For the 8 of you that were reading my blogs on Tumblr, welcome to my new home here at Bleacher Report. By now we've all read how the Big 12 no longer has a part in the bubble drama (barring a total collapse from Oklahoma State,) but that doesn't mean that this weekend is complete devoid of excitement.
Texas at Baylor - 4:00 ET - ESPN
I don't know what fans of these teams call this game, so I'm naming it the "I-35 Throwdown." While Baylor fans consider this game a huge rivalry game, most Texas fans probably don't even know that their basketball team plays tomorrow. Which is, at once, an indictment of the type of fans they have as well as how seriously, or not, they take this game. To Baylor fans, this game is everything. For Texas fans, this game has always been a "rivalry" in the same way that parents have rivalries with their children.
That is until Baylor took down the Longhorns last year in the Big 12 Tournament. It was their first win over the Longhorns in their last twenty-four tries. Of course, last year's tournament game didn't mean nearly as much to the Longhorns as it did to the Bears. But then earlier this year, Baylor did the unthinkable. They beat Texas again, and this time they did it in the Frank Erwin Center.
The most heated part of this rivalry though isn't in the stands or on the court, it's on the sideline. After the loss last season, Rick Barnes said in reference to Scott Drew's recruiting practices that "there’s a line that he knows that he can’t cross with me, he knows that. He definitely knows that.” When another reporter asked a follow up question about whether Barnes had anything else to say about Drew, he replied, "I wish I could."
Despite what Barnes thinks though, if Baylor wins tomorrow, Scott Drew will have a strong case for Big 12 Coach of the Year after his Bears were picked 10th in the preseason Big 12 Coaches Poll. Also at stake for the Bears is a bye in the first round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament. A win would guarantee the Bears the 3 seed in the Big 12. Texas, as unlikely as it sounds, can also still earn a bye with a win and a Texas A&M loss at Oklahoma. People are forgetting, but despite their fall from #1, Texas has still earned 9 wins in the nation's toughest conference.
While Texas and Baylor are this weeks featured game, you will not want to miss this one either.
Other Big 12 Weekend Notes:
The Border War - 2:00 ET - CBS - The hatred of the Mizzou/Kansas rivalry is well documented, so no need for a Civil War history lesson, but expect the Tigers to be ready to play tomorrow. They are still in the running for a first round bye in the Big 12 Conference Tournament should they win and Baylor or Texas A&M lose. The Tigers could also get the by even if they lose if both Baylor and A&M lose. Kansas would also like to win this game since they were less than spectacular last weekend on the road, and while probably still the favorite to be the overall #1 seed in the NCAA's, they can't afford another loss to an unranked team.
Texas A&M at Oklahoma - 12:00 ET - ESPN - The only story line in this game deals with the Big 12 seed of Texas A&M. A win guarantees them no worse than 4th and the 1st round bye that goes with that, while a loss combined with a Texas win would drop the Aggies all the way to 6th.