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

Monday, February 11, 2013

Kansas Looks To Snap Losing Streak Tonight Against Kansas State

The Kansas Jayhawks have lost three straight games for the first time in eight years, and things do not get any easier tonight. KU will host Kansas State, who currently has a one game lead over the Jayhawks in the Big 12 standings. The game will begin at 8:00 p.m.

K-State currently controls its own destiny in the Big 12, but it will likely take a rare win over Kansas to take the league crown. The Wildcats have lost 45 of 48 against Kansas, and have been routinely blown out in Allen Fieldhouse.  The two teams met earlier this season, and KU prevailed 59-55 in Manhattan.

The key to beating KState will be outside shooting, as the Wildcats have hit 41 percent of their threes during its current win streak. KSU struggled from three against KU in the first meeting between the two schools, with Rodney McGruder and Angel Rodriguez shooting a combined 8 of 22. Despite Kansas’ struggles, KState will have to shoot better than the 35 percent clip it had the last time it faced the Jayhawks.

Most of Kansas’ problems start at point guard, where senior ElijahJohnson has struggled mightily during the Jayhawks losing streak. In the past three games, Johnson is shooting 9 of 37 from the floor, including 5 of 21 from three. Even worse, he has had several costly turnovers late in games when KU still had a chance to pull out a win. If Johnson can take care of the basketball and hit some shots, the Jayhawks’ struggling offense will begin to look a whole lot better.

Kansas has struggled recently, but the Jayhawks began to look better against Oklahoma on Saturday. KU is due for a good game, and it may come at home where Allen Fieldhouse will be rocking. This could be the point where the Jayhawks turn it around – or its streak of conference titles will be on life support.

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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.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kansas State Beats Texas, KU Now First in Big 12

Kansas State wrapped up a spot in the NCAA Tournament and officially turned around its season with a 75-70 win over the Texas Longhorns. The Wildcats were left for dead after a 1-4 start to conference play, but have salvaged its once heralded season with an impressive five game winning streak. The win moves KState to 9-6 in league play, 21-9 overall and fourth in the Big 12 standings. Now the question isn't whether KState will make the NCAA tournament, but how good of a seed it can secure.

Texas has now lost three of its last four, watching its strangle hold on the Big 12 division evaporate into thin air in two short weeks. The Longhorns have a history of late season collapses under Rick Barnes, and it looks like once again a talented Texas team is struggling at the worst possible time. Also, I think it is now safe to say that KState officially owns Texas. Despite the Longhorns success in both football and basketball, it seems that every year the Wildcats upset them, at home or on the road. Forget Oklahoma and Texas A&M, its time for Texas fans to worry about KState, especially since the two teams will play more often in the new Big 12.

During the chaos that is the Big 12, Kansas has quietly continued to hammer inferior teams, despite various injuries and suspensions. When the smoke from the last two weeks cleared, it was the Jayhawks who once again found themselves on top of the Big 12 standings. KU has a tough remaining schedule, but a win tomorrow night against Texas A&M would give KU at least a share of its seventh consecutive Big 12 title. Seven in a row. How has this not gotten more media attention? If Duke or UNC had accomplished more than three, I guarantee ESPN would have a montage on it running before every college basketball game. Bill Self has his team in position to add to what has already been a rediculous decade for KU basketball, thanks to a little help from its in-state rival.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Big 12 Weekend Recap

As the Big 12 season winds down, several teams are trying to make a push for an NCAA Tournament bid and an opportunity to move up the Big 12 standings. No team made a stronger push than the Colorado Buffalos, who shocked Texas 91-89 and got back on the tournament radar. Colorado was down by 22 in the first half and found itself in a 48-33 hole at halftime, but was able to rally back thanks to Alec Burks' 33 points. The win saved Colorado's season, and puts the Buffs in a position to crash the big dance with a strong finish.

At the moment, the Big 12 has four tournament locks in Kansas, Texas, Texas A&M and Missouri, while Kansas State's win over Mizzou on saturday pretty much guarantees the Wildcats will be dancing in March barring an epic collapse to end the season. The Big 12 could easily get in a sixth and possibly even a seventh team in, the question is who? Nebraska was unable to carry any of its momentum from a huge win over Texas into its next two games, and now finds itself outside of the tournament picture at 6-8 in the conference. That leaves Baylor and Colorado, who are both 7-7 in the conference and have 18 wins overall. Colorado has the easiest road, with its last two games against Iowa State and Nebraska. Two wins to close the regular season and a strong Big 12 tournament performance might be enough for Colorado to sneak in. Baylor has a tougher schedule: an away game against Oklahoma State and then a home contest against Texas. It won't be easy, but a victory over the Longhorns would probably be enough to get the talented yet inconsistent Bears in the tournament.

Another factor to keep in mind is the Big 12 tournament, which should be better than ever this year with so many teams fighting for a postseason spot. With Kansas and Texas left with nothing to play for except a one seed possibility and the parity in the league this season, this could finally be a year that a team left for dead makes a run and wins the tournament. If a low seed wants to win it all though, it will likely have to go through Texas and Kansas - not exactly the easiest path to March Madness.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

KU Routs Oklahoma State Despite Missing Tyshawn Taylor

Kansas has suspended starting guard Tyshawn Taylor for an undisclosed reason, citing that the junior has violated team rules. Taylor has had an up and down season so far, averaging a shade under nine points and five assists per game.

This latest incident is yet another setback for the talented yet troubled Taylor. Last season, Taylor's Twitter resulted in Bill Self taking the internet away from the guard. Even worse, Taylor was injured in a campus fight which also resulted in a suspension. KU fans keep waiting for Taylor, who has flashed signs of greatness in his time in Lawrence, to grow up. Unfortunately, that seems like a lofty dream at this point.

Fortunately for Bill Self, his team is once again one of the deepest in the country. KU ran all over Oklahoma State 92-65 in a game that was never in doubt. Elijah Johnson had a monster game for the Jayhawks, and the Morris twins dominated an overmatched Oklahoma State team from the start. KU has survived key injuries and two suspensions this season due to a ridiculous stockpile of talent and depth, which will make it tough to beat in March. In its quest to catch Texas in the Big 12 standings, KU picked up a key victory and lived to fight another day.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Shake Ups in the Big 12

Heading into Saturday, we knew that this weekend would go a long way in shaping the Big 12 race. Several teams made a big push for why (or why not) it should make the NCAA tournament, while the Big 12's top team finally suffered a league loss.

No one gave Nebraska much of a chance against the seemingly invincible Texas Longhorns, however the Huskers knocked off the Big 12's top team in Lincoln, 70-67. No one goes undefeated in Big 12 play (the only team to ever accomplish the feat was Kansas in the 2001-2002 season), and Texas still has a one game lead over KU. However, Kansas' rout of Colorado showed that the Jayhawks are not going silently into the night, and the Big 12 race should go down until the final week of regular season play.

Speaking of the Huskers, no one gave its NCAA status a bigger boost than Nebraska did on Saturday. Now at 18-8 overall and 6-6 in the Big 12, Nebraska has a huge victory to add to its overall profile. The Huskers' last four games include KState, Iowa State, Missouri and Colorado, plenty off opportunities for Nebraska to grab a tournament spot with a strong finish.

KState, Missouri and Texas A&M all picked up wins, and at this point it appears that the Aggies and Tigers are locks for the Big Dance, while KState is a few wins away. The biggest mystery team continues to be the Baylor Bears, who somehow lost at home to Texas Tech and fell to 6-6 in the league. After a poor non-conference slate, Baylor's average league showing has put the Bears in trouble. Baylor's final four games feature three ranked opponents, and the Bears will likely need to win at least three of these games to get into the tournament.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Previewing This Weekend's Big 12 Matchups

We are only two weeks away from March, which means the conference regular season will soon be over. In the current Big 12 standings, Texas sits alone in first place with an 11-0 record, two games ahead of 9-2 Kansas. Baring an epic Texas collapse, it appears that KU's streak of consecutive conference championships will end at six.

Saturday provides an opportunity for several of the Big 12 bubble teams to make a strong statement for why it should make the NCAA tournament. Missouri will travel to Iowa State, where a win would put the Tigers at 7-5 overall in the conference. Missouri has yet to win on the road in Big 12 play, and a loss to the Cyclones would be a huge blow to the Tiger's tournament profile. In the teams' first meeting, Missouri hammered Iowa State.

KState will host a struggling Oklahoma team, which should provide the Wildcats with an opportunity to get back to .500 in conference play and move past Nebraska (who should lose big to Texas) in the standings. Baylor, who currently sits at 6-5 in Big 12 play, will host Texas Tech, a game the Bears should win.

The team with the most to gain this weekend is Colorado, who will travel to Lawrence to face the previously first-ranked Jayhawks. The last time these teams met, KU edged CU on the road 82-78 without forward Thomas Robinson. The Jayhawks will be without Robinson again, and is fresh off its worst game of the season. A victory for Colorado would be a huge boost for the Buffs' tournament chances.

Monday, February 14, 2011

K-State's Season Comes Down to Tonight's Game

It is officially do or die time in Manhattan. If K-State has any chance to salvage its embarrassing season, one that started with the Wildcats ranked third in the nation and picked to win the Big 12, it has to defeat the number one ranked Kansas Jayhawks.

After losing to Colorado on Saturday, Joe Lunardi has placed the Wildcats on life support in his current NCAA projections. K-State is currently listed as an 11th seed and falling fast, a far cry from the lofty expectations it once had. In the current Big 12 standings, KSU sits behind Colorado (who swept the Wildcats this season) in a four way tie for seventh place with Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.

Everything is on the line tonight. KU is as weak as it has been all season on paper, missing starting guard Josh Selby and key reserve Thomas Robinson due to injury. Unfortunately for K-State, the Jayhawks have been playing lights out recently. A win over KU would give Frank Martin's team a signature win over the nation's top-ranked team, while a loss all but mathematically knocks the Wildcats out of the big dance. Its time to see what K-State is made of.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Missouri's Struggles, Parity in the Big 12

Before the Big 12 season kicked off, the Missouri Tigers looked like a team finally ready to contend with KU for the Big 12 title. Last night, Oklahoma State beat Missouri 76-70, dropping the Tigers to 3-4 in a Big 12 that is officially now a two-team race.

The current Big 12 standings feature two familiar faces at the top: Texas and Kansas. The Jayhawks have won the league six straight years, and seem to be playing their best ball at the moment. Texas, the only team to give the Jayhawks a run for the conference crown in recent memory, is the hottest team in the nation. KU and Texas are clearly the best two teams in the conference, and once again will battle until the end for the conference crown.

While it is no surprise the Jayhawks and Longhorns are off to fast starts, the parity in the rest of the league is shocking. Consider Texas A&M and Oklahoma (yes, Oklahoma) are tied for third place with a 4-3 record, while Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Texas Tech are tied for second-to-last with a 3-5 record. The league has never been this close, and it still remains unknown who will emerge as an NCAA tournament team from the cluster.

Many schools who were expected to struggle have recorded upset wins (Oklahoma, and Texas Tech) while teams like Baylor, Kansas State and Missouri haven't come close to meeting expectations. While the next weeks should bring some separation, it is clear that once again, Kansas and Texas are on a different level.


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