MIDWEEK RECAP Remember when I surmised that KU, after stating all season that it was the second best team in the Big 12, had improved to the extent that it was the best, notwithstanding losing at Home to UT and occupying second place in both the REAL and newspaper standings?
Remember that? It was like a whole four days ago.
Well, as Emily Litella would say: Never mind.
As Arthur Fonzarelli would say: I was wr. . .
Wr. . .
Wr. . .
Well, you know.
Unless you’re too high class to admit to knowing of Emily and Arthur.
Or too young.
At any rate, I didn’t back off my assertion as to the Jayhawks’ prowess because they lost at K-State. The best team in the conference could have lost in Manhattan Monday night. In fact, the best team in the country—which is what KU was supposed to have been according to the polls—could have suffered that fate. There is no shame in losing on the Road to a team that was supposed to be a Top 5 team that has dropped out of the Top 25 and is desperate to save its season, led by a player who was supposed to be an All-American and Big 12 POY.
No, it is not that the Jayhawks lost. It is that they didn’t put up a fight. They appeared to panic when things did not go their way early, hurrying (one of John Wooden’s mortal sins) as if they thought they would be awarded 7 or 8 points each trip down court if they only scored fast enough.
So, congratulations to UT on its Big 12 championship. The only REAL question remaining is whether they will match KU’s 2002 undefeated season in conference play, or finish as just another 15-1 team if they get ambushed by Nebraska, Colorado, or Baylor. Or continue to get owned by K-State in both sports that matter.
As for the Jayhawks, there is still time for them to catch UT on the court if not in the standings. But first, they will have to learn from the K-State game to play 40 minutes every game, each possession indistinguishable from the next one and the last one, whether in front by 15 points or trailing by that many.
And there is time.
There is always time. At least until the final buzzer of the final game.
The other result of significance in the M-W games was Nebraska taking down Oklahoma 59-58 for its first Road win of the conference season. Of course, they owe a debt of gratitude to the Sooners, who, trailing by three points in the final five seconds, made no attempt to foul in order to stop the clock after Cade Davis knocked down a two point er from the corner.
In fairness to the OU players, they all thought the shot was a three pointer and that the game had been tied, ignoring both the placement Davis’s right foot, smack dab on the three point line, and the official’s signal to the official scorer that the basket counted for two, not three, points.
I mean, when did paying attention become part of a basketball player’s job description?
Regardless of how it came about, the Cornhuskers, like K-State, picked up a full game in the REAL Standings.
In other games, the Home teams all won as projected: Mizzou over Tech, A&M over Iowa St, and UT over Okie St.
REAL STANDINGS: 2-17-11
Tier One (Contenders): KU, UT Tier Two (Competitors): Baylor, Mizzou, Texas A&M Tier Three (Also rans): Colorado, Iowa St, K-State, Nebraska, Okie St, Oklahoma, Tech
UT (11-0) Projected L’s: None Losable game: at Baylor
KU (9-2) Projected L’s: None Losable game: at Mizzou
A&M (7-4) Projected L’s: at Baylor, at KU Losable game: at Okie St
Mizzou (6-5) Projected L’s: None Losable games: at ISU, at K-State, at NU, vs. KU
Baylor (6-5) Projected L: at Mizzou Losable games: at Okie St, vs. UT
K-State (5-6) Projected L’s: at Nebraska, at UT Losable game: vs. Mizzou
Nebraska (5-6) Projected L’s: vs. UT, at ISU, at CU Losable games: vs. Mizzou
Colorado (5-6) Projected L’s: at KU, at Tech, vs. UT, at ISU Losable games: None
Okie St (4-7) Projected L’s: at KU, at OU Losable games: vs. A&M, vs. Baylor
Oklahoma (4-7) Projected L’s: at K-State, at A&M, vs. KU, at Tech Losable games: None
Texas Tech (3-8) Projected L’s: at Baylor, at OSU, at A&M Losable games: None
Iowa St (1-10) Projected L’s: at UT, at K-State Losable game: vs. Mizzou
WHAT TO WATCH (or not) SATURDAY 1. Mizzou at Iowa St (12:30) **1/2
Can Mizzou claim its first Road win of the conference season? Maybe, but the way ISU has competed all year, MU had better come to play every second for 40 minutes (or longer).
2. UT at Nebraska (12:30) ***1/2 (Projected W: UT)
Perhaps UT’s best remaining chance for a loss in conference play.
3. Colorado at KU (1:00) **1/2 (Projected W: KU)
Fortunately, for the Jayhawks, they have a Home game vs. a non-contender to try to get their—uh—stuff together.
4. Oklahoma at K-State (3:00) **1/2 (Projected W: K-State)
If there was ever a game that a team could not afford to lose, this game is it for K-State.
5. Texas Tech at Baylor (7:00)*1/2 (Projected W: BU)
Baylor beat Tech in Lubbock, and the Bears weren’t even playing competently then. . .
6. Texas A&M at Okie St (8:00) **1/2 (At risk game)
Will the Cowboys ever win again?