Checking in on… the Big 12Posted by rtmsf on December 22nd, 2009
- Kansas (10-0) – The Jayhawks hold the top spot because they played a bad game against Michigan but still won by double digits. This team is going to be scary once they start playing their best basketball.
- Texas (10-0) – The Longhorns are very close to grabbing the number one spot away from Kansas. A win over Michigan State tonight will probably push them to the top.
- Kansas State (11-1) – It looks like KSU will end their non-conference season at 13-1 if they can take care of Cleveland State and South Dakota. Frank Martin and the Wildcats could be looking at a possible top three seed in the NCAA tournament if they finish third in the conference.
- Texas A&M (9-2) – The Aggies have a huge game against Washington tonight. This could be a big statement game for TAMU, which has fallen outside the Coaches Poll Top 25.
- Oklahoma State (10-1) – The Cowboys had a very close call with Stanford, and then took care of La Salle last week. This is probably the hardest team to rank right now because their non-conference schedule is not very tough.
- Texas Tech (9-1) – Losing to the Wichita State Shockers on the road is not necessarily a bad loss, but it makes it harder for the Red Raiders to make the NCAA tournament if they don’t finish in the top six of the conference.
- Baylor (9-1) – The Bears are on a long break, but when they resume play against a pair of SEC opponents (Arkansas and South Carolina) is when we’ll really know if Baylor is for real.
- Iowa State (8-3) – Marquis Gilstrap had a huge game against Bradley, scoring 25 points. If he can elevate his play during the conference season then the Cyclones could surprise a lot of people this year.
- Missouri (7-3) – Last week’s good news is that Mizzou didn’t let Arkansas-Pine Bluff register their first win of the season. The Tigers will have to prove their worth Wednesday in St. Louis when they face Illinois.
- Oklahoma (8-4) – I was starting to believe that the Sooners had turned it around, but then they laid a huge egg at home against UTEP. The problem with OU right now is their depth. For instance, in their loss last night, Jeff Capel got just two points from his bench players.
- Nebraska (8-2) – The Cornhuskers play Tulsa on a neutral court, and I really don’t see NU coming out with a victory in this game. The good news for Big Red is that they get a lot of production from a lot of different players; their leading scorer Ryan Anderson is averaging just 11 PPG.
- Colorado (6-4) – It looks like it will be another long year in Boulder. Cory Higgins is an NBA prospect, but that’s about the only good thing to say about this team.
Team of the Week: Texas Longhorns – Defeating North Carolina at Cowboys Stadium was a tremendous accomplishment for Rick Barnes and the Longhorns. Dexter Pittman snagged twelve Offensive boards in the victory, which may be the most impressive stat for the whole game.
Player of the Week – Damion James (F), Texas- James scored 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the weekend win over UNC. He is now averaging a double-double. One thing he does need to work on his is FG percentage, as he was just 8-22 from the field against the Tar Heels.
- Missouri to the Big Ten? – PTI was talking about the potential move last week, and apparently Missouri wants to join the other midwestern BCS conference. The move makes sense geographically, and the Big Ten has been looking for a twelfth member for a few years. The likely scenario is that Missouri would move to the Big Ten, and then the Big 12 would pick up TCU to compensate. Obviously this is all speculation, but it would be quite interesting if the move went through.
- Texas’ Big Day – Dexter Pittman and Damion James both had a tremendous day against UNC, which helped the Longhorns put up triple digits on one of the nation’s best teams. I think UT answered a lot of questions about how good their team is, and I think the Horns showed that they are a final four caliber team.
This Week’s Predictions (* indicates “Game to Watch”, # indicates “Upset Watch”)
- Kansas – California 12/22 (W)* – This is not an easy matchup for Kansas because the Golden Bears can get hot and put up a lot of points in a hurry. However, the game is in Lawrence, and that’s spells a win for the Jayhawks.
- Texas – Michigan State 12/22 (W)* – Another big test for the Longhorns, but if they play as well as they did against North Carolina, they should be able to take the Spartans. I think this one will be closer than the UNC game, but in the end Texas’ frontcourt will prove to be too much for the smaller, more perimeter-oriented Michigan State team.
- Kansas State is on an off week.
- Texas A&M – at Washington 12/22 (L)* – The Huskies want revenge against this conference after their loss to Texas Tech. I think A&M has enough talent to upset Washington on the road, but Quincy Pondexter and Isaiah Thomas will prove to be too much for the Aggies.
- Texas Tech – Stanford 12/22 (W) – Oklahoma State took care of Stanford, even though they almost faltered at the end of the game. I think Texas Tech plays better “team basketball” than OSU, and they will overpower Stanford.
- Oklahoma State is on an off week.
- Baylor is on an off week.
- Iowa State – North Dakota 12/22 (W) – This will be an easy win for the Cyclones, before they take a long break until their January 3rd contest against Houston.
- Missouri – vs. Illinois 12/23 (L)*, Austin Peay 12/27 (W) – I don’t see Mizzou beating the Illini in St. Louis. It is a big game for both teams that need another win over a power conference team, but I just think that Illinois has a more talented roster and will beat MU pretty easily.
- Nebraska – vs. Tulsa 12/22 (L) – Jerome Jordan was too much for Oklahoma State, and I think he will also dominate this game against the Cornhuskers. Tulsa is a possible top nine seed in the NCAA tournament, and Nebraska is a possible NIT team.
- Colorado – Cal State Northridge 12/22 (W) – Cory Higgins and the Buffaloes need to get some momentum before they start the conference season.