Big 12 Alley-Oops and Airballs: Week ThirteenPosted by cwilliams on February 17th, 2012
Big 12 Alley-Oops and Airballs is a weekly article examining what’s hot and what’s not in Big 12 basketball.
Just like that, it’s a two-team conference title race. Missouri ran Baylor out of Mizzou Arena, and continued their hot shooting against Oklahoma State on Wednesday. Across the border, Kansas escaped the Octagon of Doom with a win over Kansas State, two days after easily defeating the Pokes from Oklahoma State. Kansas and Missouri are tied for first in the Big 12, both boasting an 11-2 conference record. Missouri is ranked #3, while Kansas is ranked #4. Missouri has the better overall record at 24-2, but Kansas has the higher strength of schedule. Next weekend is the last Border War. Needless to say, it’s going to be a good time.
- Runnin’ From the Bubble: This alley-oop one-liner is required to be read aloud in your best Van Halen voice. While the Big 12 has been blessed to have three teams considered to be NCAA Tournament “locks” from the dawn of this season’s bracketology, they’ve been lucky to have three more teams in the race for a bid, as well. More importantly, these three teams — Iowa State, Texas, and Kansas State — have been doing a very good job avoiding their bubble bursting. Texas has won four games in a row, Iowa State has moved to fourth place in the Big 12 standings, and Kansas State continues to win the games they’re supposed to. I wouldn’t be surprised one bit to see six Big 12 teams in the Tournament.
- Burnt Orange Rally: Last Saturday, Texas saw its aforementioned bubble get dangerously close to the fan. Down 40-27 at home against Kansas State, J’Covan Brown was once against carrying the entire load for the Longhorns. Texas needed to find another spark to get them back in the game. Enter senior forward Alexis Wangmene, a Cameroon native who had never averaged more than four points per game. Wangmene came in and had a career day, dropping 15 points and grabbing 13 boards. Unfortunately, Wangmene did not find Jeremy Lin-esque success in the ‘Horns next game, scoring one lone point against Oklahoma State.
- Once More, Withey Feeling: On March 7, 1990, two babies were born. One was a Californian who would go on to play at the University of Kansas. His name was Jeff Withey. After being held scoreless against Missouri, Withey has scored 61 points, pulled down 36 boards and blocked 19 shots, in just three games. Yeah, needless to say, Withey is on fire. The other baby? Yours truly. Kinda seems like I got the short straw on genetics for that day, don’t ya think?
- Let’s Pretend They’re in the Big Sky: Texas A&M and Texas Tech have had some great athletic contests in their years as conference mates in the SWC and the Big 12. On Tuesday night, their hardwood battles came to a close, in what can only be described as an awful, awful basketball game. A&M defeated the Red Raiders 47-38, while shooting a combined 36% from the floor.
- Sooner it will be Over: Man, my one-liners are just awful today. The Oklahoma Sooners, once considered a candidate for surprise team of the NCAA Tournament, have fallen on hard times. Since upsetting Kansas State on their own court, the Crimson and Cream have lost five in a row. They are now in second to last place in the Big 12, and judging by their schedule, might not win another conference game.