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Monday, January 17, 2011

Big 12 commentary: Colorado, Texas A&M basketball making early noise

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— Texas A&M; made the most of a big home week, and a distinct rumble continued from teams picked to the lower half of the conference.

The Aggies (16-1, 3-0) obliterated Oklahoma State and outdueled Missouri (15-3, 1-2) in overtime Saturday in the best-played game of the young conference season.

“I thought it was one of the best college basketball games I’ve been a part of,” A&M; coach Mark Turgeon said. “I thought Missouri was fantastic.

“In the end, we had great toughness. It was just a good win, one of those games where the other team for the most part played great and probably deserved to win. It’s a great win for us.”

Meanwhile, surprising Colorado (14-4, 3-0) continued to play like a contender by winning at Kansas State and coming from 12 points down in the second half to defeat OSU. Nebraska (13-4, 1-2) had a shot at overtime before falling at Kansas (17-0, 2-0), and Iowa State (14-4, 1-2) got its first win with an impressive dismissal of Baylor (12-4, 2-1).

The Buffs’ win was significant in that it attracted a sellout crowd to the Coors Center, long a place with that empty feeling.

“That was a big thing why we needed to get this win — to get people to come back,” senior guard Cory Higgins said. “I don’t want anyone to think it’s a fluke. We’re here for the whole year, so we’re just building on this.”

The Cornhuskers were oh-so-close to handing KU its first loss of the season and the first loss in 69 games at Allen Fieldhouse. But coach Doc Sadler didn’t leave the building satisfied after a second road loss of the week to a ranked team (77-69 at Missouri).

“We’re very disappointed,” Sadler said. “We didn’t come over here to get beat. We came to win. We’re not going to accept playing close as a moral victory ... but we’re going to win a ball game like that.

“And when it’s all said and done, we’re going to win a lot of them. We just didn’t get it done this week.”

Coming Up

Texas (14-3, 2-0) gets down to serious business, opportunity continues to beckon for the Aggies, K-State and Mizzou tangle, and the Jayhawks also face a challenging week beginning at Baylor tonight.

“We’ll have to play a heck of a lot better than we’ve played the last three games,” Kansas coach Bill Self said looking ahead.

After Baylor, Kansas plays host to Texas on Saturday. The Longhorns get A&M; at home Wednesday.

“Obviously, A&M; is playing great basketball,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “They’ve got a lot of guys who have really improved. A team that can hurt you from a lot of spots.”

Comments

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 1 month ago

It appears that Kansas and Texas once again are the cream of the crop in the Big 12. I'm not convinced though that we are the number 2 or number 3 team in the country. 16-0 says a lot, but we can prove ourselves this week.

Who in the big 12 looks like an NCAA tourney team? It's hard to overlook these rising teams like Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa State, but can they sustain their momentum?

OU looks pretty bad. Kansas State is falling fast. It looks like Frank Martin is experiencing the Mark Mangino effect. For a few season's he's able able to rule with fear. He get's the most out of his players... but now these guys have been used and abused by him, he looks more and more like a tyrant who is losing his team...

Shaping up to be a great year in the conference. I think the tourney teams are Kansas, Texas, Texas A&M, Missouri, Baylor, and I'll throw Colorado in there too.

John Randall 9 years, 1 month ago

KU and UT, just on history, have to be considered the conference elite.

However, this season, not by nearly so wide a margin. They could very well share the regular season title with 12-4 records, possibly even at 11-5 with another team or two.

I see a March with a BigXII 1-5 seed in every region, and another BigXII team in each region as 5-12 seed isn't just pie-in-the-sky thinking.

ROCK CHALK! GO 'HAWKS!

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 1 month ago

There is time still out there; however, K-State, OSU, and Nebraska are on the bubble.

Remember there are 3 more spots this year.

KU_FanSince75 9 years, 1 month ago

With the insurgence of A&M and Colorado and the improvement of Iowa State and Nebraska, it just makes the Big 12 much stronger. There are no more cupcakes in the Big 12, save Texas Tech and Oklahoma.

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