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

Friday, March 15, 2013

Big 12 Tournament Update

The Big 12 tournament is officially underway at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. The quarterfinal round took place yesterday, featuring some close finishes and plenty of controversy.

Kansas 91   Texas Tech 63
The biggest blowout of the day came from the biggest mismatch of the day. Kansas shot a Big 12 record 66 percent from the field, torching Tech for 57 second half points. Ben McLemore scored 24 points for the Jayhawks, while Dejan Kravic led the Red Raiders with 20 points. This will be the final game of the season for Texas Tech, which will need to make a decision this offseason on whether or not to retain interim coach Chris Walker, who replaced Billy Gillispie when he resigned due to health reasons.

Iowa State 73   Oklahoma 66
This game had plenty of intrigue as both Oklahoma and Iowa State are fighting for an NCAA tournament berth. The Sooners built an eight point halftime lead and led for most of the game, only to watch the Cyclones go on a 12-point run in the second half to come back. Iowa State got a monster game from Melvin Ejim, who had 23 points and 12 rebounds. Both OU and ISU should make the NCAA tournament, as the Cyclones picked up another impressive win and the Sooners have a strong body-of-work from both their non-conference schedule and fourth place finish in the league.

Kansas State 66   Texas 49
Kansas State star Rodney McGruder had a huge game for the Wildcats, scoring 24 points and adding seven rebounds. The Wildcats held the Longhorns at arm’s length throughout the game and limited Myck Kabongo to only two points. Texas, which finished the year with a 16-17 record, will miss the NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years.

Oklahoma State 74   Baylor 72
This was the game of the day. The Cowboys took control early and held a 42-24 halftime lead, only to watch Baylor mount a furious rally in the second half. Baylor’s Gary Franklin was able to convert a four-point play late to tie the game up. On the next possession, OSU’s Phil Forte got the ball in lane and was fouled by BU’s Deuce Bello on what appeared to be a clean block. Forte made both free throws, but Baylor still had a final shot. Pierre Jackson – who had 31 points – got a decent look from three, but his attempt hit the back iron. The loss puts Baylor’s NCAA tournament chances in serious jeopardy.

The semi-finals of the tournament will take place today. Kansas faces Iowa State at 6:30 p.m. and Kansas State faces Oklahoma State at 9:00 p.m.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Big 12 Tournament Underway

The Big 12 Tournament is officially underway, as the opening round games yesterday set up the quarterfinals, which will begin today with Kansas vs. Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys survived a 53-52 win over a Nebraska team that was fighting for a slim chance of sneaking into the NCAA tournament. Oklahoma State built a big lead, lost it, and then held on for dear life at the end. A nice win for the struggling Pokes, but 53 points is not going to cut it against KU, who absolutely manhandled Oklahoma State in the team's regular season meeting. I expect a similar performance this morning.

The best game of the day was Colorado's close win over Iowa State. Colorado was fighting for its tournament life, and used a 12-2 run late to erase a late deficit and beat the Cyclones, 77-75. Now the Buffs get a well rested KState team that has been on fire lately. However, Colorado swept the Wildcats during the regular season. This 4 vs. 5 matchup should be the best second round game. If CU wins, it almost assuredly has punched a ticket to the NCAA tournament.

The worst game of the afternoon was Oklahoma's drubbing of Baylor. Baylor lost star center Perry Jones to a suspension, but that was no excuse to get blown out by a crappy OU team. Scott Drew continues to solidify his reputation as one of the worst coaches in the Big 12, and with upcomming NCAA violations (seriously, how else do you think he kept bringing talented players to Waco, Texas), it appears this is the likely end to Baylor's recent run of success in the league. Back to the bottom where you belong, Baylor. Oklahoma will now have the honor of getting destroyed by Texas, who is trying to avoid yet another classic late season collapse under Rick Barnes.

Missouri continued its recent run of poor basketball in its nailbitter against mighty Texas Tech (the same Tech that just fired head coach Pat Knight). Mizzou won 88-84, but it appears the Tigers are in a funk they cannot get out of. MU doesn't play defense and is prone to stretches of poor shooting and turnovers. The Tigers still have time to turn it around, but the past month has been nothing but disappointment for Mizzou fans. Missouri has a chance to get back on track tonight against a tough Texas A&M team.

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.

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.


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