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Iowa State's Big Monday loss at Oklahoma a big development in Big 12 race

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Kansas head coach Bill Self grins as he waves to the fans following the Jayhawks' 89-76 win over Iowa State on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self grins as he waves to the fans following the Jayhawks' 89-76 win over Iowa State on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

For roughly the first 15 minutes of the Iowa State-Oklahoma Big Monday basketball game in Norman, Oklahoma, the Cyclones looked like they were ready to put some real pressure on Kansas for the top spot in the Big 12 standings.

A victory by ISU would've pulled the Cyclones within a half game of the Jayhawks and put at least palpable pressure on the team that has ruled the conference for the past decade.

But OU, which trailed by as many as 10 late in the first half, closed the half with a monster run to tie the game at 46 and then shot lights out in the second half while building a 20-point lead en route to a 94-83 victory.

The win moved OU into second place at 8-4 in Big 12 play and dropped Iowa State to third at 7-4. With KU sitting at 8-2 heading into Tuesday's night's road battle at Texas Tech, the Jayhawks, once again, appear to be in great shape in the race to win their 11th straight Big 12 title, two wins clear of both teams in the loss column with eight games to play.

Here's the thing. Both Oklahoma and Iowa State are plenty talented enough to threaten KU's streak, but both teams are running out of time. The Cyclones don't play KU again and, therefore, will need some serious help to catch Kansas. Oklahoma has one more head-to-head match-up with KU on the schedule, but it's not until March 7. Given the way things have played out in the Big 12 Conference so far this season, is there anyone out there who thinks OU will avoid suffering another loss before then?

One thing that's important to remember is that these two teams play each other again — Monday, March 2 in Ames, Iowa — so at least one of them is guaranteed to finish with at least five conference losses.

West Virginia, at 6-4, is the only other team in the Big 12 with four losses, but the Mountaineers have lost two straight and still have to go to Ames, Lawrence, Stillwater and Waco. WVU has the most to gain in that it plays KU head-to-head two more times, but Bob Huggins' squad also has the toughest remaining schedule of the four Big 12 title contenders.

Real quick, let's take a look at KU's remaining road to Big 12 title No. 11 by examining the remaining schedules for all four teams and my guesses for the outcome of those games.

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins stews on a stool during a stretch of bad play by the Mountaineers in the second half on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins stews on a stool during a stretch of bad play by the Mountaineers in the second half on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

No. 21 WEST VIRGINIA (18-5, 6-4)

Wednesday, Feb. 11 — vs. Kansas State (W)
Saturday, Feb. 14 — at Iowa State (L)
Monday, Feb. 16 — vs. Kansas (W)
Saturday, Feb. 21 — at Oklahoma State (L)
Tuesday, Feb. 24 — vs. Texas (W)
Saturday, Feb. 28 — at Baylor (L)
Tuesday, March 3 — at Kansas (L)
Saturday, March 7 — vs. Oklahoma State (W)

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) celebrates during the Sooners' comeback against Kansas during the second half on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) celebrates during the Sooners' comeback against Kansas during the second half on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

No. 17 OKLAHOMA (17-7, 8-4)

Saturday, Feb. 14 — at Kansas State (W)
Tuesday, Feb. 17 — vs. Texas (W)
Saturday, Feb. 21 — at Texas Tech (W)
Saturday, Feb. 28 — vs. TCU (W)
Monday, March 2 — at Iowa State (L)
Saturday, March 7 — vs. Kansas (W)

Iowa State forward Jameel McKay (1) questions a foul called against him during the second half on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Iowa State forward Jameel McKay (1) questions a foul called against him during the second half on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

No. 14 IOWA STATE (17-6, 7-4)

Saturday, Feb. 14 — vs. West Virginia (W)
Wednesday, Feb. 18 — at Oklahoma State (L)
Saturday, Feb. 21 — at Texas (W)
Wednesday, Feb. 25 — vs. Baylor (W)
Saturday, Feb. 28 — at Kansas State (W)
Monday, March 2 — vs. Oklahoma (W)
Saturday, March 7 — at TCU (W)

No. 8 KANSAS (19-4, 8-2)

Tuesday, Feb. 10 — at Texas Tech (W)
Saturday, Feb. 14 — vs. Baylor (W)
Monday, Feb. 16 — at West Virginia (L)
Saturday, Feb. 21 — vs. TCU (W)
Monday, Feb. 23 — at Kansas State (W)
Saturday, Feb. 28 — vs. Texas (W)
Tuesday, March 3 — vs. West Virginia (W)
Saturday, March 7 — at Oklahoma (L)

As you can see, even if you call KU's game at OU a loss, I've got the Jayhawks winning the league with 4 losses. And I don't think that's a stretch by any means. Remember, KU has just nine home losses in the Bill Self era at Allen Fieldhouse. Because of that, you won't have any luck convincing me that any of KU's four remaining home opponents will leave Allen Fieldhouse with a victory.

That leaves it up to KU's performance on the road, where the Jayhawks have won and looked good at Baylor and Texas and lost and looked lousy at Iowa State and Oklahoma State.

Speaking of Oklahoma State, how about that team. They're arguably the hottest team in the conference right now and playing with a ton of confidence. I can't wait for the Big 12 tournament!

Three of KU's four road games could and probably should be legitimate tests. West Virginia is tough at home and a bad match-up given how effective the Mountaineers' pressure defense is. Kansas State, despite the current turmoil in Manhattan, will clearly be fired up for Round 2 of the Sunflower Showdown. And Oklahoma is talented, tough and not afraid to play fast.

Texas Tech on Tuesday night, despite that old saying about how hard winning on the road in the Big 12 is, should be no problem for an angry KU team still reeling from Saturday's upset loss in Stillwater.

Tough or not, the odds are long that KU will lose all three of those other road games. So, let's say they win one, lose two, beat Texas Tech and take care of business at home.

That puts the Jayhawks at 25-6 overall and 14-4 in Big 12 play and puts the creative minds inside the KU athletic department on notice to start brainstorming T-Shirt-worthy ways to celebrate title No. 11.

Comments

Bill McGovern 4 years, 1 month ago

Texas has been disappointing this year, thought they'd be more of a contender with Ridley and Turner

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 1 month ago

Rick Barnes and expectations don't mix. I wouldn't be shocked if Barnes gets fired after this season since there's a chance UT is bad enough down the stretch to miss the NCAA tournament.

Cameron Cederlind 4 years, 1 month ago

You're implying UT cares enough about basketball to notice.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 1 month ago

God I hope Rick Barnes is the Texas coach for a long long time.

Just being a selfish KU fan.

(same for Drew and Webber) :)

Dave Miller 4 years, 1 month ago

Rick Barnes skinned by last season on the promise and hope of this season. And this season just ain't happenin' for UT. I expect Barnes to be fired or forced to resign just after the NCAA tournament, if not before if UT doesn't make the tournament.

Pius Waldman 4 years, 1 month ago

Tait: I believe Oklahoma might run the table as they do have quality players and a great coach. So for the Jayhawks to win the league outright they better not lose any other games. Should they lose 2 still a tie for the 11th straight. Yes the Sooners could lose at Iowa State but I'm not banking on that. Opinions aren't always true but thats my take.

Glen Miller 4 years, 1 month ago

If we go into Norman and are either tied, behind a game or up a game..... I see us winning that game. At that point it's nut check time and I think our players would respond. Norman is not a very hostile environment really. If we are up 2 games on 2nd place or behind more than 1, OU wins. Just my opinion, judging from what I have seen this season.

Steve Jacob 4 years, 1 month ago

I keep bring this up, but all the talk about Dean Smith the last two days, I never heard about his conference championships. Nobody really cares. It's all about National Championships and Final Fours.

Cody Riedy 4 years, 1 month ago

Everyone wants to win national titles; every team, especially a program like ours, should play to the highest expectation; I know all the sports machismo talk and even the larger American attitude of either you're a winner or a loser. Still, unless you think our league is crap, winning a round-robin league schedule every year is a significant accomplishment. The NCAA tournament routinely proves to be a crap shoot, even for top teams. I want to win National Titles too, but I'm not going to take a crap on winning our league and beating my chest shouting out sports cliches about "the only thing that counts is rings" etc, etc.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 1 month ago

Interesting bit during the BU-OSU game. BU apparently makes rings for everything, so that just about every year the team gets a ring. Win a game in the NCAA tourney. Get a ring. ...

Have they actually won anything more than games since Drew arrived? Maybe they appreciate their current position more because of where they were, but sort of seems like the collegiate version of a participation trophy, and why they can still recruit despite not actually winning (more than games).

At least they're not making videos about it.

Cody Riedy 4 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, I may not be on the end of the spectrum of "everything short of a national championship is a failure", but I'm definitely not on this other end with the Baylor and the K-State's of the world (i.e. making videos about winning a regular season home game) or all the league team fans who storm the court after winning a conference home game. TCU fans should storm the court if they beat KU, but OU, ISU, OSU, KSU fans have teams that have had enough success recently they should expect their teams to be competitive at home. As low as the program has fallen, I think its ok for KU football fans to storm the field after winning a conference game - it is a huge relief. But I hope very soon, storming the field will become an embarrassment for us. But right now, I'd be less worried about my dignity than happy about a win.

On a second note, every time people start to insinuate that Self isn't a good enough coach, they should look at Drew and Barnes if they need a reminder that getting high-ranked recruits isn't good enough - you still actually have to be able to coach and Self is as good as anyone.

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 1 month ago

why they can still recruit despite not actually winning (more than games).

"Come to Baylor and you'll win a ring every year"

As far as KSU making a commemorative DVD of the day they ended the streak, I don't understand why they'd want to celebrate the fact that we defeated them 25 straight times on their own home court, but if they can sell DVDs of it then more power to them. Didn't Kentucky sell T-shirts after they had 6 players drafted in 2012?

I don't even mind the court stormings as long as they let our guys get off the floor safely.

But I hope that none of that stuff ever happens at KU, because I like being able to be all self-righteous about it. Just like Kentucky gets all self-righteous about how they don't hang banners for conference titles or final four appearances.

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 1 month ago

Baylor did win a Big 12 tournament a while back.

Joe Ross 4 years, 1 month ago

Steve. Despite what you will hear in this forum and perhaps elsewhere, Kansas is not competitive for a national championship or final four this year. Truth be told, if Kansas lost in the round of 32 many fans would be surprised; but I am not among them. We are soft in too many areas, vulnerable in too many areas, and we lack both leadership and mental toughness.

Having said that, keeping the conference streak alive is likely the best we can hope for this year. And to who is resigned to the obvious, that is satisfaction enough (given the circumstances). Prospects for a final four will improve one year hence.

Erich Hartmann 4 years, 1 month ago

Got to respect a man who tempers his own expectations. To be able to protect one's self from expected disappointment is a quality not everyone possesses. Joe Ross has wisely chosen to get off the roller coaster-like play of this particular squad right now. A strategy definitely worth contemplating for any KU faithful who get & stay bitter for weeks after the final season-ending KU loss...

John Pritchett 4 years, 1 month ago

How can a team win the Big 12 in a year it's considered not only the best conference, but the best that the conference has ever been, and not be a serious contender for at least a final four?

Bill Self's teams are always contenders. I don't understand why people are being so critical of this team this year. Considering the circumstances, they're doing very well. Any team in the top 10 has a serious chance of getting to the final four. Do you not believe this team is a top ten team?

Not that it's going to matter anyway because UK has this year locked up. I'd love to see KU play them for a title, but I have no doubt it would be a repeat of the last KU-UK championship game.

Erich Hartmann 4 years, 1 month ago

Now me personally: I'm OK with the roller coaster. As Self says, the gamefilm "doesnt lie", meaning those who are analytical-type fans, and know Self's philosophies, can easily point to all the areas of fail. Sometimes its a horrific individual fail, but most of the time its a combination of things that allows an elite program like KU to "give" a W to someone else. But, that's why they play the games.

I just want to see our kids rise up to the occasion of a tough game: how do they win? Or if they lose, why did they lose. Tale of the tape. Hey, as a KU alum who is in this for the duration, I'm not getting an ulcer over if my KU loses a game or even gets bounced out of the madness.

Stay analytical, my friends...tale of the tape (win or lose). There's a reason Self says he doesnt watch film of losses (usually)--> because he saw every single play, and he already knows...intricately.

RCJH

Michael Lorraine 4 years, 1 month ago

I will be happy if we make it to the sweet 16. Anything less would be embarassing, anything more would be a windfall.

Ben Kane 4 years, 1 month ago

He never won straight. I guarantee they will talk about it for Bill Self's legacy. Most people consider UCLA's run of 13 to be the hardest record to break in college basketball in a power conference and it is still talked about frequently.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 1 month ago

UCLA never won straight - see Papa Sam Gilbert

Micky Baker 4 years, 1 month ago

I heard quite about the conference championships under Dean Smith at North Carolina. However, his legacy is bigger than that and not even about the 2 national championships that he won. It was the man more than anything.

For example, a Duke fan told a story about how he had a flat tire on his way home one night. Dean Smith stopped to help him and waited with the young guy until help arrived. That is a fierce rivalry and Dean Smith won a loyal fan by just being a good man. Dean Smith also sat down between a pastor and young black man in the 1960s and desegregated that restaurant with his presence. That's courage. Dean Smith was a great basketball coach and one of if not the best teacher of the game, but he won relationships with people and got people to follow him because of the type of man he was. With him being Kansas alumni, that alone should make us proud, not championships or final fours.

Dean Smith has people that remember him for things that he did off the court and not as a basketball coach, but as a human being. He made human connections with people. It is a privilege to have learned things about Dean Smith and it is a privilege that he attended the University of Kansas.

John Randall 4 years, 1 month ago

Back in the days of 8,9-team ACC, the Conference Tourney was the event of the year in those parts, and NCAAs were an afterthought. Tickets (usually in Greensboro) were more in demand than Elite Eight games, some years more than Final Four. Dean's first NatlChamp came late in his career, and I think he only ended up with two or three total.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 1 month ago

Matt this is a surprising column considering our complete collapse at Ok State. I am not sure you qualified your opinion first by stating which KU team we will see the rest of the season.

I think the KU team we will see will be the inconsistent team that can play a terrible half against anyone at any time at home or away. I have seen nothing in the last few days that shows me this team will not give away a big lead and have to scramble to win at home or on the road. This includes key players who seem to drink bad Gatorade and lose all basketball ability for a half or a game.

Who thought at the half of the OSU game we were going to lose that game by being outscored by 16 in the second? Forte was off due to illness, and Nash was semi contained. Our shooting was going to cool off, but that means we win by 5.

I hate these articles that say start thinking about what the 11th straight title T-Shirts will say, this baby is over. We are in a great position but that is all. This team has shown us it can surprise us over and over with historic games both bad and good and that no game is really safe. Since everyone brings their best effort and we have shown that sometimes we do not, we could lose at least 3 more times before this is all said and done.

Shannon Gustafson 4 years, 1 month ago

In other words, you're expecting the same team as they've been all season will be the team that finishes out the season. This should mean similar wins and losses as the first half of the conference season (including the ability to win most of those games that they give away the lead in), not some team that's going to tank like you're insinuating.

What do you mean by "I have seen nothing in the last few days that shows me this team will not give away a big lead and have to scramble to win at home or on the road."? What were you expecting to see and how did you intend to see this? We see nothing from the team between games (other than an interview sometimes and words don't show us anything) so unless you're watching practices, I don't know what you'd be "seeing" these last few days that could tell you anything about how the team will play down the stretch.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 1 month ago

Shannon, we have been very lucky this season, see Kenpom, luck often does not hold. There is a good chance we will not see similar numbers going forward. I was surprised Matt would write this after he wrote in his day after column that this team does not always bring energy and that can mean trouble. That we think we are Kansas means we have let downs against teams we should beat, or leads that we should hold.

This is also why I say in the last few days, see I was talking to Matt not to everyone, that what has changed since his last piece to think this is somehow over now. Which is why I started it directed to him, see how that works...to him not to you or anyone else.

That is just it, nothing has changed, we are who we are nothing more and nothing less, and most importanly probably not as lucky either.

I just hate these "we have this won" junk one game after the halfway point with a small lead, before a weak team on the road. That is messing with Karma, it is not smart to give a young team more We Are Kansas junk , that no one can catch us, and it is not smart with a Jekel and Hyde team who can play just as bad as they do good.

We lack energy, which is very possible at Texas Tech, and we are an ordinary team. It is why we do not play well with a lead, why we have been beat by 25+ twice, why we have lost at ISU and OSU.

The only thing that can happen is bad when you call your shot this early. If I were playing KU this would be posted in my locker room. I would add look at these chumps thinking this is already theirs, lets show them how wrong they are.

Steve Corder 4 years, 1 month ago

I think the big question is: Are these kids up to the challenge to keep their collective boot on their opponents neck for a full 40? Man-up or wilt?

Sliding to another championship (or co-championship) by letting the others beat up on themselves is no way to enter the tournament.

Len Shaffer 4 years, 1 month ago

I'm somewhat confident that KU will at least end up in a tie for first, but I'm concerned about the WV game at home. KU has shown NO ability to handle the press the last few games, so I could easily see them losing both WV games.

Joe Joseph 4 years, 1 month ago

Any team that finishes the Big XII with four losses deserves to win. Prior to the start of conference season, the consensus seemed to be that five losses would most likely guarantee a tie. That still appears to be the case. Oklahoma clearly has the most favorable schedule of any of the remaining contenders, but I can't imagine OU winning out. If it does, good on them.

My fear - as I'm sure it is for everyone - is that KU will drop either a home game, or a road game that it should win. Even though it's a horrible team, on the road at K-State will be tough, especially since Marcus Foster will be back by then and ready to write some ridiculous script about how he was in the doghouse but has learned his lesson and is playing with vengeance. He will inevitably torch Kansas for 30 and give KSU a legitimate chance to beat KU.

A lot of people seem to be writing Texas off. I think Texas will provide quite the challenge for KU in Allen. KU won't play as well as it did the first time in Austin. That game could be close and, perhaps, a bit of a trap-game with a possible loss-avenging match against WVU up next.

Crazy things will happen, that's for sure. There's still a lot of basketball yet to be played.

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 1 month ago

There have been stretches, escpecially in the first half against OSU where Kansas ran the press break offense to perfection. Then there are stetches when Kansas gets all sped up and doesn't allow the guys to get into position before the ball gets inbounded and trapped in the back corner or the inbound pass gets tipped and stolen for an easy layup.

Press break offense is pretty simple really. The goal is to exploit the spacing of the defense. They are trapping up top, and have to have someone sitting back to defend the frontcourt. After you inbound the ball, you try to keep it away from the sidelines and corners to avoid the trap, then a player near midcourt on the weak side (P. Ellis) slides right into the hole in the center of the court and takes the pass. Press broken, and now we have a potential 3 on 2 or two on one if we choose to attack the basket rather than running clock (if it's not an end game situation).

Robert Brock 4 years, 1 month ago

That second-half against Oklahoma State says a lot about the current Kansas squad - it has some talent but it is willing to throw in the towel when pressured. Conference championship? I just hope that Coach Self can steer the Hawks away from tanking the season.

Allison Steen 4 years, 1 month ago

We have two losses in our tough conference and are ahead by 2 games with 8 games to go. It is impossible to tank the season. Literally impossible.

Michael Lorraine 4 years, 1 month ago

In football we don’t have the luxury of playing a team as bad as ourselves. In basketball we have the luxury of not having to play a team as good as ourselves. I like our chances but won't be surprised if it plays out in an entirely different way than above.

Greg Lux 4 years, 1 month ago

Until we can guard our man and stop everyone from being able to drive to the basket at will we are playing with fire. As for WV's pressure - Have the team watch the 1988 NC game against OU. That team used OU's pressure to get easy 2 on 1 baskets. We are to content just breaking the pressure. When a team pressures you hard you MUST make them pay for it by going to the basket usually 2 on 1.

Erich Hartmann 4 years, 1 month ago

Or, as Im sure Self did, have the team watch Baylor beat WVa's pressure, and beat the snot out of WVa @ WVa. Good example of how to beat this WVa's personnel...even in a hostile road environment...

Jim Stauffer 4 years, 1 month ago

Consistency is the reason KU has won 10 straight. These other teams are too inconsistent and that shows up on the road.

The one reason KU may lose this year is an inability to handle pressure defense on the road. Teams know that and they will surely see such pressure in all the remaining road games.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 1 month ago

You mean game to game right, not half to half...

Bryce Landon 4 years, 1 month ago

It does us no good for ISU to lose if we don't take advantage against TTU tonight. Come on, guys; don't let one loss turn into two!

Mark Lindrud 4 years, 1 month ago

I have said for quite some time that 14-4 will win us the conference this year. That is looking pretty good, but we still have to do our part to make that happen. As far as beyond the conference season, this team scares me because it could get knocked out in the first round or be a potential final four team. I see the first part being more evident though because of how inconsistent we play still at this point in the season and our true lack of an inside game.

Pius Waldman 4 years, 1 month ago

Previously I posted that Oklahoma could run the table. Why? Kruger has started each game with the same players. Subs know their roles. Self appears to have his 8 players that will play crunch time. But I don't understand the motor thing. Seems like any motor running would know what to do and jerking players for mistakes could lead to defensive plays not to make mistakes rather than being aggressive. Maybe I'm being critical but if I'm wrong I'll be happy.

Robert Brown 4 years, 1 month ago

The league is very unpredictable. A couple of weeks ago, OSU loses at home to OU and then goes on a roll and wins at UT and at Baylor.

Baylor looked great in dismantling West Virginia in Morgantown, but then loses at home to OSU last night.

West Virginia has some really bad losses, but is a team that most Hawk fans fear.

OU will probably look back and wonder how it ever lost at home to KSU and ISU will wonder the same about its trip to Lubbock.

K-State looked like a darkhorse contender, and how does UT have six conference losses.

The point is that KU is probably the only team that has not had a surprise loss. Losses at ISU and OSU are not a surprise. Neither would a loss at OU or WV be a surprise. We need to win out at home and beat Tech and KSU on the road to avoid any surprise losses which, in turn, wins the conference championship.

Allison Steen 4 years, 1 month ago

Great points. I'm not sure why it was made such a big deal that we lost at OSU. They are always tough at home. Maybe its how we lost, i guess. We haven't looked great in every win, but we have pulled out wins when we needed to. I look to us adding another loss or two and winning or sharing the title. I don't see us losing 3, but if we did, that means OU, WVU or ISU winning out, and I think that's near impossible.

Robert Brown 4 years, 1 month ago

It has to do with the way win and lose. When you have a 12 point lead on a team in the 2nd half, you are very disappointed when you lose.

I have come to the conclusion that this team does not have a long NCAA tournament run in them mainly due to inconsistency. I hope we can get through the first weekend.

I do believe that next year should be a great year with very high expectations. It would not surprise me if everyone returns next year though most people believe that Oubre will declare for NBA draft.

Allison Steen 4 years, 1 month ago

Agreed. It all depends on matchup, but we definitely won't get past the sweet 16. Is it bad to already be looking forward to next season?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 1 month ago

Well, you know who I am pulling for.....Boomer Sooner!!!!!

Ron Prichard 4 years, 1 month ago

Reading these comments, I think it has already fallen. We'll be lucky to get a NCAA bid. An 11th straight Big 12 title is out of the question.

Obviously, you have to be concerned about the rest of the schedule. But for someone to say this team is willing to throw in the towel when pressured is ridiculous. This team had won every close game it had prior to OSU. It had risen to the occasion consistently when things got tough prior to that game. Sometimes, things don't go your way. This team was never going to go 18-0 in the Big 12. OSU is playing great right now. We lost to them at Gallagher-Iba. That is a tough place to play, and it's going to happen.

Personally, I like the makeup of this team more and more as the season goes along. It's not perfect, but I think it is more poised to make a deep run in March than some of KU's other games. This is a guard dominated team, and it can score in bunches. If someone get's hot against us, we have the ability to hit threes when needed. Yes, tall powerful teams can give us trouble, but I think we are learning how to play outside-in, and not inside-out, as the season goes along. Personally, I'm excited for what is to come, and I think KU wins the Big 12 outright by 2 games..

Bob Bailey 4 years, 1 month ago

The coaching is bad to break the press. Look at the horrendous defeat of KY when Pitino was coach.

Micky Baker 4 years, 1 month ago

For one thing, I think we have the talent to play with anyone in the nation. The game against OSU was disappointing in that we lost that game, but Oklahoma State has now won 3 straight against ranked opponents, two of them being on the road in the Big 12. Why can't we just give them some credit instead of pretending that we haven't played the toughest schedule in the country. Kentucky wouldn't be undefeated in the Big 12. Nobody would be.

I wrote last week that OSU wanted to beat us and that they had the talent to do it. They do have the talent. We've played short handed this year too and we still won games and also got beat but I am going to say this only once. Iowa State wasn't short handed in their loss last night. They got destroyed in the second half. Do you think Iowa State has mental toughness? I do. I think we have the mental toughness too, at least as much as you can expect for a team that is as young as ours is.

Now, Oklahoma State may not be able to keep up that pace because they're not going to shoot like that every game. More than half of their shots in the first half were from behind the 3 point line and they shot 70% from behind the arc. They're not going to do that every game, and if it wasn't for that they would not have won despite how well they played in the second half at Baylor.

There are a lot of really good teams in the Big 12, and I don't think any other conference comes close to being this competitive. So, we blew a lead on the road to a team that had beat us 2 or 3 times out of the last 6 games, including a loss there last year. Well, I for one do believe in our guys and I'm not going to pretend that they are close to their ceiling or that they should be at this point.

My prediction for tonight's game... Kansas 88 Texas Tech 63 and we'll be 2 games ahead of the 2nd place teams.

Erich Hartmann 4 years, 1 month ago

KU 74, TubbyTechies 62.

Tubby just kicked a player off the team, so they lose some ppg, rpg, etc. Now will that help team chemistry? Will a bench guy step up? Let's hope there is no future Alan Voskuil on the Techie bench...

As a well-known coach who's won a lot of BigXII crowns would say: "Should be a great game. Tubby always has tough squads, and they'll certainly have a terrific crowd behind them..."

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