Welcome to conference tournament season. It’s March, which means two things: basketball and gambling. Here’s your guide for today’s Big 12 action, starting at 6:00 PM on ESPN U.
#8 TCU vs. #9 Oklahoma State (TCU -4)
I cannot emphasize this enough: hammer the Frogs here. I know TCU has completely stumbled down the stretch, losing six of their last eight (including a bad loss in Stillwater), but this is a team fighting for their tournament lives.
I know, Oklahoma State has shown the ability to surprise (they beat SEC champion LSU) but with all due respect to their scrappy band of student managers and mid-season walk-ons, Jim Dixon and the Horned Frogs should easily get this win and the cover. Otherwise, they deserve to get faded out of the Big 12 forever (Sorry, Blake). Frogs -4 is too much of a tasty treat to not take. TCU, -4.
#7 Oklahoma vs. #10 West Virginia (OU -6.5)
Vegas is weirdly high on the Sooners, as evidenced by this relatively high line. I know the Mountaineers are bad, but Jesus do we really trust this OU basketball this much with 6.5 points? I felt the same way a few weeks ago during the last matchup between these teams and Oklahoma pulled off a comfortable cover.
With that being said, I still feel more comfortable with this game being a closer win from OU or a West Virginia upset. Neutral court matters and I think the Sooners cool off a bit away from the LNC. From here on out, the biggest thing for the Sooner success is hoping that any combination of Jamal Bieniemy, Aaron Calixte, Brady Manek and Christian James get hot and help out Kristian Doolittle for once.
Figuring out if this Oklahoma team shows up against decent competition is nearly impossible, but thankfully we have that overzealous Vegas line. Go with West Virginia here and consider sprinkling some cash on the moneyline for the highest value upset bit of the tournament. West Virginia, +6.5