Big 12 and top 25 basketball picks: Predictions for January 11th


Iowa State will have a couple of big road tests for both men’s and women’s teams on Saturday.

Mar 10, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Iowa State Cyclones center Anna Prins (55) shoots against the Oklahoma Sooners during the semifinals of the Big 12 conference tournament at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

First, the men’s basketball team travels to Oklahoma to take on a high-octane Sooners squad. Later on, the women will host Oklahoma State in a top-15 matchup.

HMCC host Brad LaFratte along with staff writer and co-host Brian Voss will be making the picks for this week.

Central times listed along with network assignment listed immediately after. All games are on Saturday unless noted.

(9)Iowa State (14-0) at Oklahoma (12-3) – 11:00 AM, ESPNU

Voss: Iowa State will have to lose eventually. Currently these two teams are tied for 5th in the country in points per game turning in an average score of 87. Lon Kruger is an excellent coach and Oklahoma has generally been impressive this season. I see the Sooners upsetting Iowa State in a high scoring contest. Oklahoma

LaFratte: Both teams share similar offensive prowess both scoring 87 points per game, but the difference between the two teams can be found on the defensive side of the court. The Cyclones are allowing just 67 points per game while the Sooners are giving up 79 points per game to their opponents.  The last ten minutes have been kind to the experienced Cyclones throughout the season.  Being able to get key stops down the stretch will be the difference. With another solid performance, don’t be surprised if DeAndre Kane wins a fifth Big 12 weekly award. Iowa State

Women’s: (15)Oklahoma State (13-1) at (11)Iowa State (14-0) – 6:00 PM,

LaFratte: This game features a match up of two top 15 teams with a combined record of 27-1.  What more could you ask for? Hilton Magic will play a key factor as Iowa State is averaging around 10,000 fans a game.  That attendance mark puts the Cyclone faithful at the top of list in women’s basketball. The growth of highly touted freshman Jadda Buckley has helped legalize the Cyclones as a threat to win the Big 12. Iowa State

Voss: The Cowboys have an impressive record, but have yet to play a ranked team. Iowa State has remained undefeated despite an overtime battle with Oklahoma last week. Bill Fennelly’s club is always tough at Hilton and this game will be no different. Cyclones get it done. Iowa State

TCU (9-5) at (7)Baylor (12-2) – 12:45 PM, Big 12 Network

Jan 7, 2014; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs head coach Trent Johnson reacts during the second half against the Kansas State Wildcats at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

LaFratte: Look for Baylor to bounce back from their loss to Iowa State this past Tuesday night.  The Bears length and size will wear down and eventually overwhelm the Horned Frogs.  Trent Johnson’s squad has improved, but the lack of offensive firepower outside of Kyan Anderson and Amric Fields will be the difference in this one. Baylor

(25)Kansas State (12-3) at (18)Kansas (10-4) – 1:00 PM, ESPN

Voss: Kansas had a good showing in a win at Oklahoma. The incredibly talented Jayhawks may be beginning to click and this should terrify their Big 12 opponents. Kansas State has been impressive after a slow start. Once again the deciding factor in this one will be home court advantage. Give me Kansas.

(11)Oklahoma State (13-2) at West Virginia (10-5) – 3:00 PM, Big 12 Network

LaFratte: West Virginia is still looking for that signature win since joining the Big 12.  Heading to this contest, the Mountaineers are coming off two Big 12 road wins over TCU and Texas Tech.  No matter who you beat on the road it’s like getting a win and a half in a conference like the Big 12.  Even with the Mountaineers improved offensive production, logic says that the Cowboys will win.  But I just have one of those feelings that an upset is more than possible.  A match up between future pros Juwan Staten and Marcus Smart be a fun one to watch. West Virginia

Texas Tech (8-7) at Texas (11-4) – 7:00 PM, Longhorn Network

Voss: Texas is a fairly talented group and can’t be happy with an 0-2 start in conference play. Texas Tech is struggling under first year head coach Tubby Smith and while some wins will come eventually, a win in Austin will not. Texas should win this one without too many problems. Texas

Other top 25 action

North Carolina (10-5) at (2)Syracuse (15-0) – 11:00 AM, ESPN

LaFratte: Which North Carolina team is going to show up?  Roy Williams would like to know!  Will it be the Tar Heel squad that beat first-ranked Michigan State, third-ranked Louisville, and 11th-ranked Kentucky? Or will it be the team that lost to the likes of Belmont and UAB?  Ridding a two-game losing streak heading into a hostile environment with 30,000 fans in the Carrier Dome, it’s going to be extremely difficult to reverse recent fortunes.  Syracuse’s zone defense will prove to be too much for UNC’s inconsistent outside shooting. The Orange’s winning streak will hit 16; their transition from the Big East to the ACC has been impressive so far. Syracuse

(6)Wichita State (16-0) at Missouri State (12-3) – 7:00 PM, ESPN3

Voss: Wichita State will have to lose eventually…or will they? The Shockers are at a level considerably higher than that of the greater Missouri Valley Conference. The Bears are currently undefeated at home but that will probably have to end. I see Wichita State winning this game. Wichita State