The SEC-Big 12 Challenge highlight week six in Big 12 play. The Big 12 won seven of their 10 total matchups against the SEC.
The biggest three matchups were: Iowa State-Texas A&M, Oklahoma-LSU and Kansas-Kentucky. The Aggies of A&M broke away from the Cyclones late in the second half, outscoring them by 10 in their 72-62 victory. The Sooners of Oklahoma won a 77-75 nail-bitter over the Tigers, thanks largely to Isaiah Cousins jumper as time expired. The Jayhawks of Kansas had plenty of opportunities to put away the Wildcats but 17 missed free throws and clutch shooting by Kentucky forced the game to overtime. In Overtime, Kansas prevailed 90-84 over Kentucky, thanks largely to Wayne Selden Jr.’s career-high 33 points.
This is the Big 12 Power Rankings: Week Six
- Oklahoma Sooners (18-2) (6-2): Buddy Hield is a man among boys. The Oklahoma guard poured in 32 points and seven boards in the Sooners 77-75 win over the LSU Tigers. Hield accounted for 8 of Oklahoma’s 14 triples hit, including seven in the second half. But Buddy Hield wasn’t the only key to the Sooners victory: enter Ryan Spangler. The senior forward made a big impact with 16 points and 10 boards, playing awesome defense forcing LSU star Ben Simmons into five turnovers.
Game Notes: Among the stars in this matchup, the biggest might have been Isaiah Cousins. The savvy New York guard, poured in 18 points, including the biggest one: the game-winning jumper as time expired.
Next Up: V. TCU Horned Frogs
- Baylor Bears (17-4) (6-2): Rico Gathers and the Baylor Bears had their way down low in their 83-73 win over the Georgia Bulldogs. Gathers hauled in a double double with 17 points and 10 boards, while forwards Taurean Prince and Jonathan Motley chipped in 13 points and 12 points, respectively. When Baylor gets this kind of production from their frontcourt, they prove to be very difficult to defeat.
Game Notes: The Bear’s biggest keys to this victory were free throws as they converted 28 from the charity stripe and their bench production as they outscored the Bulldogs, 26-7.
Next Up: V. Texas Longhorns
- West Virginia Mountaineers (17-4) (6-2): The Mountaineers got knocked out early in their 88-71 blow out thrashing to the Florida Gators in Gainesville. West Virginia’s defense/pressure was awful allowing the Gators to shoot 53% from the field, including a whooping 60% from beyond the arc: ouch.
Game Notes: West Virginia has to get more production out of their starting five; only two players scored in double figures in the defeat. Suggestion: start guard Jaysean Paige or Tarik Phillip, who scored 15 points apiece in the defeat and have played well offensively and defensively within their minutes played.
Next Up: @ No. 13 Iowa State Cyclones
- Kansas Jayhawks (17-4) (5-3): Wayne Selden Jr. was not going to be denied and “willed” the Kansas Jayhawks to a 90-84 overtime win over the Kentucky Wildcats. Selden Jr. poured in a career-high 33 points with seven boards in the victory. Kansas also got nice contributions from the duo of Frank Mason and Devonte Graham who poured in 13 points and 11 points, respectively. The necessity from guard was imminent as Perry Ellis struggled with foul trouble and shot selection throughout the majority of the game.
Game Notes: The bench production was key in this one as the Jayhawks outscored the Wildcats, 20-12. Things to work on: free throw shooting. Kansas missed 17 free throws and that usually will result in a defeat, so that aspect needs improvement quickly.
Next Up: V. Kansas State Wildcats
- Iowa State Cyclones (16-4) (5-3): Turnovers and missed shots domed the Cyclones in their 72-62 defeat to the Texas A&M Aggies. Iowa State had only one starting Cyclone score in double figures in Georges Niang, who had a solid afternoon with 15 points and six rebounds. The Cyclones couldn’t convert from the free throw line either only making 4-12.
Game Notes: Guard Deonte Burton had another impressive showing scoring 11 points-four rebounds-two steals-two blocks in the defeat.
Next Up: V. No. 14 West Virginia Mountaineers
- Texas Longhorns (14-7) (5-3): Texas’s depth at every position has proved to be a major impact in every single contest the Longhorns have played; this game was no different as the Longhorns bench outscored the Commodores, 33-8 in Texas’s 72-58 blowout of Vanderbilt. The Longhorns have a legitimate five-deep guard rotation with Isaiah Taylor, Kendal Yancy, Javan Felix, Kerwin Roach Jr. and Eric Davis Jr. With that depth, Texas has proven to be a tough out in nearly every game they play.
Game Notes: Four Longhorns scored in double figures in this contest, led by Kerwin Roach Jr. who went 5-10, for 15 points along with 11 boards and four steals in the victory.
Next Up: @ No. 15 Baylor Bears
- Kansas State Wildcats (13-8) (2-6): Kansas State flexed their muscles in a tight 69-64 victory over the Ole Miss Rebels. Despite 18 turnovers, the Wildcats balanced scoring (four players in double figures) willed them to win. Kansas State also played efficient defense forcing the Rebels into 39% shooting and clamping down on guard Stefan Moody. Moody, one of the best guards in the nation was held to just 10 points and three turnovers in the loss.
Game Notes: Player To Watch: D.J. Johnson. The junior forward tallied 14 points and seven boards in a Wildcat victory.
Next Up: @ No. 7 Kansas Jayhawks
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (12-8) (2-6): Texas Tech has an act for losing games and they did once again, falling 75-68 to the Arkansas Razorbacks in overtime. The Red Raiders were awful offensively f going 1-13 from beyond the arc along with not playing much defense, as the Razorbacks were efficient scoring 24 shots off 15 assists.
Game Notes: Start Aaron Ross. The junior forward from Arkansas, made a nice impact scoring 14 points along with grabbing nine boards in the defeat. Ross simply would make an impact in place of Matthew Temple, who just hasn’t gotten the job done this year.
Next Up: V. Oklahoma State Cowboys
- Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-10) (2-6): Where Juwan Evans goes; the Cowboys follow. Evans poured in 21 points in Oklahoma State’s 74-63 victory over the Auburn Tigers. The Cowboys defense was elite holding the Tigers to just 29% shooting and 21% from three.
Game Notes: Impact Performance: Forward Chris Oliver, who scored 16 points along with a couple of boards for the Cowboys in their win.
Next Up: @ Texas Tech Red Raiders
- TCU Horned Frogs (10-11) (1-7): Four Horned Frogs scored in double figures in TCU’s 75-63 win over the Tennessee Volunteers. Guard Malique Trent, who poured in 15 points-five assists-two rebounds in the win, led TCU. The Horned Frogs defense wasn’t too shabby either, holding the Volunteers to just 33% from the field.
Game Notes: Forward Karviar Shepherd went 6-10 scoring 13 points and six rebounds off the bench in a TCU win. Shepherd could be a key role player for the Horned Frogs moving forward.
Next Up: @ No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners