So there is a big game in Lawrence today, I heard.
The rest of the conference will be second stage to that game, but it does not mean there are not some big games.
Possibly the next biggest is in Manhattan, where K-State, who led by 12 at Iowa State in the second half Jan. 31 before losing. Today, the Cats, coming off back-to-back road wins over Top 10 teams, gets their rematch (12:47, ESPN3/Big 12 Network).
Iowa State has 20 wins for the first time in eight years and is in a two-way tie for 3rd place with Baylor. The Cats could move into a game of ISU with a win today.
K-State could make a claim for the league’s 3rd best team – despite record – by winning out, and finishing 11-7.
Oklahoma @ Baylor (12:47, ESPN 3/Big 12 Network): Baylor bounced back from its third loss in four games with a win Monday night at Texas. Now, Baylor host an OU team that ended its six-game losing skid with a surprisingly easy Beldlam win over Oklahoma State. Should be easy for Baylor. Then, they have Tech on Monday. Should be an easy few games.
Texas A&M @ Oklahoma State (1, ESPN 2): A&M is finally back at full-strength and is coming off back-to-back home losses to the league’s Top 2 teams by a combined 17 points, in which they were highly competitive (well, at least the last 10 minutes against Kansas). Now, despite playing A LOT lesser team, they have to go on the road against an Oklahoma State team (who is awful on the road, but does have a win at Texas Tech, but who doesn’t?) that is 200 times better at home. The Pokes still have a shot to get to .500 in the league (but will have to beat Kansas at home), and if they do, are they a bubble team? They have wins over tournament teams Missouri, Iowa State and a bubble team Texas in Stillwater.
Texas @ Texas Tech (3, ESPN 3/Big 12 Network): Texas’ bubble status has went backward after winning four in a row. Now they are coming off back-to-back losses, missing a big opportunity for a signature win Monday night in a loss to Baylor on Big Monday, in Austin. The Horns don’t have a signature win – and they will get another chance next Saturday in the season-finale when they had to Kansas. That is a likely loss, which will give them nine in the league. Texas HAS to win today and again Wednesday in the Red River rivalry.
3 Missouri @ 5 Kansas (3, CBS): In possibly the most-hyped Missouri-Kansas basketball game ever, a lot more than bragging rights is on the line in this one. It was to be a de facto Big 12 Championship game, but thanks to a K-State upset win in Columbia, it has lost some of its luster. A Kansas win, and the Hawks clinch a share of their 8th straight Big 12 title. A Missouri win, and everyone forgets about the K-State loss and they pull even with KU in the Big 12 race.
If it is the final game in the “Border War,” who can ask for a better scenario. The odds are against Missouri, who has not won at Allen Fieldhouse since 1999 – three coaches ago – and loses by an average of 16 points in that 12 year stretch.
This Week’s Games
Baylor 77, Texas 72: Texas dipped back below .500 and it remains “iffy” if Rick Barnes and Texas will make their 14th straight NCAA Tournament.
Baylor Point guard Pierre Jackson (25 points) out-dualed the league’s top scorer, J’Covan Brown (18 points) as the Bears bounced back from three losses in four games by rallying from an early 12-point second half deficit.
Quincy Acy dominated the paint, scoring 22 points and ripping down 16 rebounds, and scored seven straight to give Baylor a five-point lead with under three minutes to play.
Jackson made six straight free throws to ice the game. He finished 12-of-12 from the line.
Jonathan Holmes burried a 3 to cut it to 71-70. Brown turned the ball over with 28 seconds left with the Horns down 73-70, and again with 12 seconds remaining with the Horns down 75-72.
Texas led 36-26 at halftime after shooting 50% and holding Baylor to 28%.
Oklahoma 77, Oklahoma State 64: Oklahoma State is proof of how hard it is to win on the road in the Big 12. They have just one win on the road – at the leagues worst team Texas Tech, but is 5-2 at home, with losses to K-State and Baylor and wins over Missouri, Iowa State and Texas.
Oklahoma rolled them in Bedlam, ending their six-game losing streak and winning for just the second time in 10 games.
Romero Osby’s double-double 16 points, 13 rebounds and Stephen Pledger’s 19 points paced the Sooners, who rolled out to a 30-12 halftime lead, then held on.
Keiton Page, coming off his Big 12 Player of the Week honor, scored 29 points and now has 92 points in the last three games for the Pokes. He was 9-17 from 3.
OU has won eight straight at home over Oklahoma State.
Daily Oklahoman: OU hangs on to beat Cowboys, 77-64
Daily Oklahoman: Keiton Page, Cowboys couldn’t score enough to overcome dismal first half against Sooners
Daily Oklahoman: Bedlam was not epic of years past, but it was good entertainment
Iowa State 72, Texas Tech 54: Texas Tech played one of its most competitive games of the season in league play. Yet, nothing to show for it.
The Raiders were ahead 32-28 at half, but were doubled up in the second half, 44-22. The Cyclones, who earned their 20th win and extended their longest home win streak in eight years to six game.
The Clones wore out the Raiders in the second half, but did not take a double-digit lead until six minutes left in the game
Scott Christopherson and Melvin Ejim each scored 17 points for Iowa State, who reached 20 wins for the first time in eight years.
Jaye Crockett led Texas Tech with 17.