Consider this your gameday thread for the basketball tournament…
Big 12 Conference Tournament
(Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.)
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 4 Kansas State (ESPN2) 6 p.m.
Preview & Prediction: K-State now have made their statement to the NCAA committee, and are getting through to March Madness after this Big 12 tournament. They won a thriller to TCU in overtime to move on to play mighty Kansas. The Jayhawks started slow to OSU, but ended up pummeling the Cowboys to move to the semifinals. Jayhawks need this win to secure staying a top #1 seed in the Big Dance. K-State wants to beat their in-state rival and move up their seeding in the Big Dance. KU has won both their regular season games against the Wildcats, and unfortunately I’m picking it to happen again for a third time in a row.
No. 2 Texas Tech vs. No. 3 West Virginia (ESPN2) 8 p.m.
Preview & Prediction: We got through UT, and have cleared most of the questions surrounding the injuries. Evans might not be 100%, but he is producing on the offensive and defensive end. He is the key to our success, and it looks like he is feeling a lot better and is taking his game back up to a very high level. Zach Smith does not have the hop in his game like he used to, but he is still getting back in gameday shape. His presence alone on the floor helps our lack of depth in the frontocurt.
Both West Virginia and our Red Raiders are playing this game to improve their seeding in the Big Dance, and for conference bragging rights. Texas Tech can solidify they are at least a #3 seed during March Madness with this victory, while WVU might move up from a #5 seed to a #4 with this win. We beat the Mountaineers once this regular season with a healthy Keenan Evans and no Zach Smith. We held them both out of the contest at the end of the season and WVU beat us by 10 points. I’ll let Seth get into the details in his gameday preview, but I think we got this game. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m picking our Red Raiders to get to the Big 12 championship versus Kansas.