This week the Big 12 gave us the Sunflower Showdown, a series of blowouts and two huge upsets.
Kansas and Kansas State faced off in Lawrence for the Sunflower Showdown: Part I, Wednesday night. The Jayhawks topped the Wildcats in a tough battle, winning 77-59. This was Kansas’s 36 straight home win as they scored 30 points off Kansas State turnovers, the most since 2011.
This was one of two Jayhawk blowouts during the week, the second coming Saturday as Kansas destroyed the TCU Horned Frogs, 75-56, off Perry Ellis’s big day. Ellis, a senior from Wichita, Kansas tallied his third double double of the season with 23 points-10 rebounds. Super Saturday also included a pair of blowouts in West Virginia’s 80-69 victory over Baylor at home and a big upset in Kansas State defeating the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners, 80-69 in Manhattan.
Big Monday highlighted a premiere Big 12 matchup as the Baylor Bears hosted the Texas Longhorns. It was the Longhorns who upset the Bears, 67-59 in a big road win for Shaka Smart’s squad. The Longhorns were led by forward Connor Lambert, who had himself a night pouring in 15 points, five rebounds and three assists in the victory.
West Virginia Mountaineers (19-4) (8-2): Five straight wins and counting in Big 12 play for the Mountaineers, this one, a 80-69 victory over the Baylor Bears. West Virginia has found its strength through its guard play where players like, Jaysean Paige (17 points), Daxter Miles Jr. (20 points) and Tarik Phillip (7 points-3 rebounds) have excelled.
Game Notes: Forward Devin Williams has made his imprint in a big way against Baylor scoring 16 points and grabbing seven boards in a Mountaineers win.
Next Up: @ No. 7 Kansas Jayhawks
Oklahoma Sooners (19-3) (7-3): The state of Kansas has not treated the Oklahoma Sooners well, as they have lost both meetings to Kansas and this week, Kansas State, being upset 80-69. The Sooners were awful defensively allowing the Wildcats to shot 53% from the field. Oklahoma’s bench was outscored 32-10 for the game as well, but Isaiah Cousin’s technical foul in crucial crunch time, ultimately cost the Sooners the game.
Game Notes:I.A. Jordan Woodard. The junior guard was held scoreless and looked largely lost the majority of the game.
Next Up: V. Texas Longhorns
Kansas Jayhawks (19-4) (7-3): Back to back blowouts for Kansas taking down the likes, of Kansas State at home and TCU in Fort Worth this week. The Jayhawks are hot, winners of their last three, a big reason: Perry Ellis. Ellis has been dominant in Big 12 play, specifically the last two games: v. Kansas State (19 points-five rebounds) and @ TCU (23 points-10 rebounds).
Game Notes: The struggle of Frank Mason paired with the inconsistency of Wayne Selden Jr. has really put the Jayhawks in a weird position offensively. This position has been filled well by the Jayhawk bench. Kansas poured in 18 points in a blowout win versus the Horned Frogs and will be crucial moving forward.
Next Up: No. 14 West Virginia Mountaineers
Texas Longhorns (16-7) (7-3): Texas picked up a huge 69-59 win over Texas Tech at home through Javan Felix’s big afternoon. Felix led at Longhorns in scoring with 20 points, but the Texas defense stole the show. The Longhorns held the Red Raiders to just 39% shooting from the field.
Game Notes: Bench Production: Freshman stud Kerwin Roach Jr., has been solid for the Longhorns coming off the bench, tallying 12 points and seven boards in this contest.
Next Up: @ No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners
Baylor Bears (17-6) (6-4): Back to back losses, this one a 80-69 thrashing to the West Virginia Mountaineers. The Bear struggled in all facets of the game especially from beyond the arc, where they only converted 25%. The biggest disappointment this outing was Taurean Prince, who struggled mightily going 5-17. Prince, the senior forward has shot under 40% the last three outings, all Baylor losses.
Game Notes: Lester Medford wasn’t much better for the Bears, only shooting (2-11). Baylor needs Medford and Prince to improve vastly if they expect to stay competitive in the Big 12.
Next Up: @ Kansas State Wildcats
Iowa State Cyclones (17-6) (6-4): The Cyclones picked up a key road win, 64-59 against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater. Georges Niang was a beast with 18 points and nine boards in the victory. The Cyclones played excellent defense clamping the Cowboys to just 26% shooting beyond the arc.
Game Notes: The triple threat of guards, Deonte Burton (11 points), Matt Thomas (16 points) and Monte Morris (16 points) all reached double figures in the win. In addition, they held the Cowboys triple threat of guards into 41% shooting.
Next Up: @ Texas Tech Red Raiders
Kansas State Wildcats (14-9) (3-7): Kansas State picked up one of their biggest wins of this season defeating the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners, 80-69 at home. The Wildcats bench ignited this matchup with 32 points and forward Dean Wade leading the charge. Wade, a freshman forward, poured in 17 points and seven rebounds in the victory.
Game Notes: Player To Watch: Forward Wesley Iwundu. Iwundu was big for the Wildcats as he dominated the Sooners from the get-go, finishing with 22 points and seven assists in the win.
Next Up: No. 15 Baylor Bears
Texas Tech Red Raiders (13-9) (3-7): Losers of their last four of five, the Red Raiders lost another one, 69-59 defeat to the Texas Longhorns. Texas Tech missed 30 total shots in the contest for a 39% field goal percentage: ouch.
Game Notes: Only two Red Raiders reached double figures this game. Tech also surrendered a 49% field goal percentage to the Longhorns as well.
Next Up: No. 13 Iowa State Cyclones
Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-12) (2-8): Oklahoma State left their defense in Lubbock Texas, as they couldn’t defend anything in their 64-59 loss to the No. 13 Iowa State Cyclones. The Cowboys especially struggled to defend the three as they gave up 10 treys to the Cyclones throughout the game.
Game Notes: Sophomore guard Jeffery Carroll had one of his best games, scoring 18 points with seven rebounds in the loss.
Next Up: @ TCU Horned Frogs
TCU Horned Frogs (10-13) (1-9): Seven straight losses for the Horned Frogs, this one a 75-56 blowout to the No. 7 Kansas Jayhawks at home. TCU’s defense was porous allowing the Jayhawks to shoot 50% from the field. Specifically their interior defense needs improvement as they were whooped by the likes of Perry Ellis (23-10 rebounds), Jamari Traylor (six points-seven rebounds) and Landen Lucas (eight points-three rebounds).
Game Notes: The Horned Frogs have found a niche of getting to the free throw line as they converted 68% of them shooting (23-33) in the defeat.