Big 12 M5: 02.22.13 Edition

Posted by Nate Kotisso on February 22nd, 2013

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  1. Kansas is good. It doesn’t take much to see that. They went through their longest losing streak in eight years and since that time, they’ve collected wins against the other two challengers for the Big 12 title, Oklahoma State and Kansas State. Now armed with a three-game winning streak, is it time to enter the Jayhawks back into the national title conversation? I say why not? The writer of this piece believes Bill Self will have the KU offense humming come Tournament time but I’m of the opinion that if you’re not a prolific offense already, that’s who you are and nothing can change that. But that’s OK. Self’s teams win on defense anyway. They have a shot to make a run to Atlanta but if they run into a team like Indiana, Michigan or Gonzaga along the way, I’m not sure they can match them blow-for-blow on the offensive end.
  2. The Big 12 is a league filled with talented point guards. Oklahoma State has Marcus Smart, Baylor has Pierre Jackson and Kansas State has Angel Rodriguez. Like Jackson, he stands at 5’11″ but is far from the scorer and super athletic player that the Baylor guard is. Last season, Rodriguez nearly averaged a one to one assist-to-turnover ratio (3.2 assists/2.7 turnovers) while starting as a true freshman. Now a year older, he leads the Big 12 in that category (5.1 assists/2.2 turnovers). If there was a most improved player award, Rodriguez would be most deserving of this distinction.
  3. Is this it for Oklahoma State? The winning streak that launched them into the top-15 in both polls is now over. They’re no longer tied for first in the Big 12. Despite this, the Cowboys players are showing great resolve. Here’s Michael Cobbins’ thoughts: “We’re still going to go into practice like we’re the No. 1 team in this league. We’re still fighting for the No. 1 spot. It’s not too late.” Markel Brown echoed those sentiments: “You can’t sit and just sulk about it, but you don’t want to forget it either. Let it be in the back of your mind to fuel you for the next game.” Everything they’re saying is 100% true. Kansas has a couple road games left against Iowa State and Baylor, two teams desperate to boost their NCAA Tournament profiles. They lose those games and the Cowboys win out, their wish is granted.
  4. I previously wrote about how if West Virginia was able to turn their season around, it would have been the biggest “sike” in Big 12 history. Well it appears reality has finally set in Morgantown: (likely) no NCAA Tournament for the 2012-13 season. The Charleston Gazette breaks down which postseason tournament the Mountaineers will get a bid to. Since the CollegeInsider.com Tournament doesn’t invite members from power conferences, that eliminates WVU off the bat. The humor in this is that tournaments like the College Basketball Invitational and the CIT weren’t even around in 2007, the last time West Virginia missed out on the NCAA Tournament and ended up winning the NIT. Nice to know college basketball now has its own version of pointless bowl games.
  5. Texas has had a miserable year so what is their reward? How about this article from the Austin Chronicle that took the Longhorns to the woodshed and beat them like they owed something! It’s a lost season, the first in 15 years, and that’s not a bad thing. Weird part of it is there might be some truth, yes, even the hyperbole. Hook ‘em, I guess.
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NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.15.11

Posted by Brian Goodman on March 15th, 2011

Throughout the NCAA Tournament, we’ll be providing you with the daily chatter from around the webosphere relating to what’s going on with the teams still playing.

East:

  • Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim discusses the Orange’s history in the Final Four with columnist Bud Poliquin.
  • Indiana State is using creativity as the Sycamores practice for Syracuse on Friday.
  • A possible distraction for Georgia: Mark Fox being mentioned as a candidate at NC State.
  • Balance and consistency have been keys for Washington this season.
  • Wright State head coach Billy Donlon is happy for his former boss, Clemson‘s Brad Brownell.
  • Can Kentucky make a run to the Final Four?

 Southeast:

Southwest:

  • Illinois guard DJ Richardson crossed paths with several UNLV players when he spent his final high school season at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas.
  • Vanderbilt‘s opening round survival against Richmond could hinge on bench production.
  • Kenneth Faried‘s tenacious rebounding style draws comparisons to Dennis Rodman, according to first-round opponent Rick Pitino.
  • The matchup that almost wasPurdue coach Matt Painter is relieved that the scenario of facing St. John’s wouldn’t come up until the Final Four. Painter played at Purdue for current Scarlet Knight coaches Gene Keady and Steve Lavin.
  • 15-seed Akron will hope to contain Notre Dame with some overbearing size down low.
  • USC coach Kevin O’Neill learned a valuable lesson after his suspension from a verbal confrontation with an Arizona booster during the Pac-10 Tournament last week.

West:

  • An update on college basketball’s most-watched toe indicates there’s a chance that Kyrie Irving will return for Duke at some point in the tournament.
  • Hampton has a shot at one-upping its memorable upset of two-seed Iowa State in 2001.
  • An emphasis on perimeter defense is the norm this week in Tennessee‘s practices as it preps for Michigan.
  • A Q&A with Arizona‘s Derrick Williams discusses a variety of topics, including being recruited by his first-round opponent, Memphis.
  • Sticking with the feline motif, Missouri will try to buck a foreboding trend against Cincinnati, as Big East teams have ended the Tigers’ last two seasons.
  • Teammates will rally around Temple junior guard Ramone Moore, who has been instrumental in providing a leadership element to the Owls’ season.
  • Kawhi Leonard may be an NBA prospect for the Aztecs, but DJ Gay is San Diego State‘s Iron Man, having played at least 39 minutes in his team’s last seven games, without the benefit of a single overtime.
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