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My top basketball matchup in the Big 12 this week, and my Big 12 player of the week.
Top Matchup in the Big 12 This Week
#13 Kansas State (23-5) at Baylor (16-11) | (Saturday, March 2nd) I don’t think anything will be as good as the Big 12 matchup of the week last Wednesday, and this week I probably should have picked the KU vs ISU game that went to OT last night. But, this week I do think a great matchup will be Kansas State and Baylor. Getting to scout K-State last night I again have to say they are the most underestimated top 25 team by the media. They simply get no love for how good they are because they do not have a superstar freshman on their team. Actually if you were watching the Tech vs K-State game last night you’d have recognized that the ESPN announcers were picking their All-Conference starting team and they didn’t have Rodney McGruder on the list. K-State is not flashy, they are #116 in scoring with being #132 in field goal percentage. The Wildcats distribute the ball very nicely (#13 in the country), and their slow down game is very disciplined. They are a team that can sneak up and just take the game right out from anybody because of their discipline and teamwork. Last time against Baylor they whipped up by 20 points for the win. Their only real weakness is KU who is the most complete team in the Big 12 and has twice gotten the better of K-State. Baylor is a disappointment to me because of the raw talent they have on their team, but their record doesn’t show it. They have 2 players that will be 1st round picks in the NBA Draft this year. Pierre Jackson is the #1 scorer in the Big 12, and one hell of a point guard. But, with all their talent Baylor has lost 6 of their last 8 games. I actually blame a lot of the Baylor problems on their lack of depth, and poor coaching. After all that I know and have seen Baylor struggle from the middle of this Big 12 season; I actually still know they can make a run in the Big 12 tournament. I know that I have watched these guys play and seen how electric they can be when they are all playing together and using all their talents. They are #28 in scoring, #32 in rebounding, and #30 in assists. Baylor is a team that needs to be watched and contained or else they will go off for a streak in the game that is hard to come back against. Baylor should be contained by K-State on Saturday, but I think KSU will get a Baylor team that is ready to knock off a top 25 team and do some celebrating. It will get real physical, real fast. I believe this one will be close, but KSU should end up with the win at the end. Predicted Winner - Kansas State
Big 12 Player of the Week
Melvin Ejim (Iowa State)| I wish I could have picked Josh Gray as my player of the week, but I have a certain criteria for picking the player of the week. They have to be the most valuable to their team in securing the wins for the week. Ejim did this for his team, as they won both games last week against Tech and Baylor. Ejim is not the tallest guy at 6’6’’ but he is very strong. In the Baylor game he had 20 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, and 1 steal. In the Tech game he had 13 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assist, and 2 steals. He was all over the floor in both these games and ended up with 2 double-doubles in those wins.