Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:00 PM EST.
Quarterfinals of Big 12 Conference Tournament - Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
9:00 PM EST. As the #19 team in the nation, there is nothing West Virginia could do this week that would prevent the Mountaineers from going to The Big Dance. WVU finished the non-conference portion of its schedule on an 11-game winning streak that culminated in a huge W over Virginia, which is currently the #1 team in the nation. A big reason for the Mountaineers success this season has been their ability to take advantage of turnovers but points off of takeaways are a luck based statistic and cannot be counted on game-to-game. As a ranked school and the #3 seed in this tournament, you are going to pay a premium to back "Press Virginia" today. However, motivation could be an issue. Head coach Bob Huggins would probably rather hit a few of Kansas City's famous barbecue joints then play in this game against the Bears tonight.
Baylor is 18-13 overall and 8-10 in conference play, but head coach Scott Drew said it best, "There are no bad losses (in the Big 12), just good win opportunities." The Bears took advantage of their tough conference schedule and got quality wins over ranked Texas Tech (#12) and Kansas (#6). Baylor also picked up W's at Oklahoma State and Texas, two places where it's never easy to win. The Bears are undoubtedly battle-tested after playing the 4th toughest schedule in the country according to KenPom. Baylor's stock in the market is lower than it has been in recent years after scandal and less than stellar play has rocked much of the athletic department, but on the hardwood this season, these Bears have quietly gone about their business playing some good ball against arguably the toughest competition in the nation. Baylor's appeal is lessened today after it was swept in the season series by the Mountaineers, but the Bears showed their resilience in a 3-point defeat in Morgantown, again not being afraid to play in one of the toughest barns in America. The Bears have been playing for their tournament lives all season and their only path to the Madness runs through Kansas City. Spotting points against a dangerous and desperate opponent is not an appealing proposition from our viewpoint but taking them is very appealing. Upset alert is on.
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#707 Baylor +5 -106 (Risking 2.12 units - To Win: 2.00)