It was another pretty competitive week in Big 12 Conference play. We didn’t see the upsets and intrigue from a week ago, but the deepest conference in the country proved again that there are no easy games. The games are recapped in chronological order and exclude the Kansas games.
Iowa State 89, Texas 86
Iowa State beat Texas, which under normal circumstances would be seen as a huge positive, but after blowing a huge lead to hang on in the final few minutes, there are still questions concerning the Cyclones. Their size will play a factor as the season comes winding down as will their ability to hit threes at a consistent rate. That said, after what has to be considered a big win regardless of the score, ISU coach Fred Hoiberg had this after the game: "Look, I've been miserable for 48 damn hours. I'm going to enjoy this one, OK?" Is it getting stressful up there in Ames, Mayor?
West Virginia 65, Kansas State 59
This game was ugly all around. I can't even believe that I sat through it. There were 45 total turnovers, 54 fouls called, 64 free throws, and the game took two and a half hours to complete. Sheesh. I couldn't even count the number of times the Wildcats simply passed the ball in directly to a Mountaineer after a made WVU basket. It seemed to be in double figures, and ultimately, those extra possessions probably cost K-State the game. That West Virginia press can be tricky, but even K-State proved that if you can beat it, you've got some easy baskets.
Oklahoma State 64, Baylor 53
Man, this conference. Rico Gathers recorded a double-double (11 and 11) but it wasn't enough for the Bears to overcome the Cowboys. Phil Forte went four of seven from three-point land and ended with 16 points while LeBryan Nash, Jeff Newberry, and Tavarious Shine all scored in double figures for OSU. These type of results will lead to the Big 12 having some quality teams in the NCAA tourney with suspect records. Just wait for all the people ("experts", too) complaining that so many double-digit loss Big 12 teams get in.
Oklahoma 81, Texas Tech 36
Texas Tech scored the fewest points that a Big 12 team has ever scored in a conference game. The 36 points eclipsed the previous low mark of 37 set by Oklahoma and Texas. Oklahoma won in blowout fashion but still isn't a very deep scoring team. Sixty-three points came from the starting lineup including 48 from the trio of Ryan Spangler, Buddy Hield, and Isaiah Cousins.
Iowa State 83, TCU 66
TCU held it close before the inevitable happened. Georges Niang led the way for ISU with 23 while Bryce Dejean-Jones and Monte Morris added 16 points each and Dustin Hogue has 12 for the Cyclones who have some momentum before their tilt in Allen Fieldhouse on Monday night.
West Virginia 77, Texas Tech 68
West Virginia leads the nation in forcing turnovers at 22 per game so it was no surprise to see that they forced 26 Red Raiders turnovers. Here is some classic Bob Huggins for your consumption: "If you were walking down the street and somebody just got in your face about three inches away for a few blocks, would that bother you?" No one wants to play against that. No one wants that in their life. It's uncomfortable. People just want to slap you.”
Baylor 83, Texas 60
Remember when Texas was supposed to win the league? Those were the days. Kenny Chery led Baylor with 23 points while nailing five of seven from beyond the arc. In fact, Chery scored as many points from three-point land as the entire Longhorns team. Texas went 5 of 26 from the perimeter on the day as they are crashing toward a bottom half of the league finish.
Oklahoma 64, Oklahoma State 56
Down by seven at the half, Oklahoma used a big second half to power past Oklahoma State and sweep the regular season from their in-state rivals. Jordan Woodard paced the Sooners with 17 points while Buddy Hield scored 15.
Win of the Week: Iowa State over Texas
I had to give this award to someone, and this was really the only marquee win of the week. Iowa State tried to blow it, but once they beat Texas, it has seemed to have some residual effects on the Longhorns as they are now going to have to really rally to get into the upper echelon of the league standings. Speaking of which….
Team of the Week: Texas Longhorns
I always like to see the Longhorns suffer, so when they got blown away (before making a futile ultimately comeback) in Ames, it made me smile a little bit despite the fact that it benefited Iowa State. And when they laid an egg at Baylor, well, that was just the icing on the cake for an ideal Texas week. And here we thought they were going to be a basketball school after a few subpar football campaigns, but alas, they are proving us wrong in this regard as well. I’m going to go ahead and declare Texas as a women’s swimming and diving school. That team is ranked number six and rising.
Player of the Week: Georges Niang, Iowa State
I’m going with Niang in the hopes that his newfound celebrity by winning this prestigious award will go to his head come Monday night. He’ll be so blinded by confidence and his prowess for basket-balling that he stumbles miserably in Lawrence on Monday. By the way, he averaged 21 points in Iowa State’s two wins this week.
WTF of the Week: Fred Hoiberg going without a tie…again
Seriously, why does this guy never wear a tie anymore? If you’re not going to wear a tie, you should at least rock one of those denim shirts that Kelvin Sampson wore at Oklahoma. Or better yet, you could go with a mock turtleneck, Larry Eustachy-style in some sort of weird tribute to the former Cyclone coach. You don’t have to don a tuxedo over there, and we sure don’t want you dressing like Bob Huggins, but Hoiberg looks like he’s getting ready to pile his kids in the minivan and take his family down to the local Applebee’s. You’re coaching the fifteenth ranked team in the country, man. And besides, isn’t a mayor supposed to wear a tie to community functions?
Updated Big XII Standings:
Kansas, 7-1, 18-3
West Virginia, 6-2, 18-3
Iowa State, 6-2, 16-4
Oklahoma, 5-4, 14-7
K-State, 5-4, 12-10
Baylor, 4-4, 16-5
Oklahoma State, 4-5, 14-7
Texas, 3-5, 14-7
TCU, 1-7, 14-7
Texas Tech, 1-8, 11-11
Upcoming Big XII Schedule:
Monday, February 2
Iowa State at Kansas
Tuesday, February 3
West Virginia at Oklahoma
Wednesday, February 4
Oklahoma State at Texas
TCU at Baylor
Kansas State at Texas Tech
Saturday, February 7
Baylor at West Virginia
Texas Tech at Iowa State
Kansas at Oklahoma State
Oklahoma at TCU
Texas at Kansas State