Kansas 87, Baylor 71
After 20 minutes of basketball, it looked like the #1 second seed the Kansas Jayhawks had just gotten from the NCAA selection committee wasn’t going to last until nightfall. It was 45-32 Bears at halftime, and it honestly didn’t look that close.
And that’s when KU decided to turn up the defensive intensity, break the offensive glass, start making some 3s, and just refuse to run the ball (just four TO’s all day). Rock Chalk was 23-36 from the field and 23-27 from the charity streak. It’s hard to beat.
Per Baylor, their current No. 2 probably remains, but any chance of topping the line between now and the Big 12 Tournament is now very slim. Kansas leads the nation in Quad 1 wins at 13-5 and no one else has more than nine.
Kentucky 66, Tennessee 54
We have found a team that Kentucky can consistently beat and obviously Rick Barnes is involved.
Look UK, make up your mind: will you be a threat in March or not? But this again and again is quite annoying for fans of university circles all over the world. Yes, you have one of the best players in the country on Oscar Tshiebwe, but otherwise UK’s ability to win games seems to depend on which side of the bed they get up that morning.
UT was No. 9 overall by committee and 3 seed Saturday afternoon. They are still a protected team for sure but could be No. 4 with now two losses to Big Blue. But the Cats have now tripled their Quad 1 wins this season over the past four days, going from 1-7 to 3-7 against the top flight.
Joe Lunardi had them in Dayton prior to this game, but now they’re probably headed to the main draw. Until they lose at home to Vandy in 10 days, because you know it’s coming.
TCU 100, Oklahoma State 75
Mike Miles returned for the Horned Frogs and played 35 minutes. So the whole “TCU may be in trouble!” What? Yes, it’s over. MM makes them a different team, and that’s even with five turnovers and just two assists to go with his 15 points today.
The Big 12 is the toughest league in the nation by a wide margin and Miles’ health gives the Frogs a chance to win the Big 12 Tournament. They’re back, they’re in, and the only question now for TCU is can they win enough to get a protected suit again? The four games they lost without Miles (at OK State, K-State, Baylor, Iowa State) put them outside the top four, but there’s always time to catch up in the Big 12.
Beating Kansas at home on Monday, in front of a Schollmaier Arena that might actually need to be reinforced by engineers for fan and student safety before the spike, would be a good start.
Utah State 75, Nevada 66
Steve Alford’s Wolfpack could have closed a bid today, but it didn’t. The pack had won four straight at the Mountain West but were stopped at the Spectrum by a tough Aggies team now splitting the season series.
It appears that USU and Nevada are in a “four teams for 3.5 spots” stalemate in the MWC, and this loss places UNR as the bubble team as of now. They are still very much in the mix and will be favorites in their final four games of the regular season (vs. San Jose State, Fresno State, Wyoming, v. UNLV).
But today’s loss probably took away some wiggle room, and they’ll probably have to run out and win at least a couple in Las Vegas at the MWC tournament to not sweat Sunday’s selection.