Twelve straight, close calls and the Red River Rivalry highlighted Week 10 in Big 12 Conference play.
The Kansas Jayhawks secured at least a share of their twelfth straight Big 12 title with their 67-58 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lawrence. The Jayhawks have simply been the most dominant team in this conference for a decade-plus through marquee players, teams and their head coach Bill Self, who’s winning percentage at Kansas has been simply astounding.
The Big 12 conference has tough matchups every night and because of that, there were a lot of tight wins. Five games were decided by 10 points of less; the closest game was a 71-70 Texas Longhorn’s victory over the Kansas State Wildcats in Manhattan.
The Red River Rivalry part two highlighted Super Saturday in Big 12 land as the No. 25 Texas Longhorns demolished the No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners, 76-63 in Austin. The Longhorns were simply dominant in the second half holding the Sooners to just 23 points. Texas clamped down defensively forcing Oklahoma to shot only 38% from the floor as well as being outrebounded by 12.
Kansas Jayhawks (25-4) (13-3): Nine straight wins and another Big 12 Title in the books. Kansas picked up a tight win at home over a tough Texas Tech Red Raiders squad, 67-58. The game was simple, the Jayhawks dominated picking up an 18-point lead then watched it slipped away as the Red Raiders cut the lead down to nine; from that point Kansas clamped down on both ends and secured a big victory to ensure their 12th straight conference title.
Game Notes: Player To Watch: Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. Mykhailiuk has simply been a star coming off the bench for the Jayhawks and he dominated the Red Raiders nailing five from beyond the arc and finishing the day with 17 points.
Next Up: @ No. 25 Texas Longhorns
West Virginia Mountaineers (22-7) (11-5): West Virginia had no problems in Stillwater as they trampled the Oklahoma State Cowboys, 70-56. Every Mountaineer that logged minutes scored this game, and were lead by Jaysean Paige’s 17. West Virginia’s full court press also reeked havoc against the Cowboys forcing 19 turnovers and 11 steals. The Mountaineers also controlled the glass, with a dominating 17-rebound advantage.
Game Notes: Double-Double: Forward Devin Williams recorded his 13th double double of the season with 13 points and 15 rebounds in the victory.
Next Up: V. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Oklahoma Sooners (22-6) (10-6): So what happened to Oklahoma’s offense? Specifically the other guys as forwards Ryan Spangler (2 points/1-5 shooting), Khadeem Lattin (zero points) and guard Isaiah Cousins (3-13 shooting/1-5 from three) have proved to be wildly inconsistent and below-average defensively. These deficiencies was evident in their 76-63 loss to the Texas Longhorns in Austin. Oklahoma only mustered 23-second half points and couldn’t stop any Longhorn guard as four guards finished the day in double figures.
Game Notes: Player To Watch: Guard Buddy Hield. Hield notched 33 points and six rebounds in the defeat. Hield nailed six three’s in this contest and needs only four more to set the Big 12 season record.
Next Up: V. No. 19 Baylor Bears
Baylor Bears (20-7) (9-5): Saturday was “blowout city” as the Baylor Bears destroyed the TCU Horned Frogs, 86-71 in Fort Worth. Jonathan Motley and the Bears simply dominated the inside outrebounding the Horned Frogs by 24. As for Motley, he went 7-12 finishing the night with 22 points and nine rebounds. With the win, Baylor matched a school record with their sixth road victory.
Game Notes: Good News: Taurean Prince has been one of the most dominant players in the Big 12 scoring in double figures in 12 straight games. Prince finished this game with 22 points and eight rebounds.
Next Up: @ No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners
Texas Longhorns (19-10) (10-6): Texas might not be the best but they sure know how to beat the best. The Longhorns have the most wins (4) against AP Top 10 opponents and continued this trend as they dethroned the Oklahoma Sooners, 76-63. Texas has found its advantage through their guard-play as four longhorns reached double figures. Guards like, Isaiah Taylor (18 points) and Javan Felix (14 points) along with bench stars Kerwin Roach Jr. (12 points) and Eric Davis Jr. (10 points) have made Texas a living nightmare to defend.
Game Notes: The Longhorns played Texas-Sized defense against Oklahoma holding them the Sooners to 38% shooting from the field.
Next Up: No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks
Iowa State Cyclones (20-9) (9-7): Hilton Coliseum has treated the Cyclones well were they are (12-2) as picked up a big 80-61 win over the Kansas State Wildcats in Ames. Five Cyclones hit the double-digit mark scoring led by guard Matt Thomas who hit five three-pointers and finished the night with 20 points. The silver medal goes to forward Georges Niang. The savvy forward poured in 17 points and three assists in the win.
Game Notes: Bench Shout-Out: The embattled sophomore forward Jameel McKay came up with a strong double double with 14 points and 17 rebounds along with three stuffs in Iowa State’s win.
Next Up: Oklahoma State Cowboys
Texas Tech Red Raiders (18-10) (8-8): The Red Raiders put up a good fight but just fell short in their 67-58 defeat to the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence. Texas Tech has a solid young core of players in forwards Justin Gray, Zach Smith and Aaron Ross who, although young, are good rebounders that are finding there way offensively. As for this game, senior guard Toddrick Gotcher who finished this game with 20 points and two assists.
Game Notes: The Red Raiders are simply beastly on the glass thanks to, Zach Smith (14 rebounds) and Aaron Ross (eight rebounds).
Next Up: @ No. 14 West Virginia Mountaineers
Kansas State Wildcats (15-14) (4-12): Three straight losses has the Wildcats on the outside looking in as K-State got demolished 80-61 to the Iowa State Cyclones in Ames. The combination of guards Justin Edwards and Barry Brown went 5-17 from the field, struggling mightily. K-State struggled even more mightily defending as the Cyclones shot 55% from the field in their defeat.
Game Notes: Rising Star: Forward D.J. Johnson, after battling ravenous basketball injuries, the junior forward has transformed into a star for the Wildcats. Johnson was excellent in this game pouring in 22 points and nine rebounds in the loss.
Next Up: TCU Horned Frogs
Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-17) (3-13): Four straight losses for the Cowboys, this one a 70-56 defeat to the West Virginia Mountaineers in Stillwater. Oklahoma State struggled in all facets off the game, offensively only two players reached double figures and defensively being outrebounded by 17.
Game Notes: Oklahoma State did one thing right; force West Virginia into some tough shots as the Mountaineers only shot 37% from the field.
Next Up: @ No. 17 Iowa State Cyclones
TCU Horned Frogs (11-18) (2-14): TCU played great offensively but forgot to play defense in their 86-71 defeat to the Baylor Bears. The Horned Frogs allowed the Bears to shoot 49% from the field. TCU was lethal from three, hitting 8-15 for 53% from the field.
Game Notes: Player To Watch: Guard Malique Trent. The sophomore guard went 6-13 from the field scoring 25 points and four steals in the defeat. Trent has now reached double figures in the last four games.