Big 12 Weekend Primer
Posted by dnspewak on January 13th, 2012
It’s not the best Saturday of all-time in Big 12 hoops. In fact, with only one ranked team in the conference (Kansas State) playing on the road, playoff football may be the better option if you’re looking for dramatic storylines and unpredictable results. If that’s not your thing, though, here’s a look at the admittedly boring match-ups in in the league this weekend.
- Texas at #9 Missouri, Saturday, 12 p.m. CT (ESPN2)
Myck Kabongo Will Need To Stay Poised in Columbia
A loss in Austin last year snapped Missouri’s three-game winning streak against the Longhorns, but the Tigers shouldn’t have much trouble on Saturday in the teams’ final game in Columbia for the foreseeable future. Missouri may have shut up the critics by winning at Iowa State on Wednesday, but nobody has ever questioned whether this team can win at home. Since 2008-09, the Tigers have lost just three games at Mizzou Arena and normally blow young teams like Texas out of the water on Norm Stewart Court. The Longhorns, who already lost in Ames this year, are also not a very good match-up for Missouri. They don’t have the size to bully the Tigers down low, and their young guards could really struggle with Missouri’s quickness. Look for a rebound game from Marcus Denmon, who shoots lights out at home. Missouri missed his normal production at Iowa State, but it can’t afford many more off-nights from its star.
- #18 Kansas State at Oklahoma, Saturday 12:47 p.m. CT (Big 12 Network)
Fresh off a 1-2 stretch against Kansas, Missouri, and Baylor, the Wildcats have a chance to rack up wins left and right during the next month or so. From now until mid-February, Kansas State will play Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech twice, and it will not face a ranked opponent. As long as it can take care of business on the road, the Wildcats should remain in contention for the league title when it faces Kansas on Big Monday at home on February 13. It all starts with this game in Norman on Saturday, though it’s not necessarily an easy task. Oklahoma led the Jayhawks at halftime last week before collapsing, but you’ve got to think Lon Kruger will turn this thing around eventually. The key for his team will be finding a way to contain Rodney McGruder, who is rounding into a star before our eyes. It’ll also be interesting to see how Romero Osby fares against Kansas State’s bigs. He went for a double-double against a small Oklahoma State team in the Bedlam game last week, but Jamar Samuels, Thomas Gipson, and Jordan Henriquez are a different story.
- Iowa State at #10 Kansas, Saturday, 7 p.m. CT
So Fred Hoiberg’s team couldn’t get the job done at home against Missouri. Good news is, it has a chance to knock off another ranked opponent in Kansas on Saturday. But the bad news is pretty obvious here: the game is at Allen Fieldhouse, where Iowa State hasn’t won since 2005. Royce White and Thomas Robinson will battle each other in a terrific individual match-up, but this game will come down to Iowa State’s shooting. It can’t win unless it knocks down the three, and it has to do better from the free throw line. If the Cyclones miss 12 free throws like they did against the Tigers, this game at the Phog will be over by halftime. And if they rebound as poorly as they did against Missouri (-11), this game will be over before it even begins.