Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Previewing the Opening Round of the Big 12 Tournament
With the Big 12 regular season over, its time to look ahead to the Big 12 Tournament. The opening round doesn't feature any of the Big 12's top four teams, but still offers plenty of exciting matchups.
#8Nebraska vs. #9Oklahoma State - 11:30 a.m.
Oh, what could have been for the Cornhuskers. After beating Texas and sniffing the tournament for the first time in years, Nebraska then lost by four to KState and fell to last-place Iowa State by a point in overtime. Now Nebraska can only make the big dance with a Big 12 Tournament title. They are a bit of a scary team, having beaten the Longhorns and nearly taking down Kansas in Lawrence. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, has had a lot of close losses as well. The winner of this one gets Kansas in the quarterfinals. Good luck.
#5Colorado vs. #12Iowa State - 2:00 p.m.
Currently, Colorado is listed as one of the last four teams in in ESPN's bracketology. The Buffalos are about as up and down as you can be - beating Texas and then losing to Iowa State for example. Iowa State can score, but struggles to stop anybody. On a sentimental note, this is CU's last guaranteed game against a Big 12 opponent. Look for Colorado to avenge its loss to the Cyclones to set up a juicy matchup against KState in the quarters - a team the Buffs beat twice during the regular season. Should CU lose, it would almost assuredly miss the NCAA tournament. No pressure boys!
#7Baylor vs. #10Oklahoma - 6:00 p.m.
This game has potential to be worst game of the day, as Baylor is the much better team on paper and has the firepower to beat anyone. Unfortunately, that didn't mean a whole lot this season, as the Bears went from a preseason Big12 contender to out of the NCAA tournament. Baylor isn't making the big dance unless it wins this tournament, but it certainly has the talent to do so. Oklahoma isn't good, but they can be dangerous when they connect on their three point attempts. The Sooners won the last meeting, but I feel like the Bears might once again make a little noise in the Big 12 tournament. Then again, one of these teams could win by 60 tomorrow and I wouldn't be surprised.
#6Missouri vs. #11 Texas Tech - 8:30 p.m.
Missouri has lost three strait, and has seen its tournament stock free fall in the past two weeks. Can the Tigers get out of their funk? They need to start on the defensive end, and who better to test them than the Texas Tech Red Raiders, who scored 84 points in the team's only meeting this year. Tech has shown signs of life this year, but I expect the Tigers to get back on track in a big way in this one.