Day 1 Recap
I think I've got it figured out. In order to make ends meet in this tough economy, Missouri decided it was best that they go ahead and check out of the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday. Maybe they'll be able to afford to eat in the NCAA Tournament now. That's the only reason I can come up with for how terrible Missouri looked yesterday. They looked frantic and disorganized (which isn't saying a lot because they normally thrive on looking frantic and disorganized) but they weren't able to get Nebraska out of their game. Which is pretty amazing because I didn't even know Nebraska had a "game."
The other big story (or at least the announcers sure wish it were) was Texas' awesome and overpowering seven point win over Iowa State. Which was awesome! You know why? Me either. The last time the two played, when Texas was just about to begin their nosedive to mediocrity, you know what happened? Texas won by seven.
Final note on Day 1, did Keiton Page file a restraining order against the entire Oklahoma Roster? There had to be some reason why nobody in crimson and cream was ever within ten feet of him. You could zoom out on this picture about 18 times before you ever see an Oklahoma player.
Why You Should Watch Day 2
I'm not really sure why you should watch the early session. These two games are both likely to be blow outs. The only way Kansas or A&M could lose is if they decide to sit their starters or only attempt shots backwards. Actually, the Kansas bench could probably make a pretty good run at Tech. All A&M or Kansas has to do is make a conscious effort to all show up on time and they should cruise.
Can the Cowboys Pull it Off?
You'll have to excuse me for not being that impressed that OSU blew out OU. The Sooners haven't won a game since the first weekend of February. What was impressive was the shooting display that Keiton Page put on last night, especially in the first half. The Cowboys will face a much tougher opponent today though in Kansas State. The Wildcats will be looking to impress the committee after losing to Iowa State on Saturday.
(Side note: In another brilliant display of their knowledge of basketball, in a post game interview last night one of the hosts of the Dr. Pepper/Phillips 66/Chick Fil-A Big 12 Network asked Travis Ford why his teams seem to get hot down the stretch. I guess he missed the 15 point beatdown Texas A&M put on them an entire week ago when OSU shot 8 of 33 behind the arc.)
Will Barnes and Drew Finally Throwdown?
Baylor fans are really excited that Texas won, but I'm not sure that they should be. Since Saturday I'm sure that Rick Barnes has told his team that the player in the green #4 jersey is actually in play and that they should consider blocking him out and maybe standing between him and the rim once or twice. It would be really hard for Texas to play any worse than they did on Saturday, and it would be pretty hard for Baylor to play better. (Yes I know the bears only shot 31% from 3, but they shot 72% from 2 and 88% at the line) I actually wouldn't be surprised if Texas wins this game, and it has nothing to do with them being back to mid-season form. It has everything to do with how embarrassed they were on Saturday in Waco. I also wouldn't be surprised if Baylor just absolutely runs Texas into the ground sending Brent Musburger into a complete depression and causing Bobby Knight to get noticeably angry with how poorly Barnes has managed his team this season. (Well Brent... um... if I were the coach... the first thing I'd do... is take the Hamilton kid... and sit him until he learned to maybe pass the ball.)
Texas has problems with Baylor for more reasons than the obvious fact that the monstars came and stole all of their talent in mid- January. Do they try to slow the game down? Slowing down the tempo keeps Baylor guards in check, but it also forces Texas to try to run a half court offense against Baylor's zone. (which will probably always be shifted about half a man towards the side of the court Damion James is on.) They aren't very good at doing that anyway, and with J'Covan Brown apparently in the doghouse I wouldn't expect it to improve much. Do they try to speed it up? A faster paced game frees up Damion James in the open court while also given Jordan Hamilton more looks on the break and limiting how much Avery Bradley has to dribble. However, it increases the likelihood of losing track of Tweety Carter and Lace Dunn on the defensive end and in transition.
Suffice it to say that with Texas' inconsistent offense and Baylor's propensity for 3 point shots that I'm expecting this game to not at all resemble either of the other 2. I think Barnes is going to come out trying something new. Hopefully.