Checking in on… the Big 12Posted by rtmsf on December 31st, 2009
Patrick Sellars is the RTC correspondent for the Big 12 Conference.
- Texas (12-0) – Last Week the Longhorns beat Michigan State pretty handily. I’m going to side with the Rush the Court Top 25 and say that right now Texas is the best team in the country.
- Kansas (12-0) – The Jayhawks have a pretty tough three game stretch coming up: at Temple, vs. Cornell, and at Tennessee. If KU takes care of those teams they could reclaim the top spot.
- Kansas State (12-1) – Jacob Pullen is one of the best guards in the country that isn’t getting nearly enough recognition.
- Oklahoma State (11-1) – I don’t know if I really believe that the Cowboys are the fourth best team in the conference, but they take this spot by default because all the teams above them lost.
- Texas A&M (9-3) – The loss to Washington was expected, but the loss of Derrick Roland to a broken leg was not. Hopefully he can regain his eligibility and come back strong next season.
- Texas Tech (10-2) – The Red Raiders became the second Big 12 team to lose to New Mexico (Texas A&M also lost to the Lobos) Tuesday night.
- Missouri (10-3) – The Tigers get a big jump after taking care of Illinois on a neutral court. Kim English is playing very good basketball right now.
- Baylor (10-1) – I’m still skeptical of the Bears because they really haven’t had any tough competition since Thanksgiving, but they took care of Arkansas easily.
- Nebraska (10-3) – The Cornhuskers get to move up because of their impressive win over Tulsa. This team has set themselves up for an NIT bid if they can finish in the top nine in the conference.
- Iowa State (9-3) – I’m waiting for this team to get hot, because when they do they are going to be an exciting team to watch. They have two huge home games coming up against Houston on 1/3, and Duke on 1/6.
- Oklahoma (8-4) – I thought this Sooner team was supposed to compete for the conference title.
- Colorado (8-4) – I like Alec Burks, and I think he can be a very good player in conference play, but I don’t see Colorado ever getting out of the cellar.
Team of the Week: Missouri Tigers – In a quiet week, Missouri beat their interstate rivals Illinois pretty handily. The Big 12 is looking very strong right now, and its teams like the Tigers that are helping make it the best conference in the nation.
Player of the Week: Cole Aldrich (C), Kansas – The reason I’m giving it to Aldrich is because of his rebounding. This past week he had 10 rebounds against California and 14 against Belmont. Aldrich isn’t putting up Player of the Year numbers like some thought he would, but to his credit he has only registered 30 minutes in a game twice this season.
- Derrick Roland. I feel terrible for this kid who broke his leg against Washington ending a season in which the Aggies were probably headed for the NCAA Tournament. Now the Aggies are left without their star player and they’re in trouble of missing the Tournament if they can’t find someone to pick up the slack left by Roland.
- New Top Team. Texas overtook Kansas for the top spot in the Big 12 Power Rankings. Right now the Longhorns are playing like a national championship caliber team. Their frontcourt is the best in the nation, and their young guards are slowly getting better. Avery Bradley is key to this teams hopes of winning a national championship.
This Week’s Predictions (* indicates “Game to Watch”, # indicates “Upset Watch”)
- Texas – vs. TX-AM CC 1/2 (W), at Arkansas 1/5 (W) – The Longhorns are probably remembering their loss to Arkansas last season, and they don’t want that to happen again.
- Kansas – at Temple 1/2 (W)*, vs. Cornell 1/6 (W) – These are two tough games that the Jayhawks really want to win. You can’t sleep on either of these teams, especially Temple, who beat Tennessee at home last season.
- Kansas State – vs South Dakota 1/3 (W) – Kansas State will get one more cupcake before conference play begins on January 9th.
- Oklahoma State – at Rhode Island 1/2 (L) #, vs. Coppin State 1/5 (W) – Rhode Island is 10-1, and I think they will be too much for James Anderson and the Cowboys.
- Texas A&M – vs. Northwestern State 1/2 (W), vs North Dakota 1/5 (W) – The Aggies will get to play some easy games in order to adjust to life without Derrick Roland.
- Texas Tech – vs UTEP 1/3 (L) # – The Miners now have Derrick Caracter, and I think that makes them too much of a match for the Red Raiders.
- Missouri – vs. UMKC 12/30 (W), vs. Georgia 1/2 (W), vs. Savannah State 1/6 (W) – The Tigers need to beat Georgia if they want to keep their NCAA hopes alive, barring a tremendous Big 12 finish.
- Baylor – at Arkansas 12/30 (L), at South Carolina 1/2 (L), vs Morgan State (W) – I don’t believe that Baylor will be a good team in conference play, and I think they’ll prove it this week when they lose to two mediocre SEC teams on the road.
- Nebraska – vs. Maryland Eastern Shore 1/2 (W), vs. Southeastern Lousiana 1/5 (W) – Two cupcake opponents should give the Cornhuskers a respectable record going into conference play.
- Iowa State – vs. Houston 1/3 (W), vs. Duke 1/6 (L)* – I could see the Cyclones putting up a good fight against the Blue Devils, but ultimately Duke has too much talent for this Iowa State team.
- Oklahoma – at Gonzaga 12/22 (L)*, vs Maryland-Eastern Shore ¼ (W)- The Sooners could make a statement against Gonzaga if they pull off a win, but they probably won’t.
- Colorado – at Tulsa 1/2 (L), vs Miami (OH) 1/5 (W) – Tulsa will prove to be too much on the inside for Colorado to handle.