We are in the second half of the conference season heading towards March Madness. Teams contending for a conference title can’t afford to lose many games. This week we have three really big games in the Big 12 between three of the top four teams in the conference.
Here is the best of The Week Ahead…
BEST OF THE WEEK: Kansas at West Virginia (Wednesday @ 6 pm on ESPN+)
The week ahead is a make or break week for West Virginia. The Mountaineers are currently 6-4 in the Big 12, three games behind Kansas and four behind Baylor. And this week West Virginia faces Kansas ay home before traveling to Baylor on Saturday. That makes this game against the Jayhawks a must-win game to stay in the hunt for first or second in the conference. More likely is for them to finish third.
Kansas needs a win at West Virginia to stay just a game back of Baylor. This is one of three games Kansas could reasonably lose in the remaining conference schedule. KenPom still projects Kansas and Baylor to tie for the conference title at 15-3. I’m not sure Baylor is losing three games so Kansas can’t afford a loss at West Virginia. However, trips to Morgantown are awfully difficult to give the edge to West Virginia.
DON’T MISS: West Virginia at Baylor (Saturday @ 3 pm on ESPN+)
Look at the game mentioned above to learn why this is a big game. Both teams need this game. From a local viewpoint, Kansas will be pulling for West Virginia. Get Baylor every loss possible.
MONDAY: Baylor at Texas (8 pm on ESPN)
Can Texas actually beat Baylor? Anything can happen in conference play when the better teams are on the road so yes. Texas can win the game. I just don’t give them much chance. Baylor is one of the best teams in the country. Texas is 14-9 overall and 4-6 in the Big 12 in what looks more and more like Shaka Smart’s last season as the head coach at Texas.
TUESDAY: Michigan State at Illinois (8 pm on ESPN)
After a rough start to the season in which they were the preseason number one team in the country, Michigan State settled down and won eight consecutive games. However, they enter this game on a three-game losing streak and have fallen into fourth place in the Big Ten. Illinois is half a game better in third place in the conference and they enter this game on a two-game losing streak. This is a huge game for both teams to snap their losing streaks.
WEDNESDAY: Creighton at Seton Hall (5:30 pm on FS1)
Seton Hall leads the Big East conference by three games ahead of Marquette, Villanova, and Creighton. These two will meet at Creighton on the last weekend of the regular season. Creighton must win this game to have any chance of winning the conference.
THURSDAY: COLORADO AT OREGON (8 pm on ESPN)
Colorado enters the week one game ahead of Oregon in the Pac 12 standings. Colorado won the previous meeting in Boulder 74-65. KenPom projects Oregon as a three-point winner in this one. Oregon enters the week on a two-game losing streak. A Colorado win will make it tough for Oregon to catch the Buffaloes.
Thanks for reading…