Big 12 Basketball Matchup & Player of the Week

Ethan Miller

My pick for the best matchup this week in the Big 12 is #9 K-State at #13 Oklahoma State. And, Elijah Johnson was the man for KU basketball last week.

Top Matchup in the Big 12 This Week

#9 Kansas State (24-5, 13-3) at #13 Oklahoma State (22-6, 12-4) | (Saturday, March 9th) K-State has won 5 games in a row, and it will most likely be 6 after they play TCU this week. KSU beat Baylor last week with a last second shot from their senior leader Rodney McGruder (14.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.3 spg). They are a team that does it all on the court together and keeps their chemistry from breaking each and every game unless they are playing KU. Bruce Weber knows how to coach, and it shows with a team like KSU. They might not be a highlight reel team that lacks a true superstar, but they win games. I would rather watch a team like KSU that wins and knows how to play the game as one team, then a team like Baylor that has NBA talent all over it but doesn’t know how to make it work together. Oklahoma State has freshman sensation Marcus Smart (14.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 4.3 apg, 2.9spg), leading team scorer Markel Brown (15.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.0 spg), NBA bound sophomore Le’Bryan Nash (13.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.9 apg, 0.6 spg), and other highly regarded freshman guard Phil Forte (10.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.8 apg, 1.3 spg). They are seen on SportsCenter highlights all the time. Every time you are watching ESPN college basketball, no matter who is playing, Ben McLemore and Marcus Smart are talked about (with KU and OSU mentioned as going to go far in the tournament this year). OSU has a tough one up next against Iowa State in Ames, Iowa. I want to see how that one plays out, because I think ISU might give OSU a hell of a game. But, if OSU can hold off it will make it 4 wins in a row coming into this matchup with K-State. Last time these 2 teams played was at the very beginning of the season. Smart ended up with 25 points, and McGruder hit for 28 points and the win was by 6 for the Wildcats. Both these teams have become much better as the season has gone on, and I think we are going to see a great one on Saturday. I’m going to take into account that OSU might be coming off a loss to ISU and would probably win this game against K-State if that was the case, but I don’t think that will happen. I think OSU will beat ISU, and be really ready for senior night in Stillwater. K-State will have to show OSU how a team with less talent can win on the road when you are properly prepared and coached. Predicted Winner- Kansas State.

Big 12 Player of the Week

Elijah Johnson (Senior, Kansas) | There was a classic last week against KU and ISU that went into OT on a controversial no call by the officials. The win ended up going to KU and the man to lead them was Johnson. He had 39 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists. He had 8 points in the final 29 seconds of regulation, and 12 in OT. Then the next game against WVU he had a double-double 12 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal and KU went on to the blow out win. Johnson was in my opinion by far the most valuable player to his team last week and a for sure player of the week in the Big 12.

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