Big 12 tournament: Round 1 betting preview

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (-8, 136)

Texas Tech looks to beat West Virginia for the first time in school history when the ninth-seeded Red Raiders play the eighth-seeded Mountaineers on Wednesday night in the opening game of the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo. Texas Tech lost the previous three meetings, including 66-64 on Feb. 16 in Morgantown and 77-61 on Feb. 2 in Lubbock. The Red Raiders have a two-game losing streak and are coming off a 71-69 overtime loss at home to Texas on Saturday. The winner will face top-seeded Kansas in the quarterfinals Thursday.

West Virginia, which is playing its first season in the Big 12 after 17 seasons in the Big East, has a six-game losing streak. The Mountaineers are coming off an 83-74 loss at home to Iowa State on Saturday. Coach Bob Huggins, who is in his sixth season at West Virginia, guided the Mountaineers to the NCAA Tournament in each of his previous five seasons.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, Big 12 Network/ESPN3

ABOUT TEXAS TECH (10-19, 9-13-0 ATS):
The Red Raiders, who finished ninth in the Big 12 with a 3-15 conference record, are 12-16 all-time in the Big 12 tournament. They are 7-7 in the first round and reached the finals in 2005. Redshirt junior forward Jaye Crockett on Sunday was selected All-Big 12 honorable mention by the league’s coaches, becoming the first Red Raider to earn postseason honors from the conference since 2010. Crockett, who came off the bench in 25 of 29 games, leads the team in scoring (11.9) and rebounding (6.8). Sophomore forward Jordan Tolbert is the only Red Raider to average double-digit scoring (10.4) in conference play. Freshman guard Josh Gray, who has seven games with five or more assists, ranks third among Big 12 freshmen in assists (92), second in steals (57) and seventh in scoring (9.6).

ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA (13-18, 9-18-2 ATS):
The Mountaineers finished eighth in the Big 12 with a 13-18 conference record. This is Huggins’ first losing season in league competition since his first Akron team produced a 6-10 record in Mid-American Conference play in 1985. Huggins is 38-14 in conference tournaments, including 10 championships in four different leagues. With 723 career wins, Huggins needs one to tie Ray Meyer for 18th place on the NCAA Division I all-time winningest coaches list. Freshman guard Eron Harris, who leads West Virginia in scoring (9.9), is averaging 17.5 points in his last four games, including two games with 23 points or more. Harris and senior forward Deniz Kilicli, who is second on the team in scoring (8.8) and first in rebounding (4.4), received Big 12 honorable mention.

TRENDS:

* Red Raiders are 8-17 ATS in their last 25 vs. Big 12.
* Mountaineers are 0-5 ATS in their last five vs. Big 12.
* Over is 13-5-1 in Mountaineers' last 19 neutral site games.
* Under is 7-3 in Red Raiders' last 10 neutral site games.

TIP-INS:

1. West Virginia has won 67 of its last 83 games when holding opponents to 69 points or less.

2. Harris could become the second freshman to lead the Mountaineers in single-season scoring since Warren Baker (16.6) in 1972-73.

3. Crockett’s 6.8 rebounds are Texas Tech’s highest single-season rebounding average since Andy Ellis (7) in 2002.

TCU Horned Frogs vs. Texas Longhorns (-11, 121)


Texas coach Rick Barnes looks to continue his dominance of in-state foes as his No. 7 seed Longhorns meet 10th-seeded TCU as the Big 12 Tournament tips off at Kansas City on Wednesday. Barnes' teams are 129-18 against state opponents including a 3-0 mark against TCU.

The Horned Frogs snapped an eight-game losing streak last time out beating Oklahoma in their regular-season finale. TCU was swept by the Longhorns during the season losing by 17 points on the road and nine points at home. The winner of the game will face second-seed Kansas State on Thursday.

TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, Big 12 Network

ABOUT TEXAS (15-16, 8-18-0 ATS): The Longhorns have won six straight and 10 of the last 11 meetings against the Horned Frogs. Texas is 5-1 all-time in games played at neutral sites. Overall the Longhorns have won five of their last eight games since Myck Kabongo has returned to lineup. In those games, Kabongo leads the team in scoring (15.8), rebounds (5.3), assists (5.3), steals (15) and minutes played (37.8 mpg). Texas has reached the conference finals six times, including five times in the last nine years most recently in 2011. The Longhorns were 7-11 in conference play.

ABOUT TCU (11-20, 15-13-1 ATS): The Horned Frogs wrapped up a dismal conference season with a three-point win over Oklahoma on Saturday. The game prior they also put a scare into Kansas State before falling 79-68. This is TCU's first appearance in the Big 12 tournament after going 2-16 in conference play on the season. Sophomore guard Kyan Anderson enters the tourney riding a hot streak. Anderson has scored in double figures in nine straight games and ranks among the conference leaders in steals, assists, and scoring at 12.1 points.

TRENDS:

* Horned Frogs are 9-24 ATS in their last 33 vs. Big 12.
* Longhorns are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 neutral site games.
* Over is 6-1-1 in Horned Frogs last eight vs. Big 12.
* Over is 6-0 in Longhorns last six vs. Big 12.

TIP-INS:

1. Barnes' teams are 19-14 in Big 12 tournament play.

2. Texas' Sheldon McClellan scored a career-high 27 points in Saturday's win at Texas Tech.

3. TCU ranks third in the Big 12 in scoring defense, 56th in the nation at 62.3 points.

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