As we begin our climb toward the top of the 'XII', we have two teams with the rank of the third seed. So, we will start with the luckiest team on the planet, the Misery (oops) Missouri Tigers. Missouri starts tournament play against the Big Red of Cornell. Winner of the Ivy league conference. Missouri owes a big debt of gratitude to Oklahoma State and Baylor. Thier victories over Kansas and OU made Missouri's path to the Big XII title game trouble free. After beating the number one and two seeds, Baylor and O-State could no longer help themselves, but the damage had already been done. Thier victories cleared the path for Missouri and to thier number three seed in the big dance, and slammed the door on deserving teams like St. Marys, a team that deserves a three seed in the dance.
The other number 3: the Kansas Jayhawks. Rock-Chalk- Jayhawk. I am not a Kansas fan, but the respect I have for this team, and its program is great. They won't be tested however till the second round, when I am betting West Virginia will be there waiting in the wings; and after that game, the only wings the Mountianeers see will be the ones on the aircraft carring them back to Morgantown. The Jayhawks are a certified final four team. I honestly believe that thier are only two teams that can beat them, first, the Oklahoma Sooners, and the other is THEMSELVES. If Kansas plays up to thier capibilites, they are unstoppible.
Finally, we come to the number two seed in the south: the Oklahoma Sooners. However the Sooners are a 'Jeckyl and Hyde' team. As Forrest Gump would say, " you never know which one your going to get." After Blake Griffins injury in the Texas game in Austin, he was unable to return in time for the Kansas game at home, both games the Sooners lost. Blake returned for the game against Texas Tech in Lubbock, the Sooners won by double digits. The point being, the Sooners are consistantly inconsistant. They lost to Mizzou in Columbia, the Cowboys in the second round of the conference tournament. What I am wondering is this: will the team that won the NIT by beating Purdue in Madison Square Garden,show-up and dominate; or will it be the team that lost to Oklahoma State in the Ford Center in Oklahoma city. It will be interesting to see.
The Sooners have the ability to be a final four team; with Blake Griffin drawing double teams, they will need Willie Warren, and the other Griffin brother to step up, not only on offense, but play tight, smothering defense. If they can bring all of that together, and keep consistently playing tough in every game..they won't be stopped..by anyone.