Basketball

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

Consider this post your open thread for the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tourney… and Wreck ’em Tech!!!

Game #3:

Embed from Getty Images

Date: Thursday, March 14th
Time: 11:30 am
Teams: #4 Baylor vs #5 Iowa State
Location: Sprint Center | Kansas City
TV/Stream: ESPN2

Baylor Notes:

  •  Baylor has won 19+ games in 8 straight seasons and is seeking its 10th 20-win season in the last 12 years.
  •  Scott Drew is in his 16th season in Waco and is the Bears’ all-time wins leader (315-207).
  • Drew is coaching his 523rd game at Baylor (315-207). His .603 winning percentage is best in BU history among coaches with 40+ games, and his teams have a .671 winning percentage since 2007-08 (281-138).
  • Baylor is 34-38 in Big 12 road games since 2012, second-best in the league behind only Kansas (44-24).
  • Baylor is 1 of 16 teams nationally to appear in every postseason since 2012 (5 NCAAs, 2 NITs).
  • Baylor is 29-3 when leading at halftime over the last two seasons (14-3 this season).
  • BU is 87-20 since 2015-16 when leading at any point in the 2nd half of a game (19-5 this season).
  • BU is 99-77 in Big 12 play in 10 seasons since 2010 after going 59-149 in the league’s first 13 seasons.
  • BU recorded double-digit Big 12 wins for the 4th time in the last 5 seasons and 6th time in 10 years.
  • BU has won 8+ Big 12 games in 8 straight seasons after winning 8+ just 3 times in the league’s first 15 years.
  • Baylor is one of nine teams to be nationally ranked in each of the last 11 seasons dating back to 2007-08 – Baylor, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Notre Dame and North Carolina.
  • BU is 41-71 against AP Top 25 teams since 2007-08 after going 0-27 in Drew’s first 4 rebuilding seasons.
  • Baylor defeated 7 top-10 teams in the last 3 seasons, including a 6-3 mark vs. top-10 teams in Waco.
  • Baylor is 12-22 against AP Top 10 teams since March 2012. BU started the Drew era 1-26 vs. top-10.
  • Baylor has won 89% of its games when leading at the half since 2011-12 (148-19).
  • Baylor is 190-91 over the last 7 seasons, averaging 24.4 wins per season since 2012.
  • Baylor’s 190 wins since 2011-12 are second-most in the Big 12 behind only Kansas (233).
  • Baylor is 281-138 since 2007-08, the first year Drew’s staff had a full allotment of scholarships.
  • Baylor beat Alabama to move to 5-1 all-time in Big 12/SEC Challenges, the best record of any team in either league.
  • Baylor has the nation’s 11th-longest active streak with at least one 3-point FG made in 900 straight games — the last time Baylor failed to make a 3-pointer was more than 29 years ago, on Feb. 21, 1990 vs. Texas Tech (0-8).

ISU Notes:

  • Steve Prohm is in his fourth season at Iowa State and eighth overall as a head coach with a career mark of 184-81, ranking him among the nation’s top-30 coaches (five years of experience) in career winning percentage…he is 80-52 at ISU, leading it to the postseason twice…he has coached his teams to 20 wins in seven of eight seasons as a head coach.
  • Prohm has coached the Cyclones to 14 wins against the AP Top-25 (7 vs. AP Top-10) in his first four seasons in Ames, which leaves him behind only Johnny Orr (24) and Fred Hoiberg (23)…ISU has 32 wins against the top-25 since 2013-14, tying it for fifth-most nationally.
  • Four Cyclones were recognized Sunday when the Big 12 announced its postseason awards: Marial Shayok (All-Big 12 First Team; AllNewcomer Team); Lindell Wigginton (Sixth Man Award, All-Big 12 Honorable Mention); Talen Horton-Tucker (All-Freshman Team; AllBig 12 Honorable Mention); Nick Weiler-Babb (All-Big 12 Honorable Mention).
  • ISU’s recent struggles continued Saturday in a third-straight loss, this one coming to Texas Tech…the Cyclones battled and had the game tied with just more than two minutes remaining, but the Red Raiders hit timely shots down the stretch to win 80-73…Shayok and Wigginton led the Cyclones with 17 points each…Shayok returned to the lineup after missing a game with a left foot injury.
  • ISU owns a top-10 offense nationally, its third time in four seasons under Prohm ranking inside the nation’s top-15…since 2013-14, ISU has had a top-15 offense five times in the last six seasons.
  • ISU’s strong offensive season shows in the Big 12 statistics…it leads the league in scoring (77.7), field goal percentage (47.7) and free throw percentage (72.8), while also ranking third in 3-point field goal percentage (36.2)…no team has led the Big 12 in three of the four categories since Missouri in 2011-12.
  • The numbers Shayok is putting up have rarely been matched… he is the Big 12’s second-best scorer at 18.7 points per game…Shayok has been extremely consistent, scoring at least 17 points in 24 of 30 games…he is shooting 49.6 percent from the floor, 39.6 percent on 3-pointers and 87.7 percent at the line…since 2009-10, only one player (Luke Babbitt, Nevada) has averaged 18 points and shot 50-40-90.
  • ISU had five Big 12 victories by 13 points, tied for the second-most by a Cyclone team since the league was formed (6, 2000-01; 5, 2012-13).
  • Wigginton, who on Sunday won the Big 12’s Sixth Man Award, is averaging 16.7 points the last three games…he’s averaging nine trips to the free-throw line during that stretch…he has hit a 3-pointer in 19 consecutive games, the eighth-longest streak in school history and a careerbest for him…he is the only player in school history with multiple streaks of 18 games.

Prediction: Iowa State should have a nice crowd brought to Kansas City for this game, yet ISU has been slipping down the stretch. They lost 5 of their last 6 games, including 3 in a row. Baylor also brings a losing streak of their last three into the game. Here’s the juicy details, Baylor has beat ISU twice already this season, in tight contests. Both games have been close. So, with ISU having the crowd advantage and looking for the revenge factor… I’m going with ISU in this game.

Game #4:

Embed from Getty Images

Date: Thursday, March 14th
Time: 1:30 pm
Teams: #1 K-State vs #8 TCU
Location: Sprint Center | Kansas City
TV/Stream: ESPN2

K-State Notes:

  • No. 15/14 Kansas State (24-7, 14-4 Big 12) will open play as the No. 1 seed in the 23rd annual Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on Thursday against No. 8 seed TCU (20-12, 7-11 Big 12) at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. TCU defeated No. 9 seed Oklahoma State, 73-70, in the first game on Wednesday. The Wildcats swept the Horned Frogs during the regular season. The game will tip at 1:30 p.m., CT on ESPN2 with Bob Wischusen (play-by-play), Fran Fraschilla (analyst) and Holly Rowe (reporter).
  • K-State enters as the tournament’s No. 1 seed for the first time in the Big 12 era and the first time since being the top-seed in the inaugural Big Eight Championship in 1977. The Wildcats are 35-41 (.461) all-time in the Big Eight/12 Championship dating back to its inception in 1977, including a 14-22 (.389) mark in the Big 12 era. The school is 3-0 as a No. 1 seed in the Big Eight/12 Championship, while it is 1-2 vs. the No. 8 seed (TCU) and 2-1 vs. the No. 9 seed (Oklahoma State). The team is 1-1 all-time against the Horned Frogs (last appearance in 2018) at the Championship, while they are 4-4 against the Cowboys (last appearance in 2016).
  • K-State swept its 2 meetings with TCU this season. The Wildcats held the Horned Frogs to their 2 season-lows for points, winning 65-55 on Jan. 19 at home before a 64-52 win in Fort Worth on March 4. K-State has a 15-6 all-time record against TCU, including a 1-2 mark at neutral sites.
  • Seniors Barry Brown, Jr., Kamau Stokes and Dean Wade all starred on Senior Day, as the trio all scored in double figures to help K-State clinch a share of the Big 12 regular season title with a 68-53 win over Oklahoma before a sold-out crowd at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats earned their 21st conference title, including its 19th regular-season crown, dating back to 1917. It was the second in the Big 12 era and the first since also sharing the Big 12 title with Kansas in 2013. The seniors combined to score 45 of the 68 points to go with 14 of the 15 assists in their final home game, as Stokes led the way in both points (19) and assists (6), while Brown chipped in 15 points, 4 assists and 3 steals and Wade added 11 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. It marked the 26th time (20-6 record) the trio has scored in double figures in the same game in their respective careers, including the eighth time (8-0) this season.
  • Defense continues to carry the Wildcats, as they are holding opponents to just 59.1 points (a Big 12-best 59.6 points in league games) on 41.3 percent shooting, including 31.4 percent from 3-point range. K-State has held 18 of 31 opponents (9 Big 12 foes) to 60 points or less with just two eclipsing 70. The team ranks among the Top 50 in several defensive categories, including fourth in scoring defense, 56th in field goal percentage defense, 36th in 3-point field goal percentage defense and 30th in turnover margin (+3.2). The Wildcats are averaging 17.3 points off 14.7 opponent turnovers this season, including 16.9 points on 13.9 opponent turnovers in Big 12 play.

TCU Notes: 

  • TCU is 4-6 all-time at the Big 12 Championship and has played in the quarterfinals in each of the last four seasons. Last season, fifth seeded TCU lost to fourth seeded Kansas State in the quarterfinals, 66-64 in double overtime. TCU has never won a postseason conference championship.
  • TCU is 4-0 this season and 12-3 under Jamie Dixon in neutral site games.
  • Desmond Bane (2nd Team), Alex Robinson (3rd Team) and Kouat Noi (Honorable Mention) were named All-Big 12.
  • Alex Robinson ranks seventh in the nation at 6.9 assists per game. He is TCU’s all-time assist leader at 633 and ranks No. 2 nationally with 712 total career assists when including his freshman season at Texas A&M. Robinson along with Owen Aschieris were named Academic All-Big 12.
  • Desmond Bane (4th/15.2), Kouat Noi (9th/14.1) and Alex Robinson (11th/12.7) all rank in the top 11 in the Big 12 in scoring. No other team has three in the top 15.
  • Kevin Samuel’s 66.7 percent shooting ranks second in the Big 12 and his 2.1 blocks per game ranks fourth in the conference. He has recorded at least one block in the last 14 games. His 65 blocked shots is the most ever by a TCU freshman. He also ranks fifth in the Big 12, first among freshman, with 7.0 rebounds per game.
  • The Horned Frogs rank 20th in the nation with 16.3 assists per game. For the third-straight year, TCU is leading the Big 12 in assists.
  • On TCU’s current roster, only four played in a Big 12 game prior to this season. Six are freshmen or redshirt freshmen.

Prediction: Cartier Diarra returns to K-State for this game, yet they are down Dean Wade to a foot injury. Also, KSU had no problem handling TCU during the regular season in both games. TCU almost lost to OSU in the first round after being up by a lot of points for most of the game. K-State should coast to a victory in this one.

Game #5:

Embed from Getty Images

Date: Thursday, March 14th
Time: 6:00 pm
Teams: #2 Texas Tech vs #10 West Virginia
Location: Sprint Center | Kansas City
TV/Stream: ESPN2

Preview: Here we are, the co-champs of the regular season Big 12 Title. Sitting high in all the Top 25 rankings, and garnishing it off with a Big 12 player of the year and coach of the year honors. This has been an amazing ride for our Red Raiders. Culver and Coach Beard deserve their awards, and the whole team and staff deserve a pat on the back. Hell, buy them a beer if you ever see them out and about on the town.

But, now it is the postseason and the real fun begins. This Big 12 tournament is a chance to prove that we deserve sole possession of the Big 12 Championship trophy. Eye on the prize. We come into Kansas City with a 9 game win streak from the regular season. Everything seems to be clicking with this team at the right time. We are a projected #3 seed right now in March Madness, though we can raise our stock if we reel off a Big 12 tourney championship to go along with all the regular season awards we already captured. This is it, our time to shine.

Biggest thing on my mind is that we use these games in the Big 12 tournament to keep developing and growing our momentum into the Big Dance. Along with that we need to stay 100% healthy… so if that means giving some of the benchwarmers some minutes, we might need to use that strategy to our advantage. Especially if the game is well in hand. I would love nothing more than to come steamrolling into the NCAA tournament with a Big 12 title and championship trophy with all our integral pieces intact on the roster.

Coach Beard and staff will have our squad ready to play West Virginia today. In our first match-up at WVU, we squeaked by with a win. Culver, Mooney, and Moretti were a combined 2-10 shooting from beyond the arc in that game, and the whole squad was 3-18 from the outside. Moro & Francis were the only two guys to hit those 3 downtown buckets. When we demolished WVU in our home game by 31 points… Culver, Mooney, Moretti, Corprew, Francis, and Parker Hicks hit shots from the outside. Conclusion here is that we need to be able to spread the ball inside to outside and hit our outside shots against WVU.

WVU came off a thriller last night, and they beat an OU squad that was thought of to be a much better team than WVU. Anything can happen in the tourney, and this gives us another chance to face our favorite grumpy old coach in the Big 12 – Mr. Bob Huggins!

Prediction: Texas Tech is rolling right now, and playing some of the best basketball I have ever seen in the last 18 years. If they keep it up to go along with the stifling defense we know, AND can hit those outside shots we should be moving to the next round. Let’s keep us playing this beautiful basketball and kick the tails off West Virginia. Wreck ’em Tech!!!

Game #6:

Embed from Getty Images

Date: Thursday, March 14th
Time: 8:00 pm
Teams: #3 Kansas vs #6 Texas
Location: Sprint Center | Kansas City
TV/Stream: ESPN2

Kansas Notes:

  • Kansas is the No. 3 seed for the Big 12 Championship for the third time with the others being in 1999 and 2004. Kansas won the 1999 Big 12 Championship behind Most Outstanding Player Jeff Boshee. In 2004, the Jayhawks lost to Texas in the Big 12 semifinal. This year ended a 10-year run as No. 1 seed for KU. (More info on KU in Big 12 Champ. on pg. 48.)
  • Kansas is defending Big 12 tournament champion and has won 15 conference postseason tourney titles and 11 in the Big 12 era which began in 1996-97. Kansas (11), Iowa State (4), Oklahoma (3) and Oklahoma State (2) are active league members with Big 12 tourney titles.
  • Since the Big 12’s inception in 1996-97, Kansas 44-11 in the league tournament. KU is 20-3 in its first games, 1-0 in opening-round games, 19-3 in the quarterfinals, 13-6 in semifinals and 11-2 in finals.
  • Kansas is 1-1 against Texas this season with an 80-78 win on Jan. 14 in Allen Fieldhouse and a 73-63 loss at UT on Jan. 29. KU leads the overall series with UT, 32-9, including a 4-1 record in the Big 12 Championship (2-0 in Sprint Center).
  • Three Jayhawks – Dedric Lawson, Devon Dotson and Marcus Garrett – earned Big 12 postseason awards announced March 10. Lawson was a unanimous selection for All-Big 12 First Team, the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and unanimous selection for the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team. Dotson was All-Big 12 Third Team and a member of the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. Garrett was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team.
  • On March 6, redshirt-junior Dedric Lawson was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy Player of the Year Award. KU’s Frank Mason III won the honor in 2017 as did Danny Manning in 1988.
  • During the regular season, Lawson led the Big 12 in scoring at 19.1 ppg, rebounding at 10.6 rpg and double-doubles with 20, which ranks tied for seventh nationally. The last conference player to lead the league in scoring and rebounding in the same season was Blake Griffin of Oklahoma in 2008-09.

Texas Notes: The Longhorns don’t have any notes or a preview listed on their sports website (texassports.com) for this game.

Prediction: Kansas will have a home crowd advantage in Kansas City, it’s not even fair. Yet, they split the series in the regular season with UT. Both games were competitive contests. This game could be a nice match-up, but I’ve got to go with the Jayhawks in this one.

Comments
To Top