Open Thread: Final Big 12 Basketball Saturday

No. 2 Kansas (13-2) at No. 24 Missouri (8-7) 11 AM CBS

Jayhawks secure an outright conference title and take another step toward a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament with a win. On the other side, while Missouri is safely in the tournament, the Tigers are coming off a bad loss earlier this week at Nebraska. Kansas is by far the more talented and complete team, but Mizzou is undefeated in Columbia this season. I’ll take KU in a close one.

Texas Tech (5-10) at No. 22 Texas A&M (9-6) 12:30 PM Big 12 Network

Aggie bloggers have been trying to count to 10 conference wins all season. This afternoon they should easily reach that mark. A&M has secured a first round bye in the Big 12 tournament win or lose—a three seed with a win and likely the four seed with a loss. The Red Raiders do have a road win at Baylor on their resume, but it is hard to see them snagging another. I’ll take A&M by eight points.

Iowa State (3-12) at Kansas State (9-6) 12:30 PM Big 12 Network

The Cyclones did knock off CU earlier this week but K State is playing at another level right now. Jacob Pullen and company have won five straight and seven of their last eight. The Wildcats have gone from an NIT-bound team in late January to a scary NCAA tournament team and a probably 5-7 seed. Seniors Pullen and Curtis Kelly go out in style and win big.

Oklahoma State (6-9) at Oklahoma (4-11) 3 PM Big 12 Network

Bedlam is exciting in some seasons, not this one though. Fran Fraschilla’s opining notwithstanding, Ok State is not a good basketball team, at all. And OU is even worse, losers of their last eight. There would have to be a lot of money riding on the outcome for me to watch this one. I’ll take OSU by four.

Nebraska (7-8) at Colorado (7-8) 8 PM

Bubble elimination game. Nebraska was clearly out of the tournament before the week started but a win over Missouri got them back in the discussion at least. I think the Cornhuskers likely need this one and probably two wins in Kansas City. Colorado was trending toward the tournament but suffered a bubble bursting loss at Iowa State on Wednesday. All the momentum gained by defeating Texas is now gone. Like Nebraska, the Buffs need this one and at least two wins in the Big 12 tournament to earn a berth.

No. 8 Texas (12-3) at Baylor (7-8) 8 PM ESPN

Before this week, Baylor looked to be the sixth Big 12 team headed to the NCAA with Colorado on the way toward grabbing a seven bid. Without some magic in Kansas City, the Big 12 may land six teams, maybe only five. Baylor’s back and forth, one step forward, one step back trend continued on Tuesday night in Stillwater. With their backs against the wall and needing a few solid wins to end the season, the Bears were defeated by double digits. However, I expect a much different Baylor team to show up tonight. In Austin, Texas won the first half against the Baylor zone, but lost the second half when the Bears went man. It will be interesting to see the type of defense Scott Drew elects to play tonight. A win for Baylor means the Bears have a shot at the NCAA tournament. A win for Texas means the ‘Horns regain some of their lost mojo. And if Missouri can somehow knock off KU this morning, then a win would also mean a split Big 12 title.

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