College basketball picks: Big 12 and other top 25 predictions for February 8-9


Clones Confidential lead editor Brian Spaen and staff writer Brian Voss pick this weekend’s games. Highlights include red-hot Texas and West Virginia teams with road tests against the Kansas schools and in-state rivals examined.

Feb 4, 2014; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns forward Jonathan Holmes (10) shoots a free throw in the second half against the TCU Horned Frogs at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. Texas beat TCU 59-54. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Central times listed with TV broadcast or live stream information listed afterwards. Rankings reflect latest AP poll. All information subject to change.

Big 12 games

(15)Texas  (18-4) at Kansas State (15-7) – 12:45 PM, Big 12 Network (Web: ESPN3)

Spaen: The Longhorns didn’t execute well against TCU, but Jonathan Holmes did with 20 points and 16 rebounds. He was also the man responsible for a game-winning shot against the Wildcats in their last meeting. If Texas can hold Kansas State to under 40 percent shooting, they’ll have a good chance to win – they’re 14-0 when accomplishing that. Even if they can’t, they’ll continue to roll with their seventh victory in a row by owning the rebounding battle. Texas

West Virginia (14-9) at (8)Kansas (17-5) – 3:00 PM, ESPN

Voss: Kansas had a major let down in last weekend’s loss to Texas. Despite this, the Jayhawks are still arguably the best team in college basketball. West Virginia has played better in conference then most expected, and point guard Juwan Staten has played as well as any guard in the Big 12. West Virginia may be able to keep in close early, but this will ultimately be an easy win for Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse.

TCU (9-12) at (16)Iowa State (17-4) – 3:00 PM, Big 12 Network (Web: ESPN3)

Voss: TCU has yet to score 70 points in a conference basketball game, much less win a conference game. Iowa State has shown this year they can play at an elite level, and that was very true against Oklahoma State on Monday. Iowa State will be able to run away with this one.

Baylor (14-8) at (21)Oklahoma (17-6) – 6:00 PM, ESPN2

Voss: Baylor had a big win at Oklahoma State last weekend, but was unable to keep momentum going against Kansas. Oklahoma lost at West Virginia this week, and also suffered a tough loss at Iowa State last Saturday. Baylor will eventually come around this season, and this is a win they will ultimately pull off. Baylor

(19)Oklahoma State (16-6) at Texas Tech (11-11) – 8:30 PM, ESPNU

Spaen: Is Texas Tech actually a threat to compete, or did they benefit from an easier half of the Big 12 slate? We’ll find out as they are scheduled to take on five consecutive ranked foes. For Oklahoma State, they need damage control after dropping four of their last five games. Jaye Crockett presents a matchup problem, averaging 14.4 points per game on a Big 12-best 55.3 rebounds. Even better? His hometown of Clovis, New Mexico, gave him his own day last Tuesday. He’ll be motivated with a huge game, and Texas Tech takes down another ranked opponent at home.

Women: Iowa State (16-6) at Texas (15-7) – Sunday, 2:00 PM, FOX Sports 1

Spaen: It’s no secret that the Big 12 has figured out Hallie Christofferson. She had just 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting in a bad loss against TCU at home. Texas has been just as inconsistent, but they’ve rattled off better wins in conference play such as Oklahoma and West Virginia at home. Until the Cyclones shoot better in first-half action, they’ll continue to struggle. It won’t be remedied at Austin. Texas

Voss: Bill Fennelly’s squad has struggled during conference play, but is currently 3-2 on the road in the Big 12. Texas has won three of their last four, including a 3 point win at then #18 West Virginia. Texas wins this one.

Other top 25 games

(10)Michigan (17-5) at (17)Iowa (17-6) – 1:00 PM, ESPN

Voss: Michigan has played very good basketball throughout conference play. A loss at Indiana was a minor bump in the road. Carver-Hawkeye Arena isn’t an easy place to play, but the Hawkeyes have lost big games at home against Michigan State and Ohio State. Iowa will finally show the mental toughness to finish out a big contest, and win this one in a close game. Iowa

(4)Wichita State (24-0) at Northern Iowa (11-12) – 8:00 PM, ESPN2

Spaen: This is not the Missouri Valley that we’ve gotten used to seeing. Each year continues to see a drop-off in quality. If Creighton was still in the league, both them and the Shockers would be the only teams having epic matchups. Wichita State has sprung a few leaks recently, getting tested early against Evansville and Indiana State in their last two outings. Road games against UNI and Evansville are likely the only two places we can expect the Shockers to lose. I predict it will happen (because odds), but it won’t be in Cedar Falls. Wichita State