Conference Tourney Mini-Previews: Big 12Posted by rtmsf on March 11th, 2008
Next Up: Big 12 Tournament. So… last year, with Kevin Durant, Texas finished third in the Big 12, while this year the Longhorns finished first. Dunno about you guys, but we’re hoping for a rematch of last year’s final game, which Kansas won in overtime 88-84.
Where: Sprint Center, Kansas City, KS
When: Thursday – Sunday
The Favorite(s). Texas and Kansas are the co-favs (both finished 13-3), although Vegas Watch will have the odds for us soon as to who is the actual favorite. In the unbalanced schedule of the Big 12, we were only treated with one matchup between these two teams, as the Horns handled the Jayhawks 72-69 in Austin. You almost never know for certain who will show up in the Big 12 this year, but we’d say that the odds are favorable for both teams to meet on Sunday afternoon again.
The Darkhorse. Oklahoma has won six of its last eight and shown some guts in winning on the road against its rival without Blake Griffin. If Texas should falter, we wouldn’t be surprised to see OU in the finals against Kansas.
Bubble Buster Game. A second round matchup between Texas A&M and Kansas St. could make things interesting for the committee. A&M is #47 and Kansas St. is #45 in KenPom’s RPI ratings, and neither team has really lit it up in the last few weeks (K-State 3-5; A&M 2-5). Would the committee really leave out Michael Beasley and the #3 seed in the Big 12? Probably not, but we wouldn’t want to give them a reason to put TAMU over them, if we were a K-State fan.
Cinderella. Baylor. But for one home egg laid by the Bears, Baylor finished strong down the stretch, and the route to the finals is more favorable through Oklahoma and Texas. Baylor was 0-4 against these teams in the regular season, but every game was close, and it’s very difficult to defeat a good team three times in one season.
Games We Want to See. Part 3 of Kansas-Kansas St. would be fun in the semis, as well as Part 2 of Kansas-Texas. Basically, the teams that don’t suck.
Champion. Kansas is coming off of two straight Big 12 Tourney titles, and they’re playing in their own backyard. When KU brings it, there are only a couple of teams in American who can hang with them, and they usually bring it in this tournament. So we’re going with the easy choice here – Kansas.