Another great week of games in the nation’s deepest conference. Here’s the recap of the games (Kansas games excluded) in chronological order.
Texas 66, TCU 48
Texas dominated TCU from the start and the outcome of this one was never in doubt. Javan Felix had 15 points off the bench for the Longhorns while Isaiah Taylor added 13 points and seven rebounds. Nothing really to say about TCU other than this: their next six games are also against ranked teams.
Iowa State 77, Kansas State 71
The fact that K-State stuck around at Hilton Coliseum can probably be attributed to the fact that Iowa State was coming off an emotional and necessary win over Kansas. But, the Wildcats keeping it this close and proving that they can at least hang with the conference big boys has to improve their confidence going into this vital stretch of the season where they could be underdogs in four of their next five games.
Oklahoma State 63, Texas Tech 43
LeBryan Nash had his typical 16 points and Phil Forte added his usual 15 for the Cowboys in their win against the Red Raiders. Initially, I had more written about this game (mostly making fun of Tech and mocking their ineptness) but, those comments have been deleted, and happily so.
Baylor 81, Huston-Tillotson 61
Huston-Tillotson is so obscure that you can’t even click on their name on ESPN.com to get information about their team. Enough said. Rico Gathers scored 25 and grabbed a Big XII record 28 rebounds in Baylor's win against NAIA school Huston-Tillotson. Is anyone impressed by what Gathers did? I'm not. I'm going to go ahead and believe that Cliff Alexander would put up similar numbers if KU played Avila. I'll take Nick Collison's 24 points and 23 rebounds against Texas any day over these "statistics" put up over an NAIA school.
Kansas State 63, Oklahoma State 53
Nino Williams had 20 points and seven rebounds to pace K-State over Oklahoma State in Manhattan. Marcus Foster and Justin Edwards added 14 points each for the Wildcats while the only players that could really get going for the Cowboys were the usual suspects: Phil Forte (22 Points, 10 of them from the line) and LeBryan Nash who had 13 points.
West Virginia 86, TCU 85
TCU tried to pull a "K-State v Texas Southern" in the last seconds when they threw the ball directly out of bounds from under their own basket with 1.1 seconds to play, but West Virginia Failed to convert. And then, there was just a ridiculous ending in the overtime period. Daxter Miles canned a three to give West Virginia a one-point lead with nine seconds left. TCU’s Trey Zeigler scored to give the Horned Frogs the lead with under three seconds to go, but a baseball pass resulted in a foul at the rim at the other end after TCU thought they had it won. West Virginia’s Jevon Carter made both foul shots with 0.9 seconds left on the clock to give West Virginia the win.
Texas Tech 78, Iowa State 73
I wasn’t prepared to write this, but I gladly will. Texas Tech had an 11-point lead at the half and maintained that margin throughout most of the second half before Iowa State started cutting into the lead late. Georges Niang made a three with 43 seconds to go to cut it to three, but Tech made two free throws to up the lead back to five. ISU made a jumper with 23 seconds to go, but the clutch free throws by Devaughntah Williams sealed the deal in Lubbock.
Baylor 69, Oklahoma 58
I really can’t figure the Big XII out, but when every game is exciting, who would even want to figure it out? Both teams had four guys score in double figures and Baylor found a way to win a game that they had to win.
Win of the Week: Kansas over Texas
It’s been said many times already on this site, but you can’t downplay the magnitude of this victory for Kansas. The Jayhawks outrebounded the Longhorns by one, limited their turnovers to just three, and played composed in a loud (for them) environment. Even in his post game interview, Bill Self couldn’t find anything bad to say, calling it perhaps the best road win he’s had since he’s coached at KU. Wow.
Team of the Week: Kansas
Wins over #19 Oklahoma at home and #17 Texas on the road will grab you our team of the week honors pretty easily.
Player of the Week: Cliff Alexander, Kansas
Thirteen points and 13 rebounds in the win against Oklahoma, and then 15 points and nine rebounds against Texas for Mr. Alexander, and Cliff would’ve had many more if it wasn’t for Texas’ penchant to block shots. After riding the pine against Iowa State because his "motor wasn’t running fast enough", Cliff has come out with a well-tuned, high performance engine since then.
WTF of the Week: Tech beating Iowa State
This one was one of the most baffling and unexpected wins in conference history. Iowa State was 6 of 31 from long range and it came back to haunt them again. This result, combined with KU’s win over the Longhorns, makes Monday’s game in Ames against Texas an even bigger game than expected.
Updated Big XII Standings:
Kansas, 5-1, 16-3
K-State, 5-2, 12-8
West Virginia, 4-2, 16-3
Iowa State, 4-2, 14-4
Baylor, 3-3, 15-4
Texas, 3-3, 14-5
Oklahoma State, 3-4, 13-6
Oklahoma, 3-4, 12-7
TCU, 1-5, 14-5
Texas Tech, 1-6, 11-9
Upcoming Big XII Schedule:
Monday, January 26
Texas at Iowa State
Tuesday, January 27
West Virginia at Kansas State
Baylor at Oklahoma State
Wednesday, January 28
Texas Tech at Oklahoma
Kansas at TCU
Saturday January 31
TCU at Iowa State
Tech at West Virginia
Kansas State at Kansas
Texas at Baylor
Oklahoma at Oklahoma State