Stick a fork in it. The Big 12 race is done. Or, to paraphrase`Billy Packer, “This season is OVAH.”
Barring something bizarre occurring, Kansas has a stranglehold on at least a share of its sixth consecutive Big 12 conference championship.
Unless you have been in a coma, you are aware that there was Major movement in the REAL Standings on Saturday. Two contenders lost at Home: one of them (K-State) to another (KU). The other (Texas) to a second tier team (Baylor).
As a result, K-State and Texas can no longer win the Big 12 championship. KU will have to lose it. Even the Jayhawks’ game in Austin is irrelevant for big 12 title purposes as long as KU takes care of business elsewhere. UT could prevail at Home on February 8, but still trail the Jayhawks by two games in the REAL Standings: one game in the Newspaper Standings (2 current losses to 1) and another by virtue of having six at-risk games remaining on its schedule, as opposed to KU’s four.
The other four Saturday games resulted in no movement among the Tier Two teams, as the Home teams (Mizzou, Iowa St, Nebraska, and Texas A&M) all picked up their Projected W’s (vs. Okie St, Colorado, OU, and Tech).
1. Contenders: KU, K-State, and UT.
2. Competitors: Everyone else.
3. Bottom-feeders: None.
The January 28, 2010 REAL Big 12 Standings:
KU (5-0) Projected L’s: at UT Losable games: at CU, at A&M, at Okie St, at Mizzou
UT (4-2) Projected L’s: None Losable games: at OSU, at OU, at Mizzou, at Tech, at A&M, at BU 3. 10-6
K-State (4-3) Projected L’s: at KU Losable games: at NU, at ISU, at OU, at Tech
Mizzou (4-2) Projected L’s: at CU, at BU, at NU, at K-State, at ISU Losable games: vs. UT, vs. KU
Okie St (4-3) Projected L’s: at Tech, at Iowa St, at UT, at A&M Losable games: vs. UT, vs. KU
Baylor (3-3) Projected L’s: at A&M, at NU, at OSU, at OU, at Tech Losable games: vs. UT
Oklahoma (3-4) Projected L’s: at OSU, at CU, at KU, at UT Losable games: vs. UT, vs. K-State
Texas A&M (4-3) Projected L’s: at Mizzou, at Tech, at ISU, at BU, at OU Losable games: vs. KU, vs. UT
Colorado (2-5) Projected L’s: at K-State, at KU, at Mizzou, at NU Losable games: vs. KU
Iowa St (2-4) Projected L’s: at BU, at Mizzou, at KU, at CU, at K-State Losable games: vs. K-State
Texas Tech (2-5) Projected L’s: at OU, at BU, at NU, at CU Losable games: vs. UT, vs. K-State
Nebraska (1-5) Projected L’s: at KU, at UT, at K-State, at ISU, at OSU Losable games: vs. K-State
What to Watch
1. Texas at Okie St (8:00p.m.)***1/2 (At-risk game for both teams)
UT has lost 3 out of 4 and is fortunate that it is not 4 of 5. If they intend to make a run for second place in conference, or even dream that KU will stumble enough to open up a path to a share of the league championship, they must become more than the James Gang—and they must start Monday night.
2. k-state at Nebraska (7:00p.m.)*** (at-risk game for both teams)
Nebraska is off the schneid. The big question is whether k-state can put Saturday behind them as they hit the Road, or will they have a repeat of their post UT letdown? They will probably come ready to play. It is well-known that redemption is a more powerful motivator than validation.
2. Iowa St at Baylor (6:30p.m.)*1/2 (Projected W: Baylor)
How does Baylor suck? Let me count the ways. Two men under the basket, no defenders in the vicinity—and they fumble the ball away without even getting a shot off—not a layup, not a dunk, not nothing. They miss four straight FT’s late in regulation with the game on the line. Their best player gets a defensive rebound, then throws a vicious elbow, costing his team possession of the ball and his services for the remainder of the game, being his fifth foul. Down one point in OT, and the ball under their own basket, they throw an inbounds pass into the backcourt where it gets stolen. Ekpe Udoh, their prized transfer from Michigan, goes 0-11 from the field in regulation. They possess a 6 point lead with under a minute remaining in OT—and proceed to commit 2 brain dead turnovers.
Yet, somehow, they win the game against the No. 6 team in the country on the Road.
They are, indeed, a dangerous team. Especially when they pay attention.
The only question here is whether Iowa St will have their attention.
4. KU at Colorado (7:00p.m.)*** (at-risk game for both teams)
Perhaps the most dangerous game remaining on the Jayhawks’ schedule. Colorado frequently (though not always) plays the Hawks tough in Boulder, they are better than usual, and how can KU have anything left in their emotional tank after Saturday night? Tune in and see.
5. Texas A&M at Mizzou (8:00p.m.)*** (Projected W: Mizzou)
This one might REALly be the fastest forty minutes in basketball. Take the Over.