Checking in on… the Big 12Posted by jstevrtc on December 17th, 2009
Patrick Sellars is the RTC correspondent for the Big 12 Conference.
- Kansas (9-0)- The Jayhawks dominated Radford and La Salle at home this last week, but now the schedule gets much harder. A Michigan team that is in need of a big win will visit Lawrence on Saturday.
- Texas (9-0)- The Longhorns blow out every team they play, probably because they have such an easy schedule, but also because Damion James is averaging a double-double. The matchup between the frontcourts of Texas and North Carolina may provide us with the most evenly matched game of the season, between two final four contenders.
- Kansas State (9-1)- Sorry Red Raiders fans, but I have to give the three-spot to the Wildcats despite TTU being the only other team in the conference outside Texas and Kansas that is undefeated. In my opinion, a road win against UNLV is better than a home win over Washington.
- Texas Tech (9-0)- John Roberson put the team on his back against TCU after being down five at halftime. Roberson played all 40 minutes and finished with 21 points on 7-11 from the field.
- Texas A&M (8-2)- Losing to New Mexico is nothing to be ashamed of; the Lobos can play with anyone in the power conferences. The Aggies need to look at their game against Washington on December 22nd to get their name back in the national spotlight.
- Oklahoma State (9-1)- James Anderson is continuing his great play, and if Marshall Moses keeps averaging a double-double, Oklahoma State will be a hard team to beat in this conference.
- Oklahoma (7-3)- The Sooners have a good streak going, and they should have two more wins before they play on the road against Gonzaga.
- Baylor (8-1)- The Bears were off last week, but they’re win over Xavier looks a lot better after Xavier beat Cincinnati.
- Iowa State (7-3)- Beating their in-state rivals should get this team back on track. The Cyclones have a lot of talent, they just need everyone to play well at the same time.
- Missouri (6-3)- Losing to Oral Roberts? That’s a sign of a team that is in rebuilding mode.
- Nebraska (7-2)- A very ugly win over Oregon State, but it was a win nonetheless.
- Colorado (6-4)- Losing against Colorado State, a team that has been dwelling in the basement of the MWC the last few seasons, won’t get anyone in Boulder excited about basketball.
Team of the Week: Kansas State Wildcats — Jacob Pullen had a huge night against UNLV (28 points, and 7-10 from behind the arc), which helped lead the Wildcats to their second big win of the week. Denis Clemente and Pullen can lead this team to a deep run in the NCAA tournament when all other parts of the team are running smoothly.
Player of the Week: Xavier Henry, G Kansas — Henry has solidified that he is the second best freshman in the nation behind John Wall. He had 31 points against La Salle, and is shooting 53.3% from three-point range this season. It makes you wonder if anyone can beat Kansas when Henry is shooting lights out from behind the arc.
- Five Teams in the Top 25: Kansas, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, and Kansas State were all ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll this week. The Big East is the only conference with more teams ranked (six).
- Finals Week: There isn’t much action this week because a lot of schools are taking exams. But the Longhorns have their biggest non-conference test of the season on Saturday when North Carolina meets them in Dallas. Talk about a clash of the titans. I think the game will come down to guard play even though both teams boast amazing frontcourt players. Ed Davis matching up against Damion James will be epic.
Predictions for this Week (by team, * indicates “Game to Watch”, # indicates “Upset Watch”):
- Kansas vs Michigan 12/19 (W) * – Manny Harris and the Wolverines desperately need a big win, but they won’t get one here against the Jayhawks.
- Texas vs North Carolina 12/19 (W) **********- I think Texas will take this game. They will have a friendly crowd, even though its at a “neutral” site, and I just think the Longhorns have a little more talent than the Tarheels. What a game though, it will truly be a Final Four type of atmosphere.
- Kansas State at Alabama 12/19 (W) * – The Crimson Tide gave Purdue a very good game, but I am a big believer in Kansas State, and I think Pullen and Clemente will get it done.
- Texas Tech at Wichita State 12/19 (L) #*- I think the Shockers are a very good team. They are 9-1 on the season with their only loss coming to Pitt. TTU has been impressive, but they’ve had some very close calls recently, and I think this is the game in which they finally go down.
- Texas A&M vs The Citadel 12/19 (W)- This is a good opportunity to beat up on a lesser team and forget about what happened against New Mexico.
- Oklahoma State defeated Stanford on 12/16, 71-91- Playing Pac-10 teams almost constitutes an automatic win this season. This one was all Cowboys early but close at the end. Oklahoma State made it harder for themselves than it should have been.
- Oklahoma vs Northern Colorado 12/19 (W)- Believe it or not, Northern Colorado is no slouch. They are 8-2 this season and will most likely be coming into Norman thinking they have a realistic chance to upset the Sooners. However, Willie Warren is finding his touch, and that spells bad things for the rest of the country.
- Baylor vs Texas Arlington 12/20 (W)- The Bears should improve on their record against last years Southland Champs.
- Iowa State vs Bradley 12/20 (W)- This is a game that the Cyclones absolutely cannot lose if they want to keep their at-large hopes alive.
- Missouri vs Arkansas Pine Bluff 12/19 (W)- Mizzou will continue to dominate their terrible non-conference home schedule, before a date with Illinois in St.Louis on December 22nd.
- Nebraska vs Jackson State 12/19 (W)- The Cornhuskers are playing much better than I thought, but they aren’t playing a tough schedule, so there is nothing to be excited about yet.
- Colorado is on an off week.