Big 12 M5: 02.27.13 Edition
Posted by KoryCarpenter on February 27th, 2013
- It’s a shame that Elijah Johnson’s historic 39-point game against Iowa State was overshadowed by an officiating controversy, but that was all anybody could talk about following Kansas’ overtime win over Iowa State on Monday night. Most of it revolved around the no-call on Johnson’s drive to the bucket late in the second half during the Jayhawks’ comeback. The Big 12 league offices on Tuesday acknowledged the mistakes by referees Tom O’Neill, Mark Whitehead and Bert Smith. It was a pretty clear charge by Johnson, but in a game full of bad calls, it was hardly the worst. Of course, a poor call at the end of the game means everything is magnified. Which leads us to this…
- An Iowa State fan charged at Bill Self after the game immediately following Self’s postgame television interview. What he intended to do if police hadn’t intervened is still a mystery, but he certainly looked like an angry old man in a fit of rage. Make sure to check out the KUSports.com‘s photos linked in the story, showing the fan as he nears Self. Coupled with these tweets from an ISU fan sent to Elijah Johnson, and it was just a bad day to be a Cyclones fan.
- Oklahoma State sophomore forward Brian Williams returned from a wrist injury a month ago after it was unclear whether he’d be able to return at all this season. Since his return on January 31, the Cowboys are 7-1 and in contention for the Big 12 regular season title, sitting currently in second place at 10-4. His numbers aren’t flashy, but he’s considered one of the best defenders on the team. His playing time has slowly increased as he’s eased back into the rotation, and just in time for the Pokes. The Cowboys are lingering on the outside of the Big 12 title race but are still within striking distance if Kansas and/or Kansas State drop another game in the final two weeks.
- Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger brings up an interesting point that many people — including Jay Bilas on a regular basis — have been harping on all year. Offenses have been struggling in recent years because defenses are allowed to bump the cutters and hand-check on the perimeter. As John Shinn of the Norman Transcript points out, there were 100 fouls committed in the Sooners’ last two games. Kruger, like many others, has a simple solution. If referees call the bumping and holding early and often at the beginning of the season, players and coaches will adjust because coaches will teach players to get away with as much as possible. It’s up to the officials to draw the line.
- The Kansas City Star‘s Blair Kerkhoff gives a nice history lesson as Kansas and Kansas State battle for the regular season championship with two weeks to go. As most know, Kansas has won eight consecutive conference titles. The Wildcats, on the other hand, haven’t won a conference regular season championship since 1977. With wins in their remaining three games — at Baylor, TCU, at Oklahoma State — they would clinch at least a share of their first championship in 36 years. As Kerkhoff notes, the Sunflower rivals used to battle for the conference title on a regular basis before Kansas State began to struggle in the 1980s.
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