College basketball picks: Big 12 and other top 25 predictions for February 15-16


Clones Confidential lead editor Brian Spaen and staff writer Brian Voss predict this weekend’s Big 12 action and other top 25 games for Valentine’s Day weekend.

Feb 10, 2014; Manhattan, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Andrew Wiggins (22) shoots over Kansas State Wildcats guard Marcus Foster (2) during the Jayhawks

Highlights include Bedlam, a huge game between West Virginia and Texas that no one will see thanks to it being on the Longhorn Network, and can both Syracuse and Wichita State keep their undefeated streak alive?

Central times listed with TV broadcast listed afterwards unless noted. All games take place on Saturday unless noted. Rankings reflect latest AP poll. All information subject to change.

Big 12 picks

Women: Kansas (12-13, 5-8) at Iowa State (16-7, 5-7) – 6:00 PM, Web:

Spaen: Similar to Melvin Ejim on the men’s team, Hallie Christofferson is the center point of the women’s. If she plays well, the team plays better around her. Despite having a rough Big 12 campaign, this is a golden opportunity for her and the team to get some momentum at home before the big game at Baylor. If they lose it, then they’ll have plenty of other problems to worry about. Like making it into the NCAA tournament. Iowa State

Voss: Every time it looks like the Cyclones can get back on the winning track they are unable to do so, most recently losing two straight to TCU and Texas after a blowout victory over Kansas State. Kansas upset Baylor on January 19th but since then has gone 3-4 with losing twice to Oklahoma State, as well as once each to Texas and Oklahoma. Iowa State only has two home victories in conference play, but this is ultimately a game the Cyclones should win. Iowa State

TCU (9-14, 0-11) at (7)Kansas (18-6, 9-2) – 3:00 PM, Big 12 Network (Syndicated) (Web: ESPN3)

Voss: TCU head coach Trent Johnson is a good basketball coach. Unfortunately he took what has proved to be about as tough of a rebuilding job as anybody could imagine. TCU played Iowa State tough last Saturday before getting blown out vs. Baylor Wednesday evening. Kansas suffered an overtime loss against Kansas State Monday night. At times this year, Kansas has looked as good as anybody in the country. At other times they’ve played like a young, inexperienced team. Fortunately for them, TCU isn’t very good. Kansas runs away with this game.

Jan 4, 2014; Lubbock, TX, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Georges Niang (31) works the ball against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at United Spirit Arena. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech (13-11, 5-6) at (11)Iowa State (18-5, 6-5) – 12:45 PM, Big 12 Network (Syndicated) (Web: ESPN3)

Voss: It’s been a tough week for Cyclone Nation. First the devastating loss at West Virginia, and a day later Rashad Vaughn announced he’d be going to UNLV. The Cyclones have played absolutely awful defense for the better part of their last two contests against TCU and West Virginia, and are frankly in a funk after the three-overtime victory against Oklahoma State in Stillwater. Tubby Smith has done an incredible job at Texas Tech in year one. While only 13-11 overall and 5-6 in conference play, the Red Raiders have won three straight, including a road victory at Oklahoma. All but one of Tech’s losses in conference play were by single digits, with their last double digit loss being against Iowa State on January 4th. This could be a very close game, fortunately for the Cyclones Hilton Magic will prevail. Iowa State

West Virginia (15-10, 7-5) at (19)Texas (19-5, 8-3) – 7:00 PM, Longhorn Network

Voss: Before the season started nobody outside of Austin or Morgantown cared about this game. Now, any Big 12 fan wants to see how it will play out. West Virginia has won four of their last five, with a lone loss at Kansas last Saturday. Juwan Staten is currently playing at a very high level for the Mountaineers. Texas suffered a seventeen-point loss at Kansas State last Saturday, but was able to handle an Oklahoma State team playing without Marcus Smart Tuesday night. This game will be played in Austin where the Longhorns last lost on January 4th to Oklahoma, 88-85. Texas

Oklahoma (18-7, 7-5) at Oklahoma State (16-8, 4-7) – 1:00 PM, ESPN

Spaen: Both teams are desperate for a win this time around. Oklahoma State continues their downward spiral in Big 12 action that’s been made worse with a Marcus Smart suspension. Ryan Spangler struggled as Oklahoma lost to Texas Tech at home with terrible 3-point shooting. In the last meeting, Spangler dominated with the absence of Michael Cobbins, who the Cowboys sorely miss. The Sooners will rebound on the road with a better team. Oklahoma

Kansas State (17-7, 7-4) at Baylor (15-9, 3-8) – 6:00 PM, ESPN2

Spaen: Baylor took advantage of their size dominating TCU for the second time this season. That’s about all that’s gone right for the Bears in Big 12 play. Kansas State is starting to make their move with a blowout win over Texas and beating Kansas in their two-game homestand. With the win over the Jayhawks, the Wildcats remain in Big 12 title contention, but they can’t afford a step back on the road. It won’t happen until Baylor looks impressive when they aren’t facing TCU. Kansas State

Other top 25 games

Feb 12, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Tyler Ennis (11) goes to the basket against Pittsburgh Panthers guard James Robinson (left) and forward Jamel Artis (1) during the second half at the Petersen Events Center. Syracuse won 58-56. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina State (16-8) at (1)Syracuse (24-0) – 2:00 PM, ACC Network (Syndicated) (Web: ESPN3)

Voss: Syracuse was able to escape at Pittsburgh Wednesday night after Tyler Ennis’s buzzer beater. North Carolina State has won five of their last six but lost by 35 to Duke on January 18th. Syracuse has had some close calls, but that won’t be the case this time around. Syracuse

(3)Florida (22-2) at (14)Kentucky (19-5) – 8:00 PM, ESPN

Voss: Florida currently sits undefeated in conference play and has one of the best defenses in the country, a defense that held Texas A&M to a mere 36 points on February 1st. Kentucky has won four straight and has only lost two conference games: the first being an overtime loss at Arkansas, the other a five point loss at LSU. Kentucky also hasn’t lost on it’s home court this season. Kentucky will win this one in a very close game.

(4)Wichita State (26-0) at Evansville (11-15) – Sunday, 4:00 PM, The Valley (Syndicated) (Web: ESPN3)

Spaen: If the Shockers are going to lose a game before the Missouri Valley tournament, it’s going to be at Evansville. The Aces were able to keep things close at halftime in their previous contest at the beginning of this month. Guard D.J. Balentine had 26 points and took 21 of Evansville’s 54 field goal attempts. Evansville needs to find an answer for Cleanthony Early on the boards. It won’t happen. Wichita State

(6)Villanova (22-2) at (18)Creighton (20-4) – Sunday, 4:00 PM, FOX Sports 1

Spaen: The Blue Jays made 21-of-35 3-point shots against the Wildcats on the road in a bizarre 96-68 blowout. Ethan Wragge and Doug McDermott accounted for two-thirds of the 3-point production during the contest, and it was one of those nights where a team never cooled off from the perimeter. Villanova was ranked fourth in the nation before that game, and they’ve come close to regaining their old spot after winning six straight. Creighton won’t make as many 3’s this time around, but they’ll still get the victory at home. Creighton

Note: Syndicated games can be found on local affiliates and regional sports networks. Check local listings.