Showing posts with label Big 12 Basketball. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Big 12 Basketball. Show all posts

Monday, March 4, 2013

Kansas Blows Out West Virginia, Hosts Texas Tech Tonight

The Kansas Jayhawks are now two wins shy of a ninth consecutive Big 12 title. On Saturday, KU overcame a slow start and routed West Virginia 91-65.

Kansas was led by Ben McLemore, who broke out of his recent slump in a big way. The redshirt freshman scored a Kansas freshman record 36 points against the Mountaineers, shooting 12 of 15 from the floor, including five of six from three. Jeff Withey also had a big game for KU, as the senior center nearly notched his second triple double of the season. Withey ended up with 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks, and Elijah Johnson added 12 points and 10 assists for Kansas.

After a rare three game losing streak, Kansas has picked up two tough road wins and blown out every team it has faced at home. A lot of that has to do with Johnson, who has found his shooting stroke and has limited turnovers. If Johnson has another hot March, the Jayhawks could be primed for another deep run in the NCAA tournament.

The Jayhawks could be primed for another big performance tonight, as they host Texas Tech on senior night. Kansas fans will be seeing Johnson, Withey, Kevin Young and Travis Releford for the final time in Allen Fieldhouse, and this is likely McLemore’s last home game as a Jayhawk as well. The Red Raiders won their last game - beating TCU on Saturday – yet it was only Tech’s third league win this season. TTU has been blown out by nearly every decent team it has faced recently, and it doesn’t appear that they can pose much of a threat to Kansas – especially in Lawrence on senior night.

If the Jayhawks can get past the Red Raiders tonight, they will play at Baylor with the Big 12 title on the line on Saturday.

KCMB Kansas City News, official kc news site with breaking stories on The Kansas City Royals, Chiefs, charity events, the 2012 MLB All Star Game, weather, sports, MU, KU, ufo sightings, dui checkpoints, Kansas City neighborhoods, nightlife, concerts, the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and current Kansas City news articles.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Kansas - Oklahoma State Preview

While it hasn’t always been pretty, the Kansas Jayhawks have made it to this point in the Big 12 season undefeated in conference play, and currently have a two game lead over several teams tied for second. KU will look to stay undefeated and increase their lead on Saturday, when the Jayhawks host the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The game is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m.

The Jayhawks’ struggles on offense lately have mostly been a result of sloppy guard play, particularly from senior point guard Elijah Johnson. Johnson has been prone to turnovers, and is struggling to score from both beyond the arc and in the lane. Ben McLemore has quickly turned into Kansas’ best offensive weapon, and Jeff Withey and Travis Releford are both efficiently scoring as well. If Johnson can return to the form he displayed in the latter portion of last season, Kansas’ offense will greatly improve.

Oklahoma State is one of the most talented teams in the league, and many pegged them as the second-best team behind Kansas before the season started. OSU is 4-3 in Big 12 play, however all three losses have come on the road to good teams – Kansas State, Oklahoma and Baylor. The Cowboys narrowly beat Iowa State at home on Wednesday, thanks to Marcus Smart’s layup with only seconds left on the clock. If Oklahoma State can defeat Kansas in Lawrence, they will take a huge step towards locking up an NCAA tournament berth and will be officially part of the Big 12’s upper tier of teams.

Kansas has won 102 of its last 103 home games; however Oklahoma State provides a huge challenge. If Kansas can finally get its offense to wake up, they shouldn’t have much trouble handling the Cowboys. However, if KU continues to shoot poorly from three and turns the ball over, Oklahoma State has the talent to pull the upset.

KCMB Kansas City News, official kc news site with breaking stories on The Kansas City Royals, Chiefs, charity events, the 2012 MLB All Star Game, weather, sports, MU, KU, ufo sightings, dui checkpoints, Kansas City neighborhoods, nightlife, concerts, the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and current Kansas City news articles.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kansas Defeats West Virginia

The Kansas Jayhawks’ new number one ranking was quickly put to test, as the team got all they wanted from West Virginia in Morgantown last night. Despite blowing a big early lead and some sloppy play, KU hung on to win 61-56. The Jayhawks now have a nation-leading 18 game winning streak, and sit alone in first place in the Big 12 with a 7-0 record.

Kansas was led by Jeff Withey, who had another big game on both ends of the floor. Withey finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks, anchoring another stout defensive performance from the Jayhawks. Kansas has held its past six opponents to fewer than 60 points, which has been crucial due to the team’s lack of offensive production.

Early on, it looked like the Jayhawks were on their way to a blowout. KU built a 15 point lead, only to turn the ball over repeatedly and allow the Mountaineers to quickly get back into the game. Kansas had 16 turnovers in the game, and point guard Elijah Johnson once again struggled to put together a consistent performance.

The Jayhawks also struggled from the free throw line, hitting a dismal 18 of 34 attempts. The poor free throw shooting and turnovers wasted a solid shooting night from the floor, as KU hit 54% of the field goals they attempted.

Kansas will be back in action on Saturday, when they host Oklahoma State (13-5, 3-3). West Virginia’s next three games are against the teams that currently sit with the Mountaineers towards the bottom of the conference – Texas Tech, Texas and TCU. WVU will have to find a way to win all three if it wants to get back into the NCAA tournament discussion. The Mountaineers have never missed the big dance under head coach Bob Huggins.

KCMB Kansas City News, official kc news site with breaking stories on The Kansas City Royals, Chiefs, charity events, the 2012 MLB All Star Game, weather, sports, MU, KU, ufo sightings, dui checkpoints, Kansas City neighborhoods, nightlife, concerts, the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and current Kansas City news articles.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

KU Embarrasses KState in Lawrence

On the day the state of Kansas turned 150, it seemed fitting that KU and KState would battle in Lawrence with ESPN's College Game Day in town. Before the season started, this looked like a potential top 10 or even top 5 matchup. However, KState has not lived up to its lofty preseason ranking, which took a lot of hype out of the Sunflower Showdown.

KState had no answer for the Jayhawks, getting absolutely manhandled by KU, 90-66. KU jumped out to a 15-2 lead and never looked back, relying on its superior post play to turn the game into a layup line. KState couldn't buy a basket, and never got within striking distance. Just two days after burying his mother, Thomas Robinson had a monster game, scoring 17 points and grabbing nine rebounds in an inspired effort to help lead the Jayhawks.

KU was one week off losing its ridiculous 69 home court winning streak at the hands of Texas, and looked inspired, focused and hungry. The Jayhawks were distracted against the Longhorns (the team found out about Lisa Robinson's passing the night before the game), and fell apart against a dangerous Texas squad. The win on saturday was a reminder that the Big 12 title still runs through Lawrence, and that KU will once again be a factor in league play and beyond.

For KState, the loss seemed fitting given how the season has gone. The Wildcats were picked to win the Big 12 and found themselves at third in the preseason top 25 poll. KState has now dropped five Big 12 games and seems headed for the NIT at best. Leadership problems, a stagnant offense and a tough Big 12 have lead to KState's nosedive. Frank Martin has failed to build a program like Bill Self or Mike Anderson at Missouri, and with no high-impact recruits and next year's tougher Big 12 schedule, the future looks cloudy at the moment in Manhattan.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Texas Ends Jayhawk Win Streak; Missouri Dominates Iowa State

The Jayhawks' impressive home win streak came to an end Saturday with a defeat at the hands of the Texas Longhorns. Kansas blew a sizable first half lead to lose 74-63 to Texas, their first loss at home in almost four years (last loss Feb 7, 2007 to Texas A&M).

This was one of the great streaks in College Basketball, hats off to the Jayhawks - keep in mind this is spoken from the heart of a Missouri fan, I absolutely hate the Jayhawks and root against them no matter who they play, but 69 in a row is one hell of a win streak. I am only hoping that this starts an equally impressive home losing streak. Their next two home games are against Kansas State and Missouri.

Speaking of Missouri, the Tigers spanked the visiting Iowa State Cyclones on a late Saturday game. All the Tigers' starters scored in double digits and the game was not in question from the opening tip. You gotta feel bad for the Cyclones as they play short handed waiting for several transfer players who have to sit out the season. Most of the year Iowa State Head Coach Fred Hoiberg has been playing just 7 players - he played eight against the Tigers.

Missouri seems to be finding its midseason form - like previous Mike Anderson coached teams, they are improving as the season progresses. The Tigers get a week to prepare for a trip to Austin to take on the Big 12 leading Texas Longhorns next Saturday.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mizzou and Kansas State Both Seeking Needed Victories

The Kansas State Wildcats travel to Columbia to take on the Tigers in a rare Monday Matinee game today at 4:30. It should be a great game between two teams that came into the season with very high expectation in conference play. Missouri is 15-3, but has already lost two conference games to only one victory. Kansas State, also 1-2 in conference play, has been a disappointment so far this year having been ranked third in the country at one time, they have since dropped to 20th after losses to unranked Florida, Oklahoma State, and UNLV.

Both teams see this as a must win to keep their Conference Championship hopes alive - the loser of this game would likely have to run the table in the Big 12 to have a chance. Of course, that's assuming Kansas stops being the luckiest team in the history of sports and actually loses a few games.

The Tigers are awfully tough at home, and with Clemente sidelined for The Wildcats, Missouri should hold the edge in this one. But of course Missouri has let a couple of games slip away with bad mistakes at crunch time losing in overtime to Georgetown and Texas A&M. If Kansas State can stay close until the end, anything can happen. I'll say Missouri by 8.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Missouri Pulls Out Overtime Win Against Vanderbilt

The Missouri Tigers Basketball team escaped with a victory last night at Mizzou Arena beating unranked, but solid Vanderbilt in overtime 85-82. Marcus Denmon came on strong for the Tigers in the second half only hours after his cousin, Marion died from injuries sustained in a shooting late last Friday. After having an abysmal first half, Denmon scored 19 in the second half and overtime including a layup and free throw to give the Tigers their final three point lead with 5 seconds left. Denmon and his cousin grew up in the same Kansas City house and his death obviously affected his play in the first half. Denmon leads the Tigers in scoring this year averaging over 17 points per game.

A disturbing trend is developing with the Missouri Tigers Basketball team. The last three games have come down to the final play before the buzzer. Last week, Missouri blew a late lead and folded in overtime against a good Georgetown team - then traveled west two days later and let a poor Oregon team back in the game after amassing an 18 point halftime lead (and growing it early in the second half). The Oregon game can probably be chalked up to tired legs, but the Georgetown and Vanderbilt games are signs this team still has work to do. They continue to leave players WIDE open for three-pointers and will continue to be troubled be teams that can shoot the three. Wild swings in games is something we have grown accustomed to as Missouri fans with Coach Mike Anderson's "Forty Minutes Of Hell" style of play, but the Tigers have to play better defense. They probably will, as every Mike Anderson team at Missouri has gotten better throughout the year.

Missouri has now won 51 consecutive non-conference home games. That's pretty cool. Oh yeah, and KU can SUCK IT!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Colleges Start Basketball Practice

Area colleges officially started basketball season last night and KU put on their annual Dog and Pony show know as "Late Night in the Phog" (it should be called "acting stupid in that dump that looks like a warehouse"). This is good news for Kansas fans who can stoke the fires of inflated sense of "Self" again. With the football team looking a little bit like a Division II powerhouse, thoughts can now turn to a little round ball. Kansas has won 6 straight Big 12 regular season championships, and there is no reason to think otherwise until another team steps up to knock them off. The Jayhawks are not, however, the favorite this year. That title belongs to Coach Frank Martin and his Kansas State Wildcats.

In Manhattan, the Wildcats also held their first public scrimmage and team introduction on Friday night. But they did more than just practice as Athletic Director John Currie also announced plans for a $20 million state of the art basketball training facility. This is good news for the Wildcats, as they were the only institution in the Big 12 that had not at least begun a basketball training facility. This should help with their future recruiting efforts. The Wildcats are looking to improve on their run last season into the Elite Eight.

Down I-70 in Columbia, the Tigers started out in a low key fashion with only a simple afternoon practice. They will not show the team to the public until the annual Black and Gold Scrimmage on October 28th. Head Coach Mike Anderson likes the low key approach and takes a workman like attitude to coaching. Of course, the fact that media that covers Mizzou are all in College Station for the Football game probably has something to do with the delay. Coach Anderson finally has a true big man in Ricardo Ratliffe (Big 12 coaches voted him preseason newcomer of the year), Mizzou has good reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Preseason All Big 12 Awards Announced

Jacob Pullen was named the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year today following a season in which he scored nearly 20 points per game and K-State to the brink of a final four berth. Pullen's wildcats are predicted to win the Big 12 next season, and the senior guard will have to duplicate his stellar 2009 season to get them there.

Ricardo Ratliffe of Missouri was named the Big 12 Newcommer of the Year, while KU's Josh Selby was named Freshman of the Year. Selby was the nation's top recruit, and joins a talented KU team that should reload quickly after losing Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich and Xavier Henry to the NBA. The Jayhawks were picked to finish second in the Big 12 behind K-State, despite winning six strait league championships. Marcus Morris, who was named preseason Big 12 First-Team All Conference, will be another big component for KU. Bill Self owns the Big 12, and Selby could be part of another banner-hanging season for the Jayhawks.

LaceDarius Dunn of Baylor was also named to preseason first-conference team, although his recent suspension could force the guard to miss some time. Without Dunn, Baylor goes from a Final 4 darkhorse to a fringe top 25 team.

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Big 12 Will Be More Competitive

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The Big 12 has officially been saved as a conference, and the new make-up of the league should make for increased competition and a tougher road to a conference championship. Should the league continue as a ten team league, which seems to be the most likely outcome after the upcoming departures of Nebraska and Colorado, the new ten team league will be more difficult for both football and basketball, and could make a stronger conference overall.

The New Big 12’s football scheduling will likely be similar to the Pac 10’s conference scheduling: each team will play three non-conference games and then nine conference games. With the elimination of a north and south division, this will assure a much harder schedule, especially for the north teams. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, well-known for his preference for scheduling cup-cakes before getting into the tough conference games, warns that while the conference will be stronger overall, the schedule may be too much for some teams to overcome (see all of Snyder’s comments here: North teams like Kansas State, Kansas and Iowa State will now face Texas, OU and Texas Tech every season, which makes the odds for a BCS game run (like Kansas achieved in the 2007 season) difficult.

Big 12 basketball will also be much tougher in conference play, as the schedule will likely now feature an 18 game schedule in which every team plays every other team once at home and once on the road. Increased road games could provide problems for perennial favorite Kansas, who despite winning the league six strait years, has struggled mightily in Austin and Stillwater since the league’s inception. The increased road games and revenge opportunities teams will face should help the league’s schools once the NCAA tournament starts.

The new Big 12 schedules will increase the difficulty to win the league in both football and basketball. While ten teams should make for a more competitive conference, the lack of parity could be problematic, especially for the former north schools.


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