Saturday's victory over the Cowboys was, for me, like most recent Saturday KU basketball games. Never did I feel the outcome was in doubt, but we never really delivered a "knockout punch" to the opposition.- Does this year in the Big XII hearken back memories of the old Big 8 days? You know, when any given team could win on any given night, and road games, even ones that look like they should be a cakewalk, are ugly wins at best? I know, the league is "down" this year in comparison with the other BCS conferences, but I do think that the competition at the top six spots has become more formidable, and this week should be a good parameter of where the divide is.- KU gets both their natural rivals during ESPN's "Rivalry Week." Interesting enough. This may be the best chance we get to see (1) how much improved MU and KSU really are since Big XII play began, and (2) if KU is, truly, a contender for the Big XII regular season title. I am biased and lean towards the latter. I just feel that the Tigers and 'Cats haven't seen the team defense that KU plays from any other squad in the nation.- Much has been said of MU's full-court pressing defense. Ty Taylor could be in for quite an evening if it becomes an up-and-down game (granted he finishes at the hoop).- I went to the KU-MU game when Julian had a career high. Early on in that contest, KU was down, MU was running, and got a huge jam, sending the crowd into delirium. The 'Hawks (and HCBS) are far too poised to let those types of things, like one basketball play, determine the outcome of the game. An even-keeled performance, possibly an ugly but gritty win will prove to a national television audience that this year's version of Kansas men's basketball is far better than was advertised three months ago.ROCK CHALK!!