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Big 12 Basketball Tournament 2017: First Round Preview

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TCU and Oklahoma kick things off in Kansas City, followed by Texas and Texas Tech.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at Oklahoma Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 Tournament is always must-watch basketball, and this year is going to be no exception. Wednesday night, four teams get things started at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

TCU and Oklahoma are first up, followed by Texas and Texas Tech. Both games are rematches from last week’s regular season schedule. TCU and Texas Tech will try to make a run to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

TCU VS OKLAHOMA - 6 p.m. ESPNU

A rematch from Saturday’s game in Norman pits TCU up against Oklahoma once again. Oklahoma took that game 73-68, which knocked TCU out of the 6th seed and forced them into action on Wednesday.

Oklahoma has been playing their best basketball of the season and with such a young team, the more action they have to finish, the better. TCU will try to halt the Sooners and set up a match up with Kansas and keep their small hope of an NCAA Tournament bid alive.

This one will be fun to keep an eye on. These two teams could very well be the up and comers of Big 12 basketball. I like Oklahoma, with all their momentum, to take this one over the slumping Horned Frogs.

Player to watch: Khadeem Lattin - Oklahoma

Khadeem Lattin is going to have to protect the inside against TCU’s dribble penetration while also slowing down TCU’s big man Vladimir Brodziansky. Lattin has shown he can score in big games and he will have to do the same to send the Sooners into a date with Kansas.

Prediction: Oklahoma 72, TCU 67

TEXAS VS TEXAS TECH - 8 p.m. ESPNU

Texas was a team many expected to be playing their first game of the Big 12 Tournament on Thursday. Instead, they played much like a young team all season and are now on the outside looking in.

Texas Tech is just like TCU. Their NCAA Tournament hopes are barely hanging on, if at all. Many close losses have pushed the Red Raiders down near the bottom of the conference. Texas Tech certainly has the firepower to make a run in Kansas City, though.

The Longhorns only secured four conference wins and one of those wins came against Texas Tech. Jarrett Allen is starting to blossom into the high-end prospect he was touted as. He, along with Andrew Jones, will give Texas hope.

Player to watch: Keenan Evans - Texas Tech

If Evans is at his best, Texas Tech is able to take anyone down on any night. He averaged 16.5 points against the Longhorns this season. I predict Evans to push the Red Raiders into the next round against West Virginia.

Prediction: Texas Tech 80, Texas 68