BIG 12 MEN’S BASKETBALL UPDATE (Feb. 25, 2008): Horns, Wildcats tip off tonight at Kansas State

by dentonramsey

BIG 12 MEN’S BASKETBALL UPDATE (Feb. 25, 2008): Horns, Wildcats tip off tonight at Kansas State

By Denton Ramsey, NCAA Sportswriter/Big 12 Fans Baylor Correspondent

 

WACO, Texas – There’s been quite a shuffle in the Big 12 in just a week’s worth of men’s basketball games.

After facing a possible three-way tie for first place after Saturday’s showdowns in conference play, there are now three distinct positions for first through third place – while the Big 12 now boasts a four-way tie for fourth.

With big upsets in weekend contests – including a Kansas loss to Oklahoma State, a Texas A&M loss to Nebraska, and a must-win Baylor victory over Kansas State, the Wildcats second straight conference loss – two teams, Texas A&M and Kansas State, dropped out of top-25 polls.

The Texas Longhorns now sit alone as the Big 12 leader at 10-2 and Kansas, meanwhile, holds a secure spot in second at 9-3 while Kansas State rounds out the top three with an 8-4 conference record.

Tonight’s Big 12 match-up, scheduled to be televised on ESPN beginning at 8 p.m. CT as part of Big Monday, pits Texas on the road at Kansas State – as the Longhorns aim to increase their lead in conference standings.

On Tuesday, Feb. 26, Oklahoma State travels to Missouri for an 8 p.m. hardwood battle slated to be televised on ESPNU.

Eight teams shoot for higher positions in the conference when facing off against Big 12 opponents on Wednesday, Feb. 27, beginning with an ESPN-televised contest as Kansas travels to Iowa State for a 6 p.m. CT tip off.

At 7 p.m., two conference match-ups – Oklahoma at Nebraska (not televised) and Texas Tech at Texas A&M (ESPN+) – will give fans and coaches alike a better understanding of where teams sit in conference standings.

Baylor, sitting amongst a pack of teams in a four-way tie for fourth place, heads to Colorado for a game slated to be televised locally on FSN Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT to close out a full-slate of Big 12 games on Wednesday.

After a three-day break from NCAA men’s basketball action, all 12 teams return to the hardwood on Saturday, March 1 – Nebraska at Oklahoma State (12:30 p.m., ESPN+), Texas A&M at Oklahoma (1 p.m., ESPN), Missouri at Baylor (3 p.m., ESPN+), Texas at Texas Tech (3 p.m., CBS), Iowa State at Colorado (4 p.m., ESPN Classic) and Kansas State at Kansas (8 p.m., ESPN).

 

Current Big 12 Men’s Basketball Standings (02.25.08)

                                    Big 12              Overall             National Ranking (ESPN)

Texas                           10-2                 23-4                 5

Kansas                         9-3                   24-3                 7

Kansas State                8-4                   18-8                

Texas A&M                 6-6                   20-7                

Baylor                          6-6                   18-8                

Oklahoma                    6-6                   18-9                

Texas Tech                   6-6                   15-11              

Nebraska                     5-7                   16-9                

Missouri                       5-7                   15-12              

Oklahoma State            5-7                   14-12              

Iowa State                    4-8                   14-13              

Colorado                      2-10                 10-16              

 

Conference Standings Scenarios

Regardless of Monday’s outcome, the worst case scenario for the Horns would be a half-game lead over Kansas (if Texas falls to Kansas State) in Big 12 standings.

Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s conference contests, meanwhile, will have major impacts on area standings as the results from the college hardwood pour in late Wednesday evening – and based on Big 12 positioning alone the conference standings may not change much, although there will likely be a two-way tie for fourth place come Thursday morning.

 

Weekly Notes: Big 12 Hoops

Eleven of the 12 conference teams have an overall record of .500 or better, tied with the highly touted Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for the highest percentage of teams of any conference.

In addition, the Big 12 has six teams with 18 wins or more – with only the Big East (seven teams) boasting a higher number of squads with 18-plus victories.

The conference also leads the nation in victories and winning percentage against 2008 nationally-ranked non-district opponents.

Seven teams also sit amongst the top-65 according to RPI ratings – a major factor in deciding NCAA tournament teams – including Texas (5), Kansas (8), Oklahoma (24), Kansas State (31), Baylor (39), Texas A&M (54) and Texas Tech (63).

 

Big 12 Weekly Awards

On Monday, Feb. 25, the Big 12 Conference announced the weekly award winners in NCAA men’s basketball action – with Texas and Kansas State both receiving the honors for individual achievements.

This week’s player of the week was awarded to Longhorns sophomore guard D.J. Augustin, who averaged 23.0 points and 6.0 assists in Texas’ two conference victories this past week.

Rookie of the week honors for the week of Feb. 25 once again went to Kansas State’s NBA-bound Michael Beasley – where despite his Wildcats two-game losing streak this past week, the freshman-phenom scored a league-record 44 points in a loss to Baylor (while shooting a picture perfect 15-of-15 from the charity stripe and pulling down 13 rebounds).

Beasley’s rookie of the week honor was also the fifth consecutive time for Kansas State’s young star to garner the award, and the ninth overall for the freshman forward this season – one shy of the Big 12 record for combined honors set by former Texas star Kevin Durant (four player honors and six rookie honors) one year ago.

 

 

Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at denton.ramsey@gmail.com

 

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