Checking in on the… Big 12Posted by nvr1983 on February 23rd, 2009
Patrick Marshall of Bluejay Basketball is the RTC correspondent for the Big 12 and Missouri Valley Conferences.
Current Records and My Standings (Conference Standings) (Last Week)
- Oklahoma (25-2)(11-1) (1)
- Missouri (23-4) (10-2) (2)
- Kansas (22-5)(11-1) (3)
- Kansas St. (19-8) (7-5)(4)
- Texas (18-8) (7-5) (5)
- Oklahoma St. (17-9) (6-6) (8)
- Nebraska (16-9) (6-6) (6)
- Texas A&M (19-9) (5-7) (9)
- Baylor (16-10) (4-8) (7)
- Texas Tech (13-14) (3-9)(10)
- Iowa St. (13-14) (2-10) (11)
- Colorado (8-16) (1-11) (12)
The bottom of the Big 12 conference is pretty well-established. With Baylor in the preseason top 25, it is sort of surprising how far they have fallen. At this point I see the Big 12 maybe getting 5 teams in the NCAA Tournament. A few other teams in 4-9 spots will have to separate themselves to see if there could be more.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Texas 73, Oklahoma 68–As anticipated, this was a great game even without Blake Griffin for most of it. Griffin ran into the big mitt of Dexter Pittman and that clouded things up enough to limit him to 11 minutes. Willie Warren and AJ Abrams were in a shooting contest with each other. However, Abrams got the better end of the deal scoring 16 straight points in the final 8 minutes of the game. Damion James provided great support with his 12th double-double of the season. Texas got its 10th straight win at home against a ranked opponent. A big win that Texas desperately needed.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Cole Aldrich, Kansas—Aldrich must have really enjoyed the mask he has to wear for his broken nose as he has played like a man like a mission. This week in the wins against Nebraska and Iowa St., Aldrich averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds a game. Against the undersized Huskers, Aldrich did not have any problems dominating the paint. He helped make sure Kansas didn’t overlook these games in anticipation of this week’s games against Oklahoma and Missouri.
TEAMS PLAYING WELL
- Texas A&M (2-0 this week)—A&M had their backs against the wall in desperate need of a couple of wins. They were successful with a big win on Big Monday against Texas and then squeaking one out against Texas Tech. In the Tech game, A&M went to the line 51 times. Pat Knight wasn’t too happy about that. The game at Nebraska and the perceived gimme at Iowa St. will be big for the Aggies to get to .500 in conference play.
- Kansas(2-0 this week)— Kansas continues to show their dominance of the Big 12 North by taking out Iowa St. and Nebraska this week. The test for Kansas comes this week as they take on both Oklahoma and Missouri this week. Most fans aren’t necessarily concerned about these games, but more about the band. (ed. note – the Aldrich reference was removed as a factual error)
- Kansas St. (2-0 this week)—Kansas St. stepped out of conference to take on almost the worst team in all of D-1 basketball (North Carolina Central) and then beat doormat Iowa St. this weekend. I’m really not sold on Kansas St. yet. They have wins against Missouri and Texas in the conference, but other than that, a very unimpressive and weak non-conference schedule. When they did have good non-conference competition at the Las Vegas Invitational, they lost all of those games. Any stumbles by Kansas St. the rest of the way puts them into a really bad situation as far as the NCAA goes in my mind. But at least they are more likely to win close games now than earlier in the season.
- Missouri (1-0 this week)—Missouri continues to win as they are now 10-1 in their last 11 games. Their only game this past week was against Colorado, but this team continues to impress. The showdown in Lawrence against Kansas will be the game of the week. The media in Missouri is sort of banking on the Tigers being in the NCAA tournament. At this point, I would have to agree. They are doing a lot better than the 8th place finish I predicted.
- Oklahoma St (2-0 this week)— Oklahoma St. is now making a run winning their last 3. They can make a little noise by winning a few more games to get them in the upper half of the conference. The students make noise too, but they also pay for it by being the most expensive school for students to attend games.
TEAMS UP AND DOWN
- Texas (1-1 this week)—It looked like Texas was in a heap of trouble after losing to Texas A&M on Big Monday, but then turned things around to give Oklahoma their first conference loss in the game of the week. People will put a little * by this game because most of it was without Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin, but either way this was a huge win for Texas. However, I think it will be pretty tough for Texas to expect to finish in the top 3 in the conference although some people had them (including myself) winning the Big 12. Don’t talk about the NCAA Tournament either with Texas….at least Rick Barnes doesn’t want to talk about it.
- Nebraska (1-1 this week)—Nebraska is in an interesting position. Although they are at .500 in the conference, they are still a little better than average at this point. The wins against Kansas St. and Missouri early in conference play were nice, but they are in the “what have you done for me lately” category where the wins they have lately are against the bottom of the league. Lack of scoring has been the Achilles for the Huskers. Now, if they can somehow get 2 wins this week against Texas A&M and Kansas St., then things might become a little more interesting for them.
- Oklahoma (0-1 this week)—Oklahoma finally loses in the conference. I guess the way they can look at this is that they are still competitive and are that close to being able to win games without Blake Griffin. Griffin suffered a concussion in the game and it will be interesting to see how he looks when he returns. It is still unknown at this time when he will return. A couple games on the road this week will add a little more interest to see how they respond to a loss.
- Baylor (0-1 this week) –You can pretty much write off Baylor at this point. Unless they win out the rest of the way and have a good showing in the Big 12 tournament, I really don’t think that Baylor looks that good for any At-Large consideration at this point and shouldn’t be in the conversation at all. The games they have needed to win they have not and the last few games . Going 1-5 against the top 4 in the league does not look good either. They are done.
- Colorado (0-2 this week) – Colorado stays the course–loses a couple more games. I wonder if Brittany Spears of the women’s team gets any flack for her name?
- Texas Tech (0-2 this week)— Will Pat Knight be on the hot seat already after a season and a half? He probably gets one more season at this point and his dad’s temper will get the best of him. In the A&M game he was T’d up again, sent A&M to the line 56 times and had 4 players foul out. Wow. I bet Duke Edsall , Terry Davis, and Kevin Mathis’ names will be thrown around a little bit this week in Lubbock.
- Iowa St. (0-2 this week)— Losing 10 of the last 12 games will not get them anywhere. Nepotism at its best as Coach Greg McDermott’s son is now a student manager for the basketball team.
WEEK AHEAD AND GAMES TO WATCH
This will be a big week for the Big 12. Several games have implications on how this conference completely solidifies who the players will be for consideration for the NCAA tournament. Kansas bookends a big weeks of games for them.
- 2/23, (BIG MONDAY) Kansas @ Oklahoma (ESPN)—How will Oklahoma respond to a loss and how effective will Blake Griffin be?
- 2/24, Texas A&M @ Nebraska (ESPN2)—Both teams need the win to still be in consideration.
- 2/25, Kansas St. @ Missouri (ESPNU)—Is Kansas St. for real? This game will determine whether Kansas St. can stay in the top 4 in the conference or if they all of a sudden fall to 7th and in serious trouble.
- 2/28, Texas @ Oklahoma St. (ESPN)—These two teams are trying to position themselves down the line.
- 3/1, Missouri @ Kansas (CBS)—Two big games for Kansas could either expose its youth or show how Bill Self is one of the best developers of talent in the nation.