West Virginia’s trip to Kansas headlines Big 12 play
A look at the upcoming weekend around the Big 12:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: West Virginia at Kansas. The Jayhawks enter the weekend a game behind league-leading Texas Tech with five games left to play. The Mountaineers are two games behind the Red Raiders and can draw even with Kansas with a win in Allen Fieldhouse. West Virginia answered for a home loss to Oklahoma State with an 82-66 win over TCU to start the week, while the Jayhawks beat Iowa State 83-77 on Tuesday.
LOOKING AHEAD TO SATURDAY: Oklahoma, which has lost four straight and seven of its last nine games, will try to bounce back against Texas in Norman. Texas Tech puts its seven-game winning streak on the line when it travels to streaking Baylor — which beat Kansas in Waco a week ago — and Iowa State will face Kansas State on the road. TCU and Oklahoma State square off in a matchup that could prove crucial to each team’s hopes for an NCAA Tournament bid.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Trae Young, Oklahoma. Young is so dynamic he could be the guy picked for this category every week — but the freshman appears to have hit a wall. Young went 0 of 9 on 3s in Tuesday’s 88-78 loss at Tech, and he needed 21 shots to score 22 points in a loss to the Cyclones over the weekend. When Young is going right, the Sooners are a legitimate Final Four contender. When he’s not, they can look like the worst team in the league.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Tuesday’s win gave Kansas 20 on the year. The Jayhawks have won at least 20 games for 29 consecutive seasons, the longest active streak in the nation. ... TCU’s Desmond Bane is a league-best 50.5 percent on 3s. Teammate Kouat Noi is second at 46 percent. ... There were just nine shooters above 80 percent from the line, led by Iowa State’s Donovan Jackson at 91.5 percent.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: Baylor and Texas have been in holding patterns in the Top 25. The Lady Bears have been third and the Longhorns have been sixth for weeks. ... The conference could have four teams end up with losing overall records. Texas Tech, Kansas and Iowa State will enter the weekend below .500, while Kansas State is just 13-12 ahead of Saturday’s game at TCU.