Texas A&M and Oklahoma will open the Big 12 tournament at 6 p.m. Wednesday, but will either team have a shot at winning big this year in Kansas City?
Well, I think this is the Aggies best chance of getting a victory this year, since these two teams just met last weekend and Oklahoma barely won 65-62 in Norman. The Aggies came away from their first matchup with an 81-75 overtime victory back on Jan. 21.
That says the Aggies can upset Oklahoma tonight. The problem is after that. In order for Texas A&M to make the NCAA tournament for a seventh straight season, it needs to win the Big 12 tournament. That gets harder when the Aggies have to face Kansas in the second round (if they beat the Sooners).
Kansas certainly looks like the prohibitive favorites to come out of Kansas City with a title. Missouri and Baylor are probably next in line for this title and as a basketball fan, I find myself wanting to see another Mizzou-Kansas game before things are over.
Baylor certainly has the talent to make noise, but they've been struggling late in the season. The Bears went 3-2 downt the stretch and are just 4-4 in their last eight games. That includes losses to Iowa State and Kansas State and sweeps at the hands of both Kansas and Missouri. If Baylor somehow finds itself this week, they could be a dangerous team in the tournament, but they need a little momentum right now.
Speaking of K-State and ISU, both could be sleepers in this tournament. The Mayor, Fred Hoiberg, won Big 12 Coach of the Year after leading Iowa State to a 22-9 overall record and a 12-6 mark in the Big 12. The Cyclones also went 4-1 in their final five games, with the only loss coming at Missouri. K-State, on the other hand, seems like the kind of program who might win three games this week and just as easily could lose in the first round. The Wildcats were swept by Iowa State and Kansas while splitting with Texas.
Oh, and don't count out the Longhorns either. J'Covan Brown may be the best pure scorer in the Big 12 this season. The question will be what his supporting cast can do around him. Brown has the talent to put this team on his back and take them to the semifinals, but I think Texas needs more of an effort from the rest of the squad if they want to beat Kansas or Missouri.