Talk about anti-climactic. Saturday was a rarity in the REAL world: All six Home teams were projected winners; not an at-risk game in the bunch. And all six Home teams won: KU over Nebraska, K-State over Tech, Colorado over Okie St, A&M over Mizzou, UT over Oklahoma, and Iowa St over Baylor.
Nor was KU’s narrow escape vs. Nebraska surprising. My pre-game comment about that game was: “The way KU has played with fire this year--vs. UCLA and USC, at Cal, Michigan, and Iowa St--it would not be a shock to see NU hang around to the bitter end.” Personally, I consider taking a three at the buzzer to force Overtime hanging around to the bitter end.
I did add, “Or not, if the Hawks decide to take care of the ball and reduce their infatuation with the three pointer.”
Yeah, like that was going to happen.
Probably the biggest surprise of the day was the margin by which Iowa St took out Baylor. Either KU’s close call in Ames is suddenly more impressive than previously thought, or the Hawks’ prospects in Waco Monday night are rosier than they had been.
With all six projected winners following script, no team’s REAL record changed in the slightest. Not by a game. Not by half a game. Not by nothin’.
Notwithstanding that Mizzou and Nebraska almost caused a major seismic event in the REAL Standings. But, as we all know, “almost” means it did not REALly happen.”
As a result, the Jayhawks maintain their half game advantage over their closest pursuers, UT and A&M.
MLK DAY REAL STANDINGS
Tier One (Contenders): KU, K-State, Mizzou, Texas A&M, UT.
Tier Two (Competitors): Baylor, Colorado, Iowa St, Okie St, Nebraska.
Tier Three (Bottom-feeders): Oklahoma, Texas Tech.
KU (2-0) Projected L’s: at K-State, at Mizzou Losable games: at BU, at CU, at NU
UT (2-0) Projected L’s: at KU, at A&M Losable games: at OSU, at NU, at CU, at BU
A&M (3-0) Projected L’s: at UT, at KU Losable games: at NU, at CU, at OSU, at BU
Mizzou (1-2) Projected L’s: at UT, at KU, at K-State Losable games: at OSU, at ISU, at NU
K-State (1-2) Projected L’s: at Mizzou, at A&M, at KU, at UT Losable games: at ISU, at CU, at NU
Baylor (2-1) Projected L’s: at K-State, at A&M, at UT, at Mizzou, at OSU Losable games: vs. KU, at OU, vs. A&M, vs. UT
Colorado (3-0) Projected L’s: at NU, at BU, at Mizzou, at KU, at ISU Losable games: at OU, vs. KU, vs. A&M, vs. K-State, at Tech, vs. UT
Okie St (1-2) Projected L’s: at Baylor, at NU, at UT, at KU Losable games: vs. UT, at Tech, vs. Mizzou, vs. A&M, at OU
Nebraska(1-2) Projected L’s: at K-State, at BU, at ISU, at CU Losable games: at Tech, vs. A&M, vs. KU, at OU, vs. UT, vs. K-State, vs. Mizzou
Iowa St (1-2) Projected L’s: at OSU, at Mizzou, at CU, at KU, at A&M, at UT, at K-State Losable games: vs. K-State, vs. Mizzou
Oklahoma (0-3) Projected L’s: at ISU, at OSU, vs. UT, at Mizzou, at K-State, at A&M, vs. KU, at Tech Losable games: vs. CU, vs. BU, vs. NU, vs. OSU
Texas Tech (0-3) Projected L’s: at OU, at ISU, vs KU, vs. A&M, at UT, at Mizzou, at Baylor, at OSU, at A&M Losable games: vs. NU, vs. OSU, vs. CU
WHAT TO WATCH
1. K-State at Mizzou (4:30)**** (Projected W: Mizzou)
K-State has a dream: To avoid the NIT. They can take a big step toward REALizing that dream Monday afternoon in Columbia.
2. KU at Baylor (8:30)**** (At risk game)
As the great Kenny, Gee! might say, “It’s not like we almost lost to Baylor. . .”
3. Colorado at Nebraska*** (6:00)***(Projected W: Nebraska)
Colorado’s opportunity to move to the head of the Tier Two class as the Pac-12/Big 10 duo prepare to go their different ways. It is the Buffaloes’ first game played both away from Home and against a team at full strength.
4. Texas Tech at Oklahoma (7:00)* (Projected W: OU)
A four hands game: You need two hands to cover both eyes and another two to cover both ears.
5. Iowa St at Okie St (8:00)**1/2 (Projected W: Okie St)
Not a bad game, but why would you watch this, when, at the same time, there is:
6. Texas A&M at UT (8:00)**** (Projected W: UT)
Perhaps the two teams playing the best basketball in the conference right now. I say “perhaps,” because neither has played either a Projected Loss or At-Risk game. Still, applying the eyeball test, UT is one of the two most talented teams in the Big 12, and A&M has, to this point, demonstrated the best execution. A&M’s edge is that UT might be looking ahead: Rick Barnes’ greatest dream in his professional life—above winning a National Championship--is to beat KU in Lawrence, a feat he believes will elevate his team in status to KU’s level, allowing him to play Duke to KU’s Carolina. Maybe, even, get mentioned by Dickie V during an ACC or Big East game. . .