Big 12 M5: 03.04.13 Edition
Posted by dnspewak on March 4th, 2013
- It’s a big night for Kansas, and it’s not necessarily because the Jayhawks host Texas Tech in their quest for yet another Big 12 regular season title. Perhaps more importantly, the program welcomes Andrew Wiggins to town for an official visit. Kansas has a lot of competition for Wiggins, the top-rated recruit in the Class of 2014. His parents both attended Florida State, and he’s also narrowed his list to Kentucky and North Carolina. The 6’7” wing has a brother with Kansas roots– Nick Wiggins plays for Wichita State. Right now, Andrew Wiggins plays at Huntington Prep in West Virginia, but he is originally a native of Canada.
- You’ve heard a lot about Kansas’ streak of Big 12 titles, but Sam Mellinger does a nice job of providing some real perspective on just how dominant this team has been over the past decade. Sixty total players have participated in this string of league titles, and it’s that sort of culture that has allowed Kansas to rebound from a difficult mid-season swoon to take control of this conference. The players expect to win this league, and they take pride in making sure it happens, year in and year out. That’s a bit of a lost art in this day and age, where we often emphasize the NCAA Tournament over regular season accomplishments.
- The league race isn’t over yet, though, thanks in part to Rodney McGruder. If you missed this ending to the Kansas State/Baylor game in Waco on Saturday, you missed one of the wild finishes in Big 12 play so far. McGruder hit a three-pointer at the buzzer after the Wildcats got possession of the ball under their own basket with exactly one second to play. The events leading up to that will surely keep Scott Drew up at night. Drew’s team had the basketball with one second to play, and he then inserted Jacob Neubert to inbound the ball with a baseball-like heave. Neubert hadn’t played all game, and he threw the ball high out of bounds at the other end of the court. That gave KSU the ball in prime position for the game-winner. It helped Kansas State keep pace with Kansas, and it punished the Bears’ NCAA Tournament chances.
- Oklahoma had an interesting weekend. The Sooners shot 34 free throws in a statement win over Iowa State. That’s a good number in and of itself, just simply to attempt that many shots from the line. But guess what: Oklahoma also made 34 free throws. Thirty-four attempts; 100 percent from the line. The first question on everybody’s minds after a performance like that is whether that sort of thing has ever happened in a game before. Turns out, the Sooners tied a record set by UC Irvine in 1981 and Samford in 1990. As you probably guessed, it doesn’t happen very often.
- West Virginia isn’t the worst team in the league, but it’s not having a terrific season by any stretch of the imagination. And even though just about everybody figured the Mountaineers would get waxed in Lawrence this weekend, that didn’t make the 91-65 loss any easier for Bob Huggins to handle. Huggins didn’t have any golden quotes after the game, but a few of his freshmen are already looking toward next season and vowing to make changes. We thought after last year’s debacle against Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament that this team would be different, but that didn’t happen. Maybe 2013-14 will really be the year Huggins gets it right again and creates that tough, knock-you-out culture that has won him so many games during his career.
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