Big 12 Basketball Tournament 2011: Ranking the Potential Upsets
Today the 2011 Big 12 basketball tournament will get underway in Kansas City. The Big 12 is loaded this season with teams who could make some serious noise when the big dance starts next week. Aside from the Big East, the Big 12 is the most powerful conference in the country this season.
Kansas, Texas, Missouri, Kansas State and Texas A & M have all more or less punched their tickets to the big dance. Three teams on the bubble who are looking to get a tournament bid with a good showing in this year's tournament are: Nebraska, Baylor and Colorado.
However, before any team can look forward to next week's tournament, there is work to be done starting today in the conference tournament. Here are five potential upsets in this year's Big 12 basketball tournament.
5. Texas Tech over Missouri: 1st Round
One of the first round games today that has upset potential is Missouri vs. Texas Tech.
Missouri has already punched its ticket to the big dance. However, Texas Tech will be sitting at home this postseason unless they can pull off a miracle and win the entire Big 12 tournament.
It was announced on Monday that Texas Tech coach Pat Knight will not be returning next season. I am not really sure how the Red Raiders feel about coach Knight, but if they respect him at all they may be trying their best to send Knight out on a high note.
Keep an eye on Texas Tech in today's opening round.
4. Nebraska over Kansas: Potential 2nd Round Matchup
Assuming that Nebraska takes care of its business today against Oklahoma State, they will face Kansas in the second round of the tournament. Nebraska nearly upset Kansas in the first meeting between the two squads back in January.
Right now, Nebraska is one of the teams on the outside looking in. If they could pull off an upset against Kansas it would greatly improve their chances at making the field of 68.
Nebraska has already proven they can hang with Kansas. Nebraska will be playing for their postseason lives in this potential second round match-up.
3. Missouri over Texas: Potential Tournament Semifinal Matchup
If Missouri and Texas advance through the first two rounds as expected, the two teams will play for a chance to advance to the tournament championship.
While both teams stumbled at the end of the regular season, both are locks to be in be in next week's tournament. Texas is a top ten ranked team. However, the teams' rosters are much more competitive than the rankings indicate.
2. Colorado over Kansas State: Potential 2nd Round Matchup
Colorado is another Big 12 team on the bubble that is in need of a quality showing in this week's tournament in hopes of playing next week. The Buffaloes have beaten Kansas State twice this season. However, this was before the Wildcats' current six game winning streak.
Everyone will point to the fact that this a different Kansas State team, but Colorado has the confidence from the first two games this season to pull off another upset.
Kansas State over Kansas: Potential Tournament Semifinal Matchup
The Wildcats turned their season around with a 84-68 win over the Jayhawks in February. Since that victory, the Wildcats have arguably been the hottest team in the country. I don't know if I speak for everyone, but I am certainly hoping these two teams end up locking horns in this year's tournament.
If this is the case, expect Jacob Pullen to follow up his 38 point performance from last month with another spectacular performance in a victory over Kansas.