The visiting team has prevailed in nine of the 17 conference games so far this season, and odds are that at least one of the two games scheduled for Wednesday night will increase that total of road victoried.
TCU (9-6, 0-3) visits No. 9 Oklahoma State (14-2, 2-1) and 12th-ranked Baylor (13-2, 1-1) is at Texas Tech (8-8, 0-3). On paper, these two league contests appear to weigh heavily in faovr of Oklahoma State and Baylor and, therefore, are somewhat meaningless in the big scheme of things. I can assure you, however, that the Cowboys and Bears do not view them that way.
As tight as the conference race projects to be this season, you cannot afford to give away games at home and, if you portend to be one of the title contenders, you have to avoid losing to those teams you are supposed to beat, regardless of where the game is played. That is the situation b0th Oklahoma State and Baylor find themseves in as they take the court tonight against TCU and Texas Tech, both of which are looking for their first conference win.
Oklahoma State is undefeated at Gallagher-Iba Arena this season (8-0) and is averaging 17 points a game more than TCU this season. The Horned Frogs are 3-1 in true road games in 2013-14, but lost big in their one conference road game (by 26 points last Saturday at Baylor). The Cowboys lead the overall series between the two schools 19-2 and are 5-1 in games played at Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys shot over 50 percent from the field in sweeping both games with the Horned Frogs last season. And much of the offensive production for OSU is back again this season, including the Big’s second leading scorer Marcus Smart (17.8) and Markel Brown (16.8), who hit the game-winning three-point shot that beat West Virginia by one last Saturday. Junior Kyan Anderson leads TCU in scoring, averaging 15.6 ppg.
Baylor’s game at Texas Tech is only the Bears’ second true road game of the season. They lost at Iowa State a couple of weeks ago. The Bears have won at Lubbock in each of the past four years and are 10-2 since 2007-08 against the Red Raiders. The Bears own a 19-1 record against teams from the state of Texas since the 2011-12 season.
Baylor is averaging 79 points per game, and is playing some good defense this season, allowing just 65.9 points per game to its opponents. The Bears are led by senior Cory Jefferson, with a 13.2 scoring average. Sophomore forward Taurean Prince has combined for 63 points in his last four games. Behind three-point specialist Brady Heslip, the Bears lead the Big 12 in three-point efficiency, shooting at a 41 percent clip beyond the arc.
Texas Tech comes into its game Wednesday night against Baylor on the heels of a three-game losing skid. Baylor is the fifth team the Red Raiders have faced this season that ranks in the top 50 in the country in RPI. The Red Raiders get the largest share of their offensive production from senior Jaye Crockett and junior Jordan Tolbert, who average 14 and 12 points per game, respectively.
Baylor is second in the conference in rebounding, and they are especially tough on the offensive glass, with a Big 12-best 14 caroms a game.
Big 12 Wednesday Game Picks
TCU 64 @ Oklahoma State 83
Baylor 76 @ Texas Tech 65