Texas came into Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday afternoon as desperate as a team can be. With a coach as desperate as a coach can be. Post-season hopes were on the line. Continued employment was on the line. And they played like it. The pre-season Big 12 favorite outscored KU at the Jayhawks’ specialty, three point shooting, 18-3.They only shot 37.7% overall, but held KU to 36.2%. They had but 8 turnovers. They blocked a team record14 shots.
And they busted a gut for forty minutes.
And they lost, as projected.
That’s life on the Road.
Or, in KU’s case, life at Home, as the Jayhawks remained the only Big 12 team unbeaten on its Home court.
In other action, Oklahoma won at Home, as projected over TCU; K-State completed its sweep of At-risk games for the week at Home, dropping Iowa St a half game in the REAL Standings and effectively out of the race that was its for the taking three days earlier; and Texas Tech completed the Saturday sweep by Home team with an un-projected W over Okie St.
As a result:
1. Forget all that talk about the Road going on forever and the party never ending. The Road to the Big 12 title still goes through Lawrence, and that Road just might come to an end Tuesday night. And the party, well, it will end someday. I think.
2. Just when it appeared that TCU might earn a late season promotion to Tier Two and put Oklahoma out of its misery, the Sooners went all Barry Gibb. Not only did OU stay alive to fight another day, they remained in total control of their own destiny. A win in Ames Monday night followed by a W at Home on Saturday will assure OU of no worse than a share of the Big 12 championship. And, yes, we’re talking basketball.
3. Everyone else is playing for seeding in the bogus even in Kansas City next week. Or praying that West Virginia, whose best victory of the season was in Stillwater, will rise up and hand KU its only L of the year in Allen Fieldhouse and bring 12-6 into play for the REAL Big 12 championship.
Tier 1: Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia
Tier 2: Baylor, K-State, Okie St, Texas
Tier 3: TCU
Tier 4: Texas Tech
KU (12-4) Projected Losses: at OU At risk games: N/A
Iowa St: (10-6) Projected Losses: N/A At risk games: N/A
Oklahoma (11-5) Projected Losses: at ISU At risk games: N/A
West Virginia (10-6) Projected Losses: at KU At risk games: N/A
Baylor (10-6) Projected Losses: at UT At risk games: N/A
Okie St (7-9) Projected Losses: at WVU At risk games: N/A
Texas (6-10) Projected Losses: N/A At risk games: N/A
K-State (8-9) Projected Losses: at UT At-risk games: N/A
TCU (4-12) Projected Losses: at OSU, ISU At risk games: N/A
Texas Tech (3-14) Projected Losses: at BU At risk games: N/A
BIG 12 SCHEDULE
1. Baylor at Texas (6:00pm) ***1/2 ( Projected W: UT)
Texas has 6 wins: two each against Tech and TCU, one versus K-State when Marcus Foster was suspended, and their one pretty good (but not great) W of the year, West Virginia at Home. Now they must beat Baylor Monday night and K-State in Austin on Saturday to be on the NCAA bubble heading into Kansas City.
2. Oklahoma at Iowa St (8:00p.m.)**** (Projected W: ISU)
An Iowa St Home victory secures KU at least a share of its 11th straight Big 12 title.
3. West Virginia at KU (8:00pm)**** (Projected W: KU)
A Home victory secures the Jayhawks at least a share of its 11th straight Big 12 title. If Iowa St downs OU in Ames the night before, and the Jayhawks’ stand alone far above the golden valley.
4. TCU at Okie St (8:00pm)** (Projected W: OSU)
What would Joe Lunardi have to say about a fifth straight loss and a 7-10 conference record heading into Morgantown? “Bubble”? “First Four out”? Okie St does not want to find out.