Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesJanuary 13, 2011
Best Team: Colorado
Yes, Colorado. There isn't a person outside of Boulder that would have thought Colorado would start 2-0 in conference, beating two ranked teams. No. 9 Mizzou rolled in to town on Saturday and left with their tail tucked between their legs after losing to the Buffs by 13. Colorado won that game in large part due to taking care of the ball (only 10 turnovers) and a spectacular night from Alec Burks (36 points on 19 shots).
To put the cherry on their sundae, the Buffs traveled to Manhattan and knocked off the No. 20 Kansas State Wildcats by eight points. Colorado was led by Levi Knutson who came off the bench to drop 20 points including shooting six of eight from three-point land. Colorado might only be on a hot streak, but games against Oklahoma State and at Nebraska should give us an idea if they are a good team on a hot streak or a great team that beats not only other great teams but also the teams they SHOULD beat.
Team to Watch for: Texas A&M
The Aggies under Mark Turgeon are looking better than anyone could have imagined. They are 15-1 (2-0), with their sole loss coming to Boston College in only their fourth game of the season.
The Aggies don't wow you on the offensive end (72.9 PPG), but they aren't afraid to slow down the tempo and grind out games. In the multiple times I've seen A&M play this season, they make it incredibly difficult for their opponents to get clean looks playing defense for the full 35 seconds and rebounding well to close out the possession.
We'll get a gut check from the Aggies as Missouri rolls into College Station Saturday, and then, A&M travels to Austin to take on the rival Longhorns on Wednesday. (Baylor is also 2-0 in conference with a game at Iowa State before they host Kansas on Big Monday. We will know exactly who this team is by the middle of next week.)
|Kansas State Coach Frank Martin|
Disappointing Team: Kansas State
Kansas State started the year as a Big XII favorite and even had a voter put them as No. 1 on their preseason ballot. However, the Wildcats are looking like they could be this year's version of last year's Texas Longhorns (high expectations/ranking, poor result).
Kansas State has found themselves involved in off-the-court incidents as well as Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly have both served suspensions for accepting gifts from a department store. Kelly missed both the game at Oklahoma State and at home against Colorado (both of which were losses), and the Wildcats missed his production badly.
However, as Frank Martin predicted, they miss Denis Clemente more than most people expected. Clemente allowed Jacob Pullen (17.4 points on 42.5 percent shooting per game) to work primarily off the ball and gave the Wildcats another solid scoring option. With Kelly coming back to face Texas Tech, the Wildcats desperately need to get their footing before going on the Big 12's version of murder's row (@ Mizzou, @ A&M, vs. Baylor, @Kansas).
Games to Watch: A list of all the games to watch all the way until next Thursday
Missouri at Texas A&M (1 PM ET, ESPN2)
Oklahoma State at Colorado (1:30 PM ET, ESPN3)
Kansas State at Missouri (5:30 PM ET, ESPN)
Kansas at Baylor (9:30 PM ET, ESPN)
Texas A&M at Texas (9 PM ET, ET)