Big 12 Conference Tournament: Semifinals Feature Intriguing Combinations

Looking at the last four teams standing in the Big 12 this season, there are no surprises. Texas may have had sort of an up-and-down year, but the Longhorns have one of the best scorers in the conference in J'Covan Brown and he carried them to a big win over Iowa State in the quarterfinals.

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Baylor, too, seems to have found its footing in the tournament, while Mizzou and Kansas are almost gimmes for getting here. What's interesting now is the possible combination of matchups for the finals now:

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Kansas vs. Missouri - The Jayhawks have five losses this season and the last one came against Missouri back on Feb. 4. Kansas got its revenge in the second game, though that phantom Thomas Robinson foul caused lots of dissension on both sides. Since the Border War will officially go away with Mizzou's move to the SEC, this one would provide one last game between two heated rivals.

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Kansas vs. Texas - Though Kansas won the second matchup in Lawrence, the first is what makes this rematch very interesting. In Austin, a furious second-half comeback by Texas saw the Longhorns hold the lead with less than two minutes left. Kansas hit a layup, got fouled and hit the free throw to give them a 68-66 lead with 37 seconds left. J'Covan Brown missed two jumpers after that which could have tied the game. Given a second shot, don't you think he'll try to redeem himself?

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Baylor vs. Missouri - This is the biggest wildcard matchup out there. It could be a blowout, with Missouri winning just like it did during both regular season meetings. Or, it could be just as exciting as the other matchups we're talking about here. Missouri only won by 1 in Waco and Baylor has a little momentum going now. However, don't expect the outcome to be drastically different. Probably the fourth-best possible matchup.

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Baylor vs. Texas - Ahh, this is another tough choice, since Baylor has beaten Texas pretty easily in both their Big 12 matchups. Maybe Baylor just matches up poorly with Texas, which means this could be an extension of the regular season meetings. However, with a rivalry game between these two teams, all bets are off. Consider this my choice for the third-best game, with a possible bump to No. 2 if Texas could pull off the upset with some Brown magic.

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If I'm betting, I'd take Mizzou and Kansas meeting in the championship, but I could also see Texas making a play there. Either way, it should make for some fascinating games over the next two days.

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