Since we're now less than a month away from Selection Sunday, there's probably no use in bothering to include any non-tournament teams in the analysis…so here’s the abridged version of what happened throughout the conference since last we discussed.
Kansas (24-2, 9-2)Over the weekend, the Jayhawks celebrated 110 Years of Kansas Basketball and as a side note, dismantled Colorado for the 25th straight time in Allen Fieldhouse. I can't say I loved their first half offense, but the first 10 minutes of the second half were pure beauty and I'm not sure you can defend the Princeton offense much better than they did. Now they get a week off, before venturing down to Coach Self's alma mater on Saturday. Seth Davis still likes the Jayhawks in the latest installment of his Stock Report. Is this a good thing? Looking at: 1-2 seed
Texas (22-4, 9-2) Needless to say, Texas has had a pretty good run over the last 10 days. First, they are handed an OT win in Ames which they had no business winning – then they upset Kansas – follow that up with a road win @ Baylor (nice C-Webb impression, Aaron Bruce!) – and cap things off with a 27 point thrashing of their most bitter rival, A&M. Oh by the way, in doing so they have certainly turned themselves into a 2 seed and could legitimately play themselves into a 1. Not surprisingly, those in Texas already think they are. Others may disagree. Looking at: 2-3 seed
Kansas State (18-6, 8-2) Apparently the Wildcats just can't deal with success. After falling miserably at Tech, they returned to the purple place and completely embarrassed Methzou, 100-63. To no one's surprise, the Bease led the way with 40 & 17. Next week they'll welcome Texas for Big Monday with a chance to set up March 1 as the de facto conference championship game. They still seem ripe for an early round upset to me, but one can't help but be impressed with ones like this. Looking at: 4-5 seed
Texas A&M (20-6, 6-5) Does anyone else think something is going on here? Obviously DeAndre Jordan has not been what they planned on (7.7, 5.4 in Big 12 play), but still. They have solid guards that are quick, can defend and can shoot it to go along with a front line of Jones, Davis and Jordan – yet they lose at home to Sean Sutton. That's right, OSU hadn't won on the road in their last 19 tries (and Sean Sutton never had) yet an A&M team with that roster and expectations couldn't handle them. Baaad loss. And then they followed it up by getting run off the court in Austin. Looking at: 6-8 seed
Oklahoma (17-8, 5-5) If this team makes the tourney, then hats off to Jeff Capel. Or possibly, more deservingly, their head trainer as they have seemingly lost Blake Griffin and Longar for extensive amounts of time only to have them return the following week. Whatever works, I guess. Either way, OU had another good week beating ISU and then absolutely stealing one in Lubbock on Godbold's ridiculously lucky shot. They're in position now, but only one (Methzou) of their remaining six is easy. Looking at: Bubble (8-10)
Baylor (17-7, 5-5) How long ago does that 4-0 conference start seem? Poor Bears. Talk about a valiant effort to nearly steal that W from Texas, only to get it to a one point game with 28 seconds left and have your senior leader pull a C-Webb right as you're inbounding with a chance to win the game. Ouch. This team feels tourney worthy, but they don't have enough of a non-conference to get them in without a strong finish. Easiest game left is in Boulder, so they need to step it up quickly. Like tonight, in Norman.Looking at: Bubble (8-10)
Methzou (14-12, 4-7) What, you don't think a team hovering around .500 overall, well under it in league play and fresh off a 37 point humiliation is tourney worthy. Well think again!
In other news, the Combine is fast approaching, so there's draft analysis everywhere. McShay says Talib is fighting to be the first DB off the board and should be no later than the 3rd. Mel Kiper, on the other hand, has him a stable 7th overall on his big board.
As for Anthony Collins, McShay has him rated as the 10th best O-Lineman.
For those of you Mempis lovers, Pat Forde wrote a pretty entertaining column today. Too many times, Forde runs too far in one direction with his articles trying to make a point, but this one seems about right.
Not mentioned in Forde's piece, but present in Katz's DW is this nugget from Calipari, "It's finally a game that we're allowed to lose," Calipari said (in regards to Tennessee). Calipari's frustration stems from a perception that the Tigers aren't allowed to, or shouldn't drop, a game in Conference USA. He said that Duke isn't criticized for losing at Wake Forest, yet had Memphis lost at UAB on Saturday night and it took a defensive stop in the final possession (and an awful foul call) to pull it off, then the Tigers "would have dropped eight or nine spots in the poll."
I didn't know Cal was such a drama queen. By no means should any team be expected to run the table. But if Memphis is nearly as good as they think they are, shouldn't they be held to a standard that expects them to beat C-USA teams? I say yes. But more power to him if he wants to play the no respect card and tell everyone that when they lose they shouldn't be considered any better than 9th or 10th. Wonderful fun with this photo here.