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Big 12 Tournament | Semifinals Preview

Daily previews and updates for the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament. Today #4 Iowa State plays #1 Kansas; and #7 Baylor play #3 Texas.

Jamie Squire

The Big 12 tournament in Kansas City continues and VTM will have previews and game updates all day long. Consider this post an open thread to comment away about the games.

For First Round previews and recaps click here -> Day 1 – First Round Updated

For Quarterfinals previews and recaps click here -> Day 2 – Quarterfinals Updated

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#4 Iowa State (24-7) VS #1 Kansas (24-8)

Game Time - 6:00 PM

Previous Meetings – KU won 77-70 January 13th in Ames; KU won 92-81 January 29th in Lawrence.

PreviewAndrew Wiggins has been a force since Joel Embiid is out with a back injury. The Jayhawks squad is talented, but Wiggins has put the team on his shoulders and carried them through games. He is averaging 35.5 ppg in his last two. If KU wants to beat Iowa State they better give the ball to Wiggins and let him dominate. He will still need help from Tarik Black, Perry Ellis, and the rest of the guys on the court.

ISU is a team that can get the job done because their roster plays well together. Melvin Ejim is simply amazing and it is easy to see why he was picked as the Big 12 player of the year. DeAndre Kane is also a beast that deserves to get just as much credit as Ejim. But, they have other guys on the team in Georges Niang, Naz Long, and Monte Morris that contribute a lot also. They are all tough to beat out on the floor.

The game this evening is good to be a clash of two very good teams that are probably going to make it far in the NCAA tournament. They both might be tired from the quarterfinal games yesterday that were no walk in the park for either team. KU actually had to go extra minutes in overtime to beat OSU. I think if ISU runs their normal offensive game to get their buckets, they also need to focus on Wiggins and shut him out of the game. KU needs to have some others step up, but hope that Wiggins is just as unstoppable as the last few games. Also, KU has won in both previous regular season meetings so maybe they have ISU figured out.


#7 Baylor (23-10) VS #3 Texas (23-9)

Game Time - 8:30 PM

Previous Meetings – UT won 74-60 January 25th in Waco; UT won 74-69 February 26th in Austin.

Preview – Sometimes teams are just tournament teams and can play well without much prep time or coaching. It comes down to how talented your individual players are. Baylor has some talented players that know how to get tournament wins. It seems that they are on fire as soon as the whistle blows and coast at the end to hang on long enough for a victory. All five starters scored 12+ points in their quarterfinal win over Oklahoma. Look for Cory Jefferson, Isaiah Austin, and Kenny Chery to keep on scoring at will.

With the struggles that UT had late in the season they did not show it in their tournament game versus West Virginia. Jonathan Holmes and Javan Felix were the scorers for UT, and the Longhorns defense was impressive against the dynamic duo of Staten and Harris. UT might have picked the right time to step up their game back to mid-season form.

This game is a wildcard because both teams have looked excellent at times and horrible at times. Baylor has turned it around and is on a way better roll than UT, but Texas might have just been coasting to end the regular season waiting for this postseason to flip the switch. No matter what happens in this game it has the potential to be one hell of a showdown.