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February 19, 2013

Shinn at 3: Big 12 still packed at the top

NORMAN — The Big 12 Conference is still compacted at the top. As of Tuesday, six teams were at 7-5 or better with Kansas State leading the league at 10-3.

However, they held just a half-game lead over Kansas and Oklahoma State. There will be a tie at the top by Wednesday night since the Jayhawks and Cowboys meet in Stillwater Sunday.

Oklahoma joins Iowa State and Baylor at 7-5. But the Sooners seem to have the best track for a strong conference finish.

They face Texas Tech at 6 p.m. Wednesday at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock. The games starts a string of six straight to end the regular season in which OU should be favored to win all of them.

The combined conference records of OU’s six remain is 18-47 and OU has already beaten five of the six opponents remaining. The Cyclones beat the Sooners 83-64 on Feb. 4 in Ames.

“The opportunity is there to win all those games,” OU forward Romero Osby said. “We have to have the energy to go out there and fight down the stretch, make the plays and enjoy doing it.”

Here are OU’s remaining six opponents and how the Sooners fared against them in the previous meeting.

Wednesday: at Texas Tech (9-14, 2-10 Big 12). OU rolled to an 81-63 victory over the Red Raiders on Jan. 16 at Lloyd Noble Center.

Saturday: Baylor (16-9, 7-5): OU picked up a huge road victory with a 74-71 win over the Bears on Jan. 30.

Feb. 27: at Texas (11-14, 3-9): The Sooners topped the Longhorns, 73-67, at Lloyd Noble Center on Jan. 21. Texas’ makeup has changed a little with sophomore Myck Kabongo returning from an NCAA-mandated suspension last week.

March 2: Iowa State (17-8, 7-5): The Cyclones whipped the Sooners, 83-64, earlier this month. This will be a huge game with NCAA Tournament implications.

March 6: West Virginia (13-13, 6-7): The Mountaineers appear to be improving, but OU has already won in Morgantown, 67-57, and beaten them in Orlando, Fla., 77-70, in a non-conference meeting.

March 9: TCU (10-15, 1-11): OU rolled to 75-48 win on Feb. 11.

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