After the Horns exacted revenge on the Aggies yesterday afternoon, the Kansas Jayhawks set up a revenge matchup of their own by taking down Nebraska. The championship showdown between the league's top two seeds is a great story for all involved. It's good for the league, good for the fans, and good for both of these top teams as they prepare for the Big Dance.
The outcome isn't likely to affect seeding much in the NCAA tournament, but there's definitely a lot at stake. For Texas, a chance to win their first ever Big 12 conference championship. For Kansas, a chance to avenge their 25 point drubbing against the Horns in Austin, and yet another Big 12 conference tournament championship.
The keys to this game are the same as before, only the young Kansas players are less likely to be overwhelmed, as they were in an unusually hostile Texas home environment. The championship game of the conference tourney brings a kind of pressure of its own, but there will undoubtedly be a strong contingent of Jayhawk fans in attendance to cheer on their young and continually improving squad.
After watching more and more of the Jayhawks, I continue to be impressed with their young players, but I'm not certain that they've evolved enough as of yet to beat the Longhorns. In particular, I'm not certain that they're going to be able to score enough against Texas. Meanwhile, since the horrific A&M loss, Texas has been playing outstanding offense, led by a resurrgent Daniel Gibson. To be sure, Tucker and Aldridge have been the big scorers for the offense, but it's Gibson's stronger, more aggressive play, that's helping to open up the floor and gotten the half court offense in to a better rhythm.
Texas won't win this one by 25 points again, but even though there's a chance the Horns could break down with weariness in the second half, I still think the talent/experience gap between the two teams remains too wide for Kansas to win.
The Horns get big games from Aldridge, Tucker and Gibson en route to their first ever Big 12 conference championship. The University of Texas Big 12 2005-2006 dominance continues. Horns win it, 69-64.