Thanks a lot, K-State. Thanks a lot, Iowa St.
Thanks for nothing.
K-State had to work hard to let its Home game vs. Baylor get away from it, but was highly successful. To this casual observer, it appeared that K-State handed Baylor at least 20 points on a silver platter, points that required little or no effort from the Bears. As in: “Here, Baylor, I am dribbling the ball aimlessly near mid-court. Please take it as a special gift in honor of—I don’t know, something or other. Just remove it from the space directly in front of my body, at a point where you can waltz unimpeded to the basket for an uncontested dunk or layup.
“While we’re at it, please allow me to turn the ball over by shuffling my feet while holding the ball in the lane, as opposed to making a three foot pass to my teammate standing completely unguarded under the basket for an uncontested dunk to tie the score I the game’s final minute. And if it’s not too much, I hope you aren’t offended if I leave the ball exposed while driving a wide open lane for a layup that would send the game into overtime if I simply protected it. Not to mention in bounding the ball in a manner to avoid any possibility of attempting a game tying or winning shot at the buzzer. Gotta give Frank something to talk about post-game.”
Reluctantly accepting the Wildcats’ generosity, Baylor jumps into first place in the REAL Standings, claiming the first full game pickup of the season by a Tier One team. They now have a W that might not be matched by any other team having a REAListic chance at the conference championship. The pressure to win in Manhattan is now on everyone else.
To a lesser extent, Iowa St did no favors for KU or any other contender in letting Mizzou walk out of Ames with a W. With its victory, Mizzou picks up a half game in the REAL Standings and moves into a tie with the now second place Jayhawks. What’s more, although the REAL Standings are primarily objective, Mizzou, in my opinion, has a slight edge, because it will be more difficult for KU to match Mizzou’s Road win in Ames than for Mizzou to match KU’s win in Norman. Especially if Royce White doesn’t get in early foul trouble as he did Wednesday night.
Nothing of interest in the other three games. KU won, as expected and as is right, in Lubbock. The only matter of interest being the 35 point margin of victory, an impressive Road margin against even the worst of teams. Which, pretty much, is Tech. No one else will beat the Red Raiders by 35 in Lubbock. But all the contenders will beat them.
Okie St. also won as expected in the Stillwater edition of Bedlam. And, to the surprise of no one, Texas took out A&M in Austin.
In the last edition of the REAL Standings, A&M and OU were placed on notice that they are under consideration for demotion. With reasonable efforts in their Road losses, both avoided that fate. Meanwhile, ISU took itself out of consideration for Tier One consideration—at least for the time being. Home court losses will do that to you.
Tier 1: Baylor, KU, K-State, Mizzou, Texas
Tier 2: Iowa St, Oklahoma, Okie St, Texas A&M
Tier 3: Texas Tech
REAL BIG 12 STANDINGS
Baylor (3-0) Projected L’s: at KU, at Mizzou, at Texas At Risk games: at OU, at A&M, at Okie St, at ISU
KU (3-0) Projected L’s: at UT, at Mizzou, at Baylor, at K-State At Risk games: at ISU, at A&M, at Okie St
Mizzou (2-1) Projected L’s: at Baylor, at Texas, at KU At Risk games: at Okie St, at OU, at A&M
K-State (1-2) Projected L’s: at Texas, at Baylor, at Mizzou At Risk games: at OU, at Okie St, at ISU, at A&M
Texas (2-1) Projected L’s: at Mizzou, at K-State, at Baylor, at KU At Risk games: at A&M, at OU, at Okie St
Iowa St (2-1) Projected L’s: at KU, at Texas, at OU, at Okie St, at Baylor, at K-State, at Mizzou
At Risk games: at Tech, vs. KU, vs. K-State, vs. Baylor
Okie St (2-1) Projected L’s: at Baylor, at ISU, at A&M, at KU, at Mizzou, at OU, at K-State
At Risk games: vs. K-State, vs. Mizzou, at Tech, vs. Baylor, vs. Texas, vs. KU
Oklahoma (0-3) Projected L’s: at A&M, at K-State, at KU, at ISU, at Baylor, at Texas
At Risk games: vs. K-State, vs. Baylor, vs. Mizzou, at Tech, vs. Texas
Texas A&M (0-3) Projected L’s: at Mizzou, at KU, at K- State, at ISU, at Okie St, at OU
At Risk games: vs.Baylor, vs. Texas, at Tech, vs. Mizzou, vs. KU, vs. K-State
Texas Tech (0-3). Projected L’s: at A&M, at OU, vs. K- State, at Mizzou, at Texas, at K-State, at KU, at ISU, vs. Texas, at Baylor, vs. Mizzou
At Risk games: vs. ISU, vs. Okie St, vs. OU, vs. A&M
ON THE TUBE
Texas at Mizzou****: (12:00 noon—ESPN2) (Projected W: Mizzou) No one is taking Texas seriously to this point. Blair Kerkhoff, for example, noted recently that he saw the Big 12 getting four teams in the NCAA tournament. Presumably, he was omitting UT. I think they get in, but they will need a nice Road win somewhere along the way. If J’Covan Brown is ready to go and Myck Kabongo keeps maturing, they can match Mizzou’s guard play. And everyone can match Mizzou’s inside play—even stiffs like Chapman and Wangmene.
K-State at Oklahoma***: (12:30p.m.—Big 12 Network) (At-risk game) It is probably unfair to say that K-State is out of the race just because they lost a Home game. Then again, that might be precisely the case. Regardless, they cannot afford to lose an at-risk game if they want to hang around to even the mid-point of the season.
Texas Tech at A&M*1/2: (12:30p.m.—Big 12 Network) (Projected W: A&M) If you are aware of anything to recommend this game, let me know. Wait, it’s Billy G’s return to the program he left high and dry to take a job as a temp in Kentucky. So there is that.
Okie St at Baylor**: (2:00p.m.—ESPN2) (Projected W: Baylor) What are the chances Okie St can take down the Calipari Lites? If not slim and none, slim and slimmer. . .
Iowa St at KU***1/2: (3:00p.m.—Big 12 Network) (Projected W: KU) It is the best of times. It is the worst of times. The best in the sense that virtually every game is must see TV. You can’t take any game for granted—at least not vs. any team as good as, say, Davidson. It is the worst in the sense that virtually every game is must see. You can’t take any game for granted—at least not vs. any team as good as, say, Davidson. And Iowa St is at least that good. Tune in.