With the events of last night fresh in mind, it seems an opportune time for a Big 12 post, including an updated power poll and a look-ahead.
1. Kansas (23-2, 8-2): They haven't really earned it, but they currently sit a ½ game ahead of UT and KSU and there are only two games on their schedule that have any reason to be close (v. KSU, @ A&M). In all honesty though, they've haven't played well for a full game since January, so we'll see how they bounce back from Texas. Always nice to know that the Big 12 title runs through the Phog – though even if they win out, Texas can tie and own the tiebreaker for the 1 seed.
Up next: Saturday v. Colorado
2. Texas (20-4, 7-2): How can you not put them here after the balance they showed on Monday? Their guards get all of the attention, but if they're going to be a real player, it's the other guys (Mason, James, Atchley, Johnson) that will make the difference. Still have a couple tough ones (@ BU, @ KSU, v. A&M (see below)), so it's hard to see them not losing at least once more.
Up next: Saturday @ Baylor
3. Kansas State (17-6, 7-2): For the second time this year, KSU was thrust into the top spot in the conference, only to shit the bed their next time out. Perhaps they're finding out that it's a bit tougher when the target's on your back? Since the win over Kansas, they're 2-2 and in my humble opinion, have only played one good half of basketball. Even in the wins (both at home) Nebraska was within 5 with 6 minutes left and OSU was with five at halftime, before getting destroyed in the second stanza.
Up next: Saturday v. Methzou
4. Texas A&M (20-4, 6-3): After starting 1-3, they've now ran off 5 straight, and looked pretty good in doing so. They do still have roadies @ OU, Baylor and Texas (see below), and of course welcome in the Jayhawks to close the regular season.
Up next: Saturday v. Oklahoma State
5. Baylor (17-6, 5-4): They're scaring me. I really don't want them to fall apart and miss out on the tourney. We can't forget that their non-conference really only has one legitimate win (ND), so they can ill-afford losses to teams like Oklahoma State. If you saw this game and saw them put up 29 in the 1st and 54 in the 2nd, you'll understand why KU's defense wasn't a concern of mine after that game. Consequently, you'll also understand why Baylor can beat a team like A&M and lose to one like OSU. MUST win this weekend.
Up next: Saturday v. Texas
6. Oklahoma (16-8, 4-5): I can't see them getting into the tourney without Longar, but it comes down to losses. They've already got the wins to get them in; now they just have to avoid the bad losses (i.e. Colorado). Next three could be tough (@ Tech, BU, @ UT).
Up next: Saturday @ Tech
7. Texas Tech (13-10, 4-5): Congrats, young Knight. They're playing for the NIT, but games in Lubbock are no easy W. Next three look doable, but close with a brutal 4 game stretch (@ A&M, UT, @ KU, Baylor).
Up next: Saturday v. Oklahoma
8. Methzou (14-11, 4-6): Good road win for Methzou last night, avenging their earlier loss to the hapless Huskers. They have no excuse to lose another home game (CU, OSU, ISU), but the three roadies won't be easy (KSU, BU, OU).
Up next: Saturday @ KSU
Note: I really have no idea from here on out. Watching them play, Colorado looks like the best team to me, but they always manage to soil themselves at some point, limiting them to the least wins in the league…
9. Oklahoma State (12-12, 3-7): Big win by Gallagher Iba Arena last night. Truly, well done. This team actually has a few players and it's almost a shame to watch Sean Sutton completely dismantle their hope of being consistently good. It's unlikely they'll win more than twice more, three more is their ceiling.
Up next: Saturday @ A&M
10. Colorado (10-13, 2-7): Like I said, when I watch this team, they look better to me than the other three, but rarely turn it into a win. I could see them winning all remaining home games (Tech, Baylor, ISU). Consider they led UT in Austin at halftime by 9 before falling by a bucket, were tied at halftime with Kansas, lost by a point in Stillwater and just beat OU. No other team at the bottom has done nearly as much. Sad, but true.
Up next: Saturday @ Kansas
11. Iowa State (13-12, 3-7): Don't have much to say here, but to reiterate that if they had a serviceable point guard, they'd be pretty dangerous. As it is, they rarely are even close if they're not in Hilton.
Up next: Saturday v. Nebraska
12. Nebraska (14-8, 3-6). Though the media like to purport that they don't compare games against common opponents, there's really no other explanation for their jumping on the Husker bandwagon after home wins over average teams such as ASU and Oregon. By that logic, maybe the Pac 10 isn't as good as we all thought? Because the Ducks and Devils clearly would not stand a chance in the Big 12.
Up next: Saturday @ ISU
From around the globe…
Courtesy of The Big Lead, apparently Sampson is going to get canned tomorrow. I am no Hoosier fan, but I'd love to see the General back in Assembly Hall.
If you've yet to visit the Old Spice website to view other Will Ferrell commercials, do so now.
With the writers strike over, there comes good news (Office and 30 Rock back on April 10) and bad news (NBC has yet to purchase any more FNL episodes). Help me understand how Friday Night Lights can get cancelled by the same network that it set to premiere My Dad is Better Than Your Dad.
If you haven't been reading Stephen A Smith's blog, you're truly missing out.
Let's hope this is the end of the rate cuts.
My inexplicable obsession with the Shaq trade continues. And I'm actually starting to come around, because as Simmons says, it's nice to see someone at least take a chance and piss into the wind.
Per the comments above, this is pretty sweet. 15 digitally equipped movie theatres in Texas will broadcast the UT/A&M game live for those not in the Frank Erwin Center to see.
And lastly, this week's Power 16. Hubert Davis: sticking to his guns.