Basketball

Preview and Open Thread | Big 12 Men’s Tournament – Quarterfinals

It’s the second day of the Big 12 Men’s Championship tournament from Kansas City. Let’s give a preview of all the games ahead and watch some magic happen on the court!

Game #3:

Date: Thursday, March 12th
Time: 11:30 am
Teams: #4 Baylor (23-8, 11-7) vs  #5 West Virginia (23-8, 11-7)
Location: Sprint Center | Kansas City
TV/Stream: ESPN2

First Regular Season Meeting: Baylor win 87-69

Second Regular Season Meeting: Baylor win 78-66

Tourney Preview: Baylor has been on a tear to end the Big 12 regular season winning 5 of their last 6, with only an overtime loss to Texas. West Virginia has won 4 of their last 6 to finish up conference play. When these two teams have met each other in the year Baylor has always dominated. In their first meeting Baylor had a strong showing by Rico Gathers who crushed the Mountaineers with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Taurean Prince and Royce O’Neale both dropped in 15 apiece. All-Star Juwan Staten was held to only 6 points. The Bears pummeled WVU and came out with an easy win.

In the second matchup Staten was out with a knee injury and Baylor led the whole way, keeping a steady pace and crushing the Mountaineers once again. Gathers had another double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Prince added 20 points, and O’Neale went off for 18. It’s a simple recipe for the Bears to get a beatdown of most teams.

Bottom line is that Bob Huggins has said that Staten is a game time decision. He has missed the last three games because of knee and groin injuries and hasn’t practiced since Feb. 24. If Gathers, Prince, and O’Neale keep up their offensive dominance against the Mountaineers this game will get out of hand early. Hopefully for WVU Staten is healthy and can keep the game within reach.


Game #4:

Date: Thursday, March 12th
Time: 1:30 pm
Teams: #1 Kansas (24-7, 13-5) vs  #9 TCU (18-4, 4-14)
Location: Sprint Center | Kansas City
TV/Stream: ESPN2

First Regular Season Meeting: Kansas win 64-61

Second Regular Season Meeting: Kansas win 81-72

Tourney Preview: Kansas is the favorite to win the Big 12 tournament. The interesting fact of this matchup is that the Jayhawks have struggled to beat TCU in both regular season games. In the first game of the regular season Kansas was able to hold off a pesky TCU team, but had to work hard with most of the team having an off night besides Frank Mason stepping up with 16 points. TCU had a nice game with Kyan Anderson having 17 points with Trey Zeigler and Kenrich Williams both getting 10+. It wasn’t enough to beat a more talented team.

The second game wasn’t as close of a battle yet TCU still stuck around most of the game with Zeigler draining 20 points. The experienced Perry Ellis had a nice game getting 23 points and being a stopper to TCU having any chance of a comeback. Bill Self said the injured Ellis and Wayne Selden Jr. would be available for the game today, which could only mean trouble for TCU.


Game #5:

Date: Thursday, March 12th
Time: 6:00 pm
Teams: #2 Iowa State (22-8, 12-6) vs  #7 Texas (20-12, 8-10)
Location: Sprint Center | Kansas City
TV/Stream: ESPNU

First Regular Season Meeting: ISU win 89-86

Second Regular Season Meeting: ISU win 85-77

Tourney Preview: Iowa State is a strong team expected to go deep in the Big 12 and the NCAA tournament. Texas was on the bubble until a much needed win yesterday against Texas Tech. In their first meeting the Cyclones went up big on the Longhorns then let their guard down and UT came back to almost make a run to beat ISU. Georges Niang was the high scorer for ISU, and the Cyclones also had help from four other players scoring double-digits. Javan Felix had a huge game with 20 points, but it wasn’t enough to get a victory.

The second game of the series was tight up until the 2nd half when ISU went on a roll to cruise to an easy victory. Niang had another solid performance and he had his teammates help once again with another four guys getting into double-digits scoring. That game UT relied heavily on Kendal Yancy with 29 points and Isaiah Taylor with 23 scores. ISU is obviously the more complete team and would have to have an off night to go down to the Longhorns in the tournament, but stranger things have happened during tourney time.


Game #6:

Date: Thursday, March 12th
Time: 8:00 pm
Teams: #3 Oklahoma (21-9, 12-6) vs  #6 Oklahoma State (18-12, 8-10)
Location: Sprint Center | Kansas City
TV/Stream: ESPNU

First Regular Season Meeting: OU win 82-65

Second Regular Season Meeting: OU win 64-56

Tourney Preview: Looking at the previous matchups between these two should be an obvious pick of the Sooners getting a win. But, this may be the most exciting game of the tournament if OSU can play like the team that reeled off 3 wins in a row against Texas, Kansas, and Baylor. The Cowboys are in a funk and have lost 5 of their last 6, while OU has won 4 of their last 5. Still nothing else matters when it’s Bedlam time in the Big 12 tournament.

In the first game OU put a beatdown on OSU with a sensational performance by Buddy Hield who exploded for 27 points. The second matchup was much closer up until the last minute when Hield and company stood strong and pulled out the victory. For the recipe to get an upset Phil Forte and Le’Bryan Nash will have to be excellent, and OSU needs to shutdown Hield. There is no logical reasoning for my prediction, but after watching enough Big 12 basketball I think this will be the upset of the tournament. The Sooners are a much more talented and complete team that will do nicely in the Big Dance, but OSU will give everything they can to stop OU from pushing them around. It’s college basketball, and the Big 12 tourney night game will be fun to watch.

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