7 - 0
|vs. A&M (Wed); vs. Colorado (Sat)|
6 - 0
|at Baylor (Mon); vs. Ok. State (Sat)|
5 - 2
|at Texas (Wed); at Iowa St (Sat)|
4 - 2
|vs. Missouri (Wed); at Nebraska (Sat)|
3 - 4
|vs. Kansas (Mon); at Texas Tech (Sat)|
|5. Kansas State||
3 - 4
|vs. Iowa State (Tue); at A&M (Sat)|
|5. Texas A&M||
3 - 4
|at Oklahoma (Wed); vs. Kansas St (Sat)|
3 - 4
|at Colorado (Wed); vs. Texas (Sat)|
|9. Oklahoma State||
2 - 4
|vs. Texas Tech (Wed); at Kansas (Sat)|
|10. Iowa State||
1 - 5
|at Kansas St (Tue); vs. Missouri (Sat)|
|10. Texas Tech||
1 - 5
|at Ok State (Wed); vs. Baylor (Sat)|
1 - 5
|vs. Nebraska (Wed); at Oklahoma (Sat)|
Thoughts on the week ahead after the jump.
Biggest Surprise from Last Week: Denis Clemente leading Kansas State past the ‘Horns in Austin. I’ve seen Travis Mays, Reggie Freeman, TJ Ford, Kevin Durant, and DJ Augustin all go off at the Erwin Center, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a better, more complete offensive performance ever at the Drum. Clemente was close to unconscious in the second half. Basketball players sometimes talk about being "in the zone" for moments during games. Clemente wasn’t "in the zone" for a few possessions; he was nearly perfect and pretty much unguardable for the all of the second half and overtime. A BON tip of the cap to you sir. College basketball fans don’t see performances like yours often.
Team with Most Favorable Schedule: Oklahoma. Last week, the Sooners survived Bedlam and a little Hilton Magic to remain unbeaten in conference play. As the Big East and ACC powers continue to knock each other off, the Sooners’ chances of earning a #1 seed continue to improve. Two home wins over the Aggies and Buffaloes this week will put them 9-0 in the conference and 23-1 overall. There are a few stumbling blocks ahead (at Baylor, at Texas, Kansas, and at Missouri) but 13-3 in Big XII play is probably the floor for this bunch as long as Blake Griffin stays healthy.
Team with Least Favorable Schedule: Baylor. The Bears land in this slot for the second week in a row. Last week, I wrote:
I am a believer in the Bears this season but if things were to go south, it would start with a home loss to the Longhorns on Tuesday.
Well, the wheels are close to officially off. Baylor missed an opportunity at home against the ‘Horns and then laid an egg in the second half in Columbia on Saturday. With Kansas and their six game winning streak visiting on Big Monday, the Sooners visiting the following week, and a visit to Lubbock sandwiched in between, it’s put up or shut up time for Scot Drew’s club. With an RPI in the mid-30s and no wins over sure NCAA tournament bound teams, a win on national television over the defending champions couldn’t come at a better time.
Game of the Week: Missouri @ Texas. Along with Baylor, this is a critical week for both of these teams. Texas looked to be rounding into form after Tuesday’s win in Waco but quickly gave it all back with a severely disappointing and frustrating home loss on Saturday. The Longhorns are still in good shape for the NCAA tournament but, just like last week for the Bears, this could be a week which makes things uncomfortably interesting. Texas faces a surging Tiger team, winners in five of their last six, in the mid-week game and then must travel to Lincoln on Saturday. Splitting the two is a must for the ‘Horns and grabbing both would help cement Texas as a Tier 1a team, behind Oklahoma and Kansas. Missouri, on the other hand, seems to be moving more solidly in the right direction but two road games this week could easily derail Mike Anderson’s impersonation of the 40 Minutes of Hell. This week’s journey starts on ESPN2 on Wednesday night for both teams. Missouri wins if they can force turnovers, get easy offense out of their defense, and keep the Longhorns off the offensive glass. Texas wins if we protect the basketball, attack the rim, and take quality, uncontested shots.