Spring Training games start this week. The XFL makes its debut on The Week Ahead. Kansas and Baylor play in a game that could determine who wins the Big 12 this season. Missouri is looking to build on the big win Saturday against Auburn.
Here is the best of The Week Ahead…
BEST OF THE WEEK: Kansas at Baylor (Saturday @ 11am on ESPN)
This is easily the biggest game of the week. These two teams are separated by just one game for the top spot in the Big 12. Baylor won at Kansas earlier in the season 67-55 so Kansas is the team in the must-win situation here if they want to win the conference.
There is a chance these two teams enter this game tied for the Big 12 lead. Baylor has to play at Oklahoma on Tuesday and Oklahoma has lost just one conference home game this year. That game was early in the conference season in a loss to Kansas. I expect Baylor to win at Oklahoma but there is a chance.
MONDAY: Iowa State at Kansas (8pm on ESPN)
Iowa State is 4-8 in the conference. I’m not sure how because they have looked terrible every time I have watched them. Kansas needs this win to stay within reach of Baylor for the lead in the Big 12. Kansas won 79-53 at Iowa State in early January. I don’t expect this to be a close game but every game is a must-win if Kansas wants to start a new streak in the Big 12.
TUESDAY: Mississippi at Missouri (7:30pm on SECN)
These teams are not battling for the top of the SEC. Both teams are 4-8 and tied with Arkansas for 10th in the conference. But this game is bigger than this for Missouri. Missouri has a chance to win back-to-back conference games for the first time this season. After the big win Saturday against Auburn, a loss at home to Mississippi would be a disappointment.
WEDNESDAY: Kansas State at Texas Tech (8pm on ESPN2)
Texas Tech is having a disappointing season at 7-5 in the conference which is good for third but five games off the lead. Kansas State is currently in last place in the Big 12. The Wildcats lost at Texas Tech in the middle of January 77-63. KenPom has the Red Raiders as a 12 point favorite in this game. I’m looking to see how Bruce Weber’s team responds. Anyone can play hard in a good season but can Kansas State fight the way we have seen Missouri fight through their tough season?
THURSDAY: Oregon at Arizona State (8pm on ESPN)
We don’t watch much Pac 12 basketball in Big 12 country but this game might be worth your time. Both teams are tied for first place with two other teams in the Pac 12 conference. Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, and Arizona State all have four losses and USC and UCLA are just one game back of that. Now, the Pac 12 isn’t that great this season but it’s a heck of a race. This game should have a lot of excitement in the building so it should be enjoyable to watch.
FRIDAY: Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals (2pm on 610AM)
It’s the first Spring Training game of the season. You have to listen to it. Sure, it means nothing but maybe we will hear a lot of information about the team and its plans for the season.
SATURDAY: Missouri at Arkansas (Noon on SECN)
Of course, the game of the day on Saturday is Kansas at Baylor. Look above in the “Best of the Week” for more on that game. Since that game isn’t available for this pick then this game is the most interesting game for me. Missouri hosts Mississippi on Tuesday and then goes to Arkansas on Saturday. Those are the two teams they are currently tied with in the SEC. Arkansas has lost four games in a row entering the week and is at Florida on Tuesday so they likely will enter this game on a five-game losing streak. Missouri needs to keep a losing team losing and win this game. The Tigers won the previous matchup at home 83-79. It won’t be easy but KenPom has Missouri as a shocking nine-point favorite in this game at the time I am writing this.
SUNDAY: New York at St. Louis (2pm on ESPN)
Ok, I did it. I put an XFL game on the list as the best game of the day. St. Louis lost a football team to Los Angeles because of an ownership change after the passing of Georgia Frontiere. The city of St. Louis is upset with the NFL and has reportedly sold out the lower bowl of the dome where the Rams used to play for this game. The upper bowl is not being sold. I will be interested in what the crowd is like for this game. St. Louis is a good football city and should still have an NFL team with local ownership.
Thanks for reading…