The No. 7 Kansas Jayhawks and No. 11 Kansas State Wildcats have to be considered the favorites to meet in the Big 12 tournament championship game. But they and the other top seeds in the conference may be in for a few pitfalls along the way.
No team has skipped through regular-season conference play unscathed, and you can bet that at some point even the cream of the crop will be tested.
Here are three matchups that could generate upsets in the Big 12 tournament.
Texas Longhorns vs. Kansas State Wildcats
The Longhorns knocked off TCU to reach the second round, and it isn't crazy to think they could take down the Wildcats.
Myck Kabongo has been on a tear since returning to the team from suspension (ESPN).
The sophomore guard is averaging 15.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game, and the team is now 6-3 since he returned.
He can put a team on his back, and he has demonstrated the ability take and make clutch shots. This bucket against Oklahoma on Feb. 27 is just one example:
In the Longhorns and Wildcats' last meeting on Feb. 23, Kansas State overcame Kabongo's 24 points to win 81-69, but the Wildcats were unconscious from three-point range in that game.
They made 9-of-18 from deep, and it is hard to expect them to recreate that type of shooting performance. Texas is just 15-16 on the season, but many of those losses came without Kabongo.
This team is better than their record, and they are capable of pulling a stunner.
Baylor Bears vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Though not as likely, the Bears also have a shot at knocking off a higher seed.
Baylor is the sixth seed and the Cowboys are just three seeds higher at three, but judging by the way the Bears have looked at times there may be a bigger gap.
That said, they just blew out the top-seeded Jayhawks on Saturday and have split two close games with the Cowboys during the regular season.
The talent is there for the Bears to beat any team in the conference, but defense is the key for this team.
They allow 75 points per game in their 13 losses, and only 66 per game for the season. They had an opportunity to knock off Kansas State on March 2, but fell asleep on defense on the crucial play.
Take a look at the lackluster effort from the Bears as Rodney McGruder drills the game-winner. If this team is going to pull the upset, and any other wins in the postseason, they must play better defense.
Kansas vs. Anyone
I still acknowledge the Jayhawks are the favorites, but this team's inconsistency is frightening. It is almost as if they are allergic to their own success.
Throughout the second half of this season, they have been tripped up just as they seemed poised to distance themselves from the other teams in the conference.
They hit a three-game losing streak in early Feb. and then there was the embarrassing blowout defeat to Baylor. They obviously have the talent with Ben McLemore, Jeff Withey and others to not only win the Big 12 tournament, but even the NCAA tournament.
However, their regular-season missteps makes them appear vulnerable to a postseason upset.
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