I could start today by making fun of the Big East, but I'm not. Because until your conference does something worth bragging about, you can't really make fun of another one. The Big 12's first day was amazingly predictable. Kansas slogs through most of the game and then pulls away late? Seen it. Kansas State rolls a lesser opponent? Baylor playing terrible team basketball but still finding a way to win? Been there. And that overtime performance Texas pulled sums up their entire season. Pull away early, everything is looking good, and then an epic collapse. We didn't see anything new or surprising out of the Big 12 yesterday, but today is going to be different.Today is the Big 12's time to shine.
Texas A&M faces a tough opponent in Utah State in a game that is sure to be gloriously boring. The real question in this game is going to be which Aggies have the ability to control the tempo which In Texas A&M's case, for the first time ever, they will probably try to speed up. Utah State is a team that executes well in the halfcourt and loves playing slow, A&M's biggest advantage is their athletes (because it's sure not their shooting) so look for Mark Turgeon to try to exploit that advantage. Let's not forget that Texas A&M rolled their last three opponents when Dash Harris was on the floor.
Missouri is facing Clemson, and somewhere James Naismith is rolling over in his grave. This game will either be played at a tempo so fast that the officials are going to be calling extra fouls to get a break, or it's going to be played at a disappointingly slow pace because both teams are afraid of each other. Let's all hope it's the former and that we see about 449 turnovers.
And then there's Oklahoma State. Playing, of all people, Georgia Tech. How can anyone possibly even attempt to get their minds around either one of these teams. Oklahoma State beat Kansas, but then gets murdered at A&M. Shoots the lights out in Kansas City one day, then couldn't throw it in the ocean the next. But Georgia Tech is even harder to read. They lost 6 of their last 8 before going on a run in the ACC tournament.
These three games have three different personalities. One is a Big 12 top third team taking on a midmajor. One is the underdog against a team that is practically a clone of itself with better athletes. And the last features two teams that don't even know how good they are. Even though Baylor had a close one yesterday, the Big 12's top 3 teams advanced. If today goes as well, you'll have my permission to start texting your Big East friends.
Be careful though, because just because the conference is looking terrible, it doesn't mean that West Virginia and Syracuse will.