3/7/15

 


9 Kansas (24-6, 13-4 Big 12) 

@  15 Oklahoma (20-9, 11-6 Big 12)

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Why you should watch:

Had two comeback for the ages not happened this week, I would have had to break the budget and buy that fifth barcalounger for this game. It would be a winner take all bare knuckle affair.  As it stands, Kansas owns their 11th straight conference title outright and the amazing Saturday we would have had if just one of those comebacks had faltered will not be realized.  Even though the conference title is not at stake, that doesn’t mean there is nothing to play for.  If you can get by the final 20 minutes of their Big Monday game in Ames, Oklahoma still remains blistering hot with that being only their second loss since January 24th.  Kansas is mostly playing for NCAA Tournament seeding but seems to be backing into the postseason.  After starting out 8-1 in conference play led by their conference leading three point shooting percentage, recently their outside shooting has gone anemic as they finished the their final stretch at 5-3.  A win here would solidify them on the 2 seed and depending on all the conference tournaments could help nudge them into a 1 seed.   A loss here would abandon any outside hope for a 1 seed, and could land them with a 3 seed depending on their play in Kansas City next week. Oklahoma on the other hand would benefit greatly from this win as it would guarantee them a top 3 in the Big 12 and a likely 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.  Right now it looks like the Sooners are a solid 4 seed, but a loss to the Jayhawks followed by a poor showing in the Big 12 Tourney could drop them back to a 5 seed, which anybody who knows their tournament history understands the pitfalls a 5 seed faces.  Besides, Bill Self is a Cowboy and Lon Kruger is a Wildcat, which means both of these coaches have a deep seeded dislike for the other school.  Although not the classic it could have been, neither of these teams want to lose this game.  Oklahoma would make a real statement with a huge win at home to finish out their season regaining a lot of momentum after suffering such a deflating loss.  Not perfect, but I give it 3 1/2 barcaloungers.

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Oklahoma St (18-11, 8-9 Big 12)

@  20 West Virginia (22-8, 10-7 Big 12)

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Why you should watch:

West Virginia is not happy about their collapse in Lawrence on Tuesday night.  After a poor showing in Waco, they had the Jayhawks dead to rights a few nights later and let it get away from them.  You can argue the officiating played a part, but make no mistake West Virginia made enough mistakes going down the stretch where it should have never come down to a point or two.  So where does that leave them after their last road trip?  A win would guarantee them a top half finish in the conference and give them an outside chance at a top 3 spot.  It would also possibly boost them up to a 4 seed in the NCAA’s if they have a strong showing in KC. Even more important is that they are starving for a win in Morgantown after seeing their Mountaineers drop two in a row and do not want to see it stretch to a third game.  If the Mountaineers can regroup, and I don’t see any reason why they won’t for this game, they are going to be a formidable team looking to go deep into March with their grueling defense. On the other hand, Oklahoma State was able to stop their absolute free fall down the stretch with an uninspiring win over TCU. Thankfully it seems enough that they should make the tournament even with a loss in Morgantown, but a win would all but guarantee their invitation. They are going to waver between a 8-11 seed so in all honesty, a 10 or 11 seed is more preferable than an 8 or 9.  I would rather have to upset a 7/6 and then a 2/3 than an 8 and 1, especially if that 1 is Kentucky, so in all honesty a loss here may actually help the Cowboys as long as it doesn’t knock them out of the tournament.  Obviously it is too risky to take that approach and obviously these teams want to win, but if they happen to lose it may not be the worst thing if they have plans of making it past the first weekend in the NCAA’s.   I have a feeling the Cowboys will ignore my advice and are going to be playing for their tournament lives.  Two teams desperate to turn their fortunes around before heading into the postseason but only one can win.  3  barcaloungers.

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Kansas St (15-15, 8-9 Big 12)

@  Texas(18-12, 7-10 Big 12)

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Why you should watch:

I know what you are thinking.  Why is this dog fest rated better than the Iowa State vs TCU game where the teams actually have coaches?  That is precisely what makes this game so anticipated.  Easily the two most disappointing coaching jobs of this season go head to head to see who is really the worst coach in the conference. Although that clearly goes to Barnes, what would happen if Barnes loses to Weber in Austin?  I hope the Longhorns have sufficient security to get Barnes off the court because the pitchforks are being sharpened. To call this a must win for Barnes is like saying Easter is slightly important to the sale of fudge eggs. I don’t think he survives at Texas as it stands, but if they lose this game and solidify themselves as the most underachieving team in the entire country I can’t imagine a scenario he is back next year. Weber, on the other hand is definitely coming back next year, but it is hard not to look at what he has done and not shake your head.  He limps Kansas State into the conference play losing to teams no Big 12 team should ever lose to, and then proceeds to will his team to beat Kansas, Iowa State, Baylor and Oklahoma twice, while peppered around losses to teams like TCU and Texas Tech!  That is just really manic.  Kudos for getting them up for big games, but it begs the question why are they so flat for the non big games?  That to me falls squarely on coaching and while Barnes holds the title as the most overrated coach, Weber claims the crown for worst coaching job this year.  Inexcusable that a team that beat a list like that is not in the tournament, let alone a high seed.  If Texas loses, they most likely won’t be dancing, although they certainly have the talent to win the automatic berth in Kansas City.  If KSU loses it just wraps up an already frustrating season.  Although maybe the numbers don’t back this up for being a must watch game, but this is a real pressure cooker if you read between the lines.  3 barcaloungers.

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17 Iowa State (21-8, 11-6 Big 12)

@  TCU (17-13, 4-13 Big 12)

 

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Why you should watch:

I said last week that TCU’s rash of wins was probably going to dry up last week and I was right.  This game is no different.  We saw real growth this year with what Trent Johnson is doing in Ft. Worth, but a win against Iowa State would be tough, but maybe not as long of a shot as Cyclone fans would want to believe.  Iowa State has struggled all year on the road, including a loss in Lubbock, so a loss here would be no stretch of the imagination.  However, with the exception of a late collapse in Manhattan, Iowa State has looked much better on the road the last month with wins at Stillwater and Austin, so a win in Ft. Worth should be expected.  Still, TCU has proven to be a tough out at home and also it is the final conference game of the season with implications to final conference standing.  Not a must watch, but if you got nothing going on Saturday night, it should be competitive.  2 1/2 barcaloungers.

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