SEC and Big 12 Teams Face Off This Weekend

Nick Zanger, Writer

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The SEC/Big 12 challenge is here and there are a lot of fun games to watch. This challenge contains a 10-game slate, featuring some of the most talented teams in the country. In the past, this would be a Big 12 slaughter, meaning they would wipe the floor with the SEC and have one loss to Kentucky. This year is a different story because of the new and improved SEC. What games are the games to watch? Who wins these games? I’m so glad you asked.

(14) Texas Tech vs. South Carolina

The first game to watch is (14) Texas Tech against last year’s Cinderella team South Carolina.  Texas Tech enters at 16-4 with quality wins over (7) West Virginia, (5) Kansas, and (23) Nevada. Texas Tech is led by Keenan Evans who is averaging 17.1 points per game. South Carolina is not having the year it had planned, currently sitting at 13-7 with big wins over (20) Florida and Kentucky. The Gamecocks look to boost their resume for the NCAA tourney with what would be a big win over Texas Tech. However, I believe that the Red Raiders of Texas Tech are going to be too much for South Carolina.

WINNER: Texas Tech

(12) Oklahoma vs. Alabama

Probably the best one-on-one matchup we will see this year. Alabama’s freshman phenom Collin Sexton has been the shining light in an otherwise disappointing season for the Crimson Tide. Averaging 18.5 points per game, Sexton will have to try to keep pace with other freshman phenom Trae Young. Young is the early candidate for the Wooden Award, averaging 30 points and 10 assists per game. Alabama has struggled this year and must win this game to keep its hopes alive as an at-large team to make the tourney. However, Oklahoma has too much fire power, and thats why I pick them.

Winner: Oklahoma

(22) Tennessee vs. Iowa State

Tennessee has been a bit of a surprise this year. Expectations were low this year until the Vols beat now no. 2 Purdue. Now, the team has found ways to win close games, and Grant Williams has looked unstoppable at times. Iowa State is in a rebuild this year after losing Monte Morris and Deonte Burton to the pros. Tennessee is very good on defense and scores in a lot of different ways.

Winner: Tennessee

Texas A&M vs. (5) Kansas

This is a huge game for Texas A&M. The Aggies have underwhelmed this year because of suspensions. DJ Hogg has failed to get into the season because of multiple suspensions. This a good team that needs a game to get on track; sadly, it does not get easy from here. Kansas is a powerhouse, led by guards Devonte Graham and Malik Newman, and both are going to have to play very well. The matchup to watch is A&M’s Tyler Davis and Kansas’s Udoka Azubuike. Kansas struggles on the boards because of the lack of size, which means Azubuike has to play very well against another top tier center. I think he’ll play just fine.

Winner: Kansas

Kentucky vs. (7) West Virginia

Kentucky’s youth has shown this year, and this is not the same kind of Kentucky team that we are not used to seeing. Kentucky sits at 15-5 and has not looked like a true contender after dropping out of the top 25 for the first time in a long time. West Virginia is the exact opposite, and it looks like this year is finally the year for the Mountaineers, as their press looks like a true X- factor. They are led by senior Jevon Carter, and I believe the experience for them will be the overwhelming factor of why Kentucky falls in this game.

Winner: West Virginia

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