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Big 12 Tournament Preview: Thursday Games

The Big 12 Tournament begins on Thursday, with Tech beginning play on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. Of course, my real job is keeping me at work and missing games, nonetheless, as a public service to my fellow Tech brethren, I thought I'd break down some of the first round games. As time permits I'll break down each game thereafter. As an aside, my wife will be attending a bachelorette party on Saturday and Sunday, this is great news for me as I plan on spending the entire weekend either on my couch or in my easy chair.



V.
Game 1: No. 8 Iowa State v. No. 9 Oklahoma

Game Time: 11:30 a.m.

ESPNU and ESPN Plus
Team Pts. Reb. FG% 3P% KP Rank Off. Eff. Def. Eff.
Iowa State 63.6 36.3 .408 .324 125 200 59
Oklahoma 67.5 36.2 .439 .327 28 82 14

Iowa State Players to Watch:

  • Mike Taylor, G, 6-2, Jr., 15.9 Pts, 4.1 Reb., 4.5 Ast.
  • Wesley Johnson, F, 6-7, Fr. 12.3 Pts., 8.0 Reb., 1.1 Ast.
  • Jiri Hubalek, C, 6-11, Jr., 11.3 Pts., 6.9 Reb., 0.5 Ast.

Oklahoma Players to Watch:

  • Nate Carter, F, 6-6, Sr., 11.4 Pts, 5.0 Reb., 0.7 Ast.
  • Longar Longar, C, 6-11 Jr. 10.7 Pts., 7.1 Reb., 1.1 Ast.
  • Michael Neal, G, 6-3, Sr., 10.0 Pts., 2.6 Reb., 1.8 Ast.

It seems to me that the rankings here should be reversed. I've thought that OU was the better team all year, but they've been in a tailspin recently. Having watched ISU this weekend, it's apparent that the Cyclones have talent, it's just that they're a tad inconsistent offensively. For Red Raider fans, as I watched ISU play, I couldn't help but think that ISU freshman, Wesley Johnson reminds me of 2007 Tech recruit D'Walyn Roberts. Very skinny, has inside/outside game. Long arms and can rebound.

OU has that smash-mouth defense (no pun intended, I think that the Sooners are a very tough defensive team) that can carry a team if their offense if failing them, which it has recently. I think I'll pick ISU. I was impressed with them defensively and offensively and OU is struggling. Iowa State, 72-58.



V.
Game 2: No. 5 Texas Tech v. No. 12 Colorado

Game Time: 2:00 p.m.

ESPNU and ESPN Plus

Preview on Tuesday.



V.
Game 2: No. 7 Oklahoma State v. No. 10 Nebraska

Game Time: 6:00 p.m.

ESPN Plus
Team Pts. Reb. FG% 3P% KP Rank Off. Eff. Def. Eff.
Oklahoma State 77.1 35.9 .473 .356 68 77 63
Nebraska 67.2 29.6 .458 .375 83 96 94

Oklahoma State Players to Watch:

  • Mario Boggan, F-C, 6-7, Sr., 20.1 Pts., 7.9 Reb., 1.4 Ast.
  • JamesOn Curry, G, 6-3, Jr., 18.2 Pts., 3.2 Reb., 3.8 Ast.
  • Terrel Harris, G, 6-5, So., 10.6 Pts., 4.3 Reb., 2.0 Ast.

Nebraska Players to Watch:

  • Aleks Maric, C, 6-11, Jr., 18.6 Pts., 8.4 Reb., 0.8 Ast.
  • Ryan Anderson, G, 6-4, Fr., 10.4 Pts., 4.7 Reb., 1.7 Ast.
  • Jamel White, G, 6-3, So., 9.3 Pts., 2.7 Reb., 2.4 Ast.

Unfortunately, for these two teams they play each other on Monday and then they'll turn around and play each other on Thursday. Despite that, I said it when Tech played OSU that the Cowboys looked tired, opposing teams were beating them down the floor. OSU has little to no depth, although Muonelo is back from injury, which is great news as Big 12 fans should not be subjected to Tyler Hatch's shooting. Nebraska scrapped the entire game against Tech, despite not being playing for any sort of post season. Doc Sadler has the Cornhuskers playing hard and I really like what Maric bring to the table. I'll take Nebraska, 67-60.



V.
Game 4: No. 6 Missouri v. No. 11 Baylor

Game Time: 8:20 p.m.

ESPN2
Team Pts. Reb. FG% 3P% KP Rank Off. Eff. Def. Eff.
Missouri 77.4 34.9 .460 .372 52 44 58
Baylor 74.4 36.2 .457 .358 90 59 153

Missouri Players to Watch:

  • Stefhon Hannah, G, 6-1, Jr., 15.6 Pts., 3.4 Reb., 4.7 Ast.
  • Matt Lawrence, F, 6-7, So., 11.2 Pts., 3.1 Reb., 0.8 Ast.
  • Marshall Brown, F, 6-6, Jr., 10.2 Pts., 4.1 Reb., 1.4 Ast.

BearMeat Players to Watch:

  • Curtis Jerrells, G, 6-1, So., 14.3 Pts., 4.5 Reb., 3.9 Ast.
  • Kevin Rogers, F, 6-9, So., 13.0 Pts., 7.8 Reb., 0.9 Ast.
  • Henry Dugat, G, 6-0, So., 11.3 Pts., 4.2 Reb., 2.1 Ast.

I could be nice and pick Baylor here, and they are coming off of a tremendous victory against a tired OSU team without their best player, but I'm not. Missouri is the better team, I like Mizzou's intensity and pressure defense. Not to mention, Baylor has an affinity to lose on the road, and although technically, this is a tournament where all of the teams are on the road, the Bears will have a conniption fit once they realize they aren't in the friendly confines of Waco, Texas. I'll take Missouri, 75-63.

I'll tackle Tech's preview on Monday night/Tuesday morning. Post your predictions below.