Big 12 M5: President’s Day Edition

Posted by Nate Kotisso on February 18th, 2013


  1. Bedlam is back! For the first time since Blake Griffin and James Anderson took the floor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State was must-see television over the weekend. Not only are we headed for a photo finish for the Big 12 title, the conference Player of the Year race will be just as interesting. As usual, Marcus Smart did Marcus Smart things Saturday afternoon, scoring a career-high 28 points to go along with seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. The Cowboys are playing their best basketball at the right time. Also, how big will Wednesday’s game vs. Kansas be?
  2. Kansas State got its fifth win in the last six games with a blowout win over Baylor on Saturday. Sure the usual suspects did their job for the Wildcats but it was a seven-foot senior who had his best game of the season. Jordan Henriquez posted 10 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked five shots but it isn’t his first time lighting up the Bears inside. In last year’s Big 12 Tournament, the big Wildcat dropped 22 points, 14 rebounds and blocked four more shots in a loss. K-State still has to make a return trip to Waco in two weeks so I’d count on Henriquez to make an impact if they were to win that one.
  3. So the first game back for Myck Kabongo and he helps Texas to a come-from-behind, double-overtime win against Iowa State. How was he against Kansas? How about 2-of-10 shooting, zero assists, three turnovers and a 26-point loss. But it wasn’t entirely his fault. Both teams turned the ball over 14 times plus Kansas only held a three-rebound edge on the glass. The problem is that Texas only made 12 shots for entire game including 19 missed three-pointers. Forward Ioannis Papapetrou summed it up best after the game: “It is just different playing at home.” You’re telling me.
  4. Despite everything that’s happened, West Virginia finds itself at 6-6 in Big 12 play. Of course I’ll point out that their six wins have come via season sweeps of Texas, Texas Tech and TCU, but even that is a surprise because WVU is not a good basketball team. The Mountaineers’ final third of conference play will come against teams that are firmly in the NCAA Tournament conversation or fighting for their Tournament lives. What if they had the audacity to run the table and win a game or two in the Big 12 Tournament? It likely won’t happen but it would make for some compelling TV on Selection Sunday.
  5. February has become the month of the Harlem Shake and the Kansas basketball team has released its own version of the viral video. (For the record, the dance featured in the video is not the actual Harlem Shake dance. The real dance was conceptualized in the early 1980s.) The video features a cameo from the very serious Bill Self but I’ll venture to say his appearance has nothing on Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan.
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For the First Time Since Blake Griffin Lived in Norman, Bedlam Means Something

Posted by dnspewak on January 11th, 2013

As hoops junkies, it’s unfathomable to non-sports fans how many college basketball games we watch on a yearly basis. Thanks to the four-letter network, we’re plugged into our televisions and computers during every waking minute from November through March. As the days and years pass you by, though, you start to forget all the meaningless regular season games you watched on ESPN3. It’s impossible to remember everything, so to vividly remember a specific game, something wild must have happened. Austin Rivers would have needed to make a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer. DeJuan Blair would have had to have flipped Hasheem Thabeet on national television. Kansas would have had to rally against a red-hot Kevin Durant. Point is, with so many games and so many seasons, we really only remember the special games.

Le'Bryan Nash Has Something to Prove This Weekend

Le’Bryan Nash Has Something to Prove This Weekend

For some reason, I have a vivid memory of January 26, 2009. Fifth-ranked Oklahoma was on the road in Stillwater, and the place was wild. If I remember correctly, a massive ice storm had crippled a portion of Oklahoma, which made the circumstances of the game even more epic. As has often been the case with Oklahoma State under Travis Ford, the Cowboys had absolutely no size and played a four-guard lineup. They were fast, athletic and, to put it bluntly, were playing their hearts out in a rivalry game against a much better opponent. Blake Griffin was on that OU team, for god’s sake. The Sooners escaped with an eight-point win at Gallagher-Iba Arena, but it wasn’t easy. I remember that was also the first game I noticed a little freshman named Keiton Page. That kid looked so out of place on the court, but according to the announcers, he used to average 50 points a game in high school. I would hear that story a million more time before he graduated, and it never got old. I remember watching the way Oklahoma State overcame its complete lack of size against an All-American, and I remember thinking, ‘this is college basketball, man.’ Bedlam! How can you not love it? In the regular season finale a few months later, Oklahoma won by four points at home behind 33 points from Blake Griffin. And less than a week later, the Cowboys shocked Oklahoma in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament, thanks to a couple of free throws by the venerable Byron Eaton in the final seconds. The Bedlam Series was in full swing. It meant something. Both teams made the NCAA Tournament that year, and the Sooners advanced to the Elite Eight.

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