Big 12 M5: 03.01.13 EditionPosted by KoryCarpenter on March 1st, 2013
- Coaches are just as much psychologists at times as they are coaches, so it was no surprise that Travis Ford kept reminding his players this week about TCU’s win over Kansas as they prepared to play the Horned Frogs Wednesday night in Fort Worth. “I’m worried about every game, but these games can jump up and bite you,” Ford told John Helsley of NewsOk.com after Oklahoma State won, 64-47. But to be honest, Ford could have shown his team tape of Sesame Street instead of TCU and they would have won by double figures. The talk of another upset reminded me of Kansas fans’ stress last year in the first round of the NCAA Tournament after fellow #2 seeds Duke and Missouri had already lost. Believe in the Law Of Averages, folks. Most of the time, anyway. Three #2 seeds weren’t losing in the first round in the same year and TCU isn’t winning two conference games this season.
- Growing up without knowing if he’d have food or heat on a given day and with a brother currently in prison, it seems silly to criticize Kansas freshman forward Ben McLemore for hiding from the spotlight late in games this season, as many people — myself included — have done a number of times. He probably has a lot of things on his mind, things more important than proving to people he has a killer instinct. But as Eric Prisbell writes, McLemore’s ability to take over a game could lead him to become the #1 pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, forever ending his family’s financial struggles in the tough streets of North St. Louis. Regardless of what happens the rest of the season, McLemore will still be a top five pick. But a great NCAA Tournament run would likely make him the first selection.
- Oklahoma blew a 22-point lead in the final eight minutes before eventually losing to Texas in overtime Wednesday night, muddying its NCAA Tournament future as it hovers around the bubble with an 18-9 record. The Sooners were hurt by a Texas press that forced a number of turnovers near the end of the game and Berry Tramel made a good point — a team up 22 points with 7:54 remaining can basically win the game by doing nothing more than committing shot clock violations. 7:54 is 474 seconds, or 13.5 shot clock violations. Texas would have almost needed to hit eight three-pointers on eight possessions to win if Oklahoma could have just held the ball for 35 seconds each trip down the court.
- West Virginia was ranked in the CBSSports.com Top 25 (And One) preseason ranking, and Gary Parrish explained why on Thursday. “Huggs (head coach Bob Huggins) never has a bad team,” Parrish recalls telling colleague Jeff Goodman back in the fall. Well, ‘Huggs rarely has a bad team’ is now the correct statement, as he is a loss on Saturday away from his first losing season in conference play since 1985. The Big 12 isn’t the reason, though, because the Big 12 isn’t that good. There are deeper issues at play here other than the Mountaineers’ move to a new conference. Huggins will probably get things turned around by next season, though.
- With Selection Sunday nearly two weeks away, we can’t get enough Bracketology. Here’s the latest from SI.com‘s Andy Glockner. Five Big 12 teams make the cut: Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Iowa State. The Jayhawks are a #1 seed in the South Region while the Cyclones sneak into the field with a #10 seed and everyone else falling in between. Baylor is not on the board after its recent skid of three losses in four games. The Bears still have chances to impress the committee, though, starting tomorrow as they host projected #4 seed Kansas State.