled in their final game of the season at TCU, while the Cyclones have won their final two games. It should be a great game throughout, but Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg will be the difference.
The Cyclones are a better coached team, and in the end, that will be the difference.
Pick: Iowa State
Oklahoma State vs Baylor
The Cowboys had a great year in the Big 12 and came up just short of getting a share of the Big 12 title. Baylor is currently on the bubble for the NCAA tournament and got a huge win on Saturday by beating Kansas by 23.
The Bears and Cowboys split the season series, with each team winning on its home court. Baylor will come out desperate for a win to secure an NCAA tournament berth. That desperation will lead to an upset victory.
Texas vs Kansas State
First-year head coach Bruce Weber has done an outstanding job with a veteran Kansas State team. The Wildcats clinched a share of the Big 12 title and are one of the favorites to win the Big 12 tournament title.
Texas has a chance to make a Cinderella run into the NCAA tournament, but it will have to overcome its struggles against the Wildcats. Kansas State had no problem winning against Texas in the regular season, and it should have no problem against Texas in the Big 12 quarterfinals.
Pick: Kansas State
Kansas vs Iowa State
If you have the had privilege to see a Kansas-Iowa State game this year, then you know what an exciting semifinal matchup this would be. The Cyclones have come up short twice this year to Kansas, losing both of the meetings in overtime.
Expect the Cyclones to put up another outstanding fight against the Jayhawks, but once again come up short. The Jayhawks know what a tough fight the Cyclones will bring to them and they will be ready to play.
Baylor vs Kansas State
Kansas State and Baylor met two times during the regular season, with the Wildcats winning both of those meetings. The Bears will be a little tired after fighting off Oklahoma State the day before, and that could play a factor down the stretch against another tough opponent.
The Wildcats will advance through to the championship game of the Big 12 tournament by knocking off the Bears
Pick: Kansas State
Kansas vs Kansas State
Two of the biggest rivals in the Big 12 will meet in the title game to face off for the third time this season. Kansas one each of the first two meetings, but this Kansas State team has played very well after losing to Kansas for the second time back in February.
The Wildcats are a veteran team who will be hungry to avoid defeat to the Jayhawks for a third time this season. Bruce Weber will certainly have his team ready to play against the Jayhawks this time around.
Expect a very close and heated battle between these two teams, but in the end the veteran leadership from players like Rodney McGruder will be too much for the Jayhawks to handle.
Pick: Kansas State