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NCAA Hoops: Texas, Oklahoma, and Baylor need to show out in Big XII Tournament

The Longhorns will need two good performances this week to have a shot at the NCAA Tournament. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Big XII tournament kicks off tomorrow with several teams in need of wins to have a shot to play in the NCAA tournament. Here are a few things to know going into the conference championship. 

SCHEDULE: 

Wednesday, March 7th

GAME 1: No. 8 Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma (ESPNU) 6 PM

GAME 2: No. 7 Texas vs. No. 10 Iowa State (ESPNU) 8 PM

Thursday, March 8th

GAME 3: No. 4 Kansas State vs. No. 5 TCU (ESPN2) 11:30 AM

GAME 4: No. 1 Kansas vs. Game 1 winner (ESPN2) 1:30 PM

GAME 5: No. 2 Texas Tech vs. Game 2 winner (ESPN2) 6 PM

GAME 6: No. 3 West Virginia vs. No. 6 Baylor (ESPN2) 8 PM

Friday, March 9th

GAME 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner (ESPN 2) 6 PM

GAME 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner (ESPN2) 8 PM

Saturday March 10th

GAME 9-Championship Game: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner (ESPN) 5 PM

 

ODDS:

Kansas +200

West Virginia +350

Texas Tech +450

Kansas State +700

TCU +1000

Baylor +1200

Texas +2000

Oklahoma +2000

Oklahoma State +2000

Iowa State +2500


THE STAKES: 

Kansas, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Kansas State and TCU are all solidly locked into tournament spots. Iowa State can’t make the tournament without winning the conference tourney. That leaves Baylor, Texas and the Oklahoma schools as bubble teams. With Oklahoma and Oklahoma State going up against each other in the first game, one of them could be eliminated early on. For Oklahoma, a first round win may be enough to lock in their spot. Oklahoma State would likely need a win over Kansas to get an at-large bid. Texas absolutely has to beat Iowa State, and would need a good showing against Texas Tech on Thursday to have a shot. This isn’t out of the question, given that Keenan Evans is clearly not at 100% health. Baylor could get onto the right side of the bubble with a win over West Virginia. Overall, the conference should send a minimum of 6 teams to the dance, with 8 teams being the ceiling. 


PREDICTIONS: 

Oklahoma State def. Oklahoma

Texas def. Iowa State

 

TCU def. Kansas State

Kansas def. Oklahoma State

Texas Tech def. Texas

Baylor def. West Virginia

 

Kansas def. TCU

Baylor def. Texas Tech

Kansas def. Baylor

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Houston loses to end the road trip

Dodgers get best of Odorizzi to split series with Astros

Jake Odorizzi allowed four home runs over three innings against the Dodgers on Wednesday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

After spoiling the night of many Dodgers fans in the opener of this two-game series in Los Angeles the night prior, the Astros returned to the stadium to a fresh set of hostile fans, looking to get the mini-sweep. This one went much more in favor of the home team, though, as the Dodgers would ride three big innings to start the game to the win for the series split.

Final Score: Dodgers 7, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 65-43, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Max Scherzer (9-4)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-6)

Odorizzi gets shelled

After a Michael Brantley solo home in the top of the first run against Max Scherzer, making his Dodger debut, it looked like the Astros may continue their momentum from the night before to grab hold of this game as well. However, that all changed in the bottom of the inning, as the Dodgers would tee off against Jake Odorizzi.

In that inning, he allowed four runs, a leadoff solo shot by Mookie Betts, then later a three-run blast by Will Smith. Betts made it 2-for-2 with solo homers in the bottom of the second, extending the lead to 5-1. Things went from bad to worse in the third, with Los Angeles getting their fourth home run, this one for two runs to make it a 7-1 game. Odorizzi would finish the third but go no further.

Scherzer K's 10 over seven innings in his Dodger debut

Houston tried to start clawing back into it in the top of the fourth, getting a second run against Scherzer with a two-out RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, trimming the lead to five runs at 5-2. First out of Houston's bullpen was Yimi Garcia in the bottom of the fourth, and he tossed the first 1-2-3 inning for Houston. Rafael Montero was next in the bottom of the fifth, working around a leadoff double followed by a walk for a scoreless inning.

Montero remained in the game in the bottom of the sixth, still 7-2, and would get another scoreless inning, this time sitting down the Dodgers in order. Scherzer finished his quality debut for his new team in the top of the seventh, erasing a leadoff walk to complete seven innings while allowing two runs.

Astros lose to split the series with Dodgers

Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever, and he, too, would get through a scoreless inning by erasing a two-out single. In the game-within-the-game, the Dodgers brought in Joe Kelly for the top of the eighth, who notched two strikeouts to bring none other than Carlos Correa to the plate, setting up a rematch of the well-known incident that led to the "pouty face" clip from 2020. Carlos Correa won this round, launching a 405-foot homer off of Kelly to make it a four-run game at 7-3.

Phil Maton kept the score there, stranding two runners in the bottom of the eighth to send the 7-3 game to the top of the ninth, where the Dodgers would bring in Kenley Jansen. After a leadoff single, Kyle Tucker would get the Astros within two runs on a two-run homer, making it 7-5. That's as close as they would get, as Jansen would regroup to get the next three batters out to wrap up the loss for Houston.

Up Next: With this road trip completed, the Astros will have a quick turnaround as they catch a late flight back to Houston then turn around with a game Thursday at 7:10 PM Central to open a four-game series with the Twins. Framber Valdez (7-2, 3.01 ERA) will take the mound for Houston in the opener, while Minnesota will counter with Griffin Jax (1-1, 6.41 ERA).

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