Friday, January 11, 2008

Big XII Weekend Capsule: Week 1, Part 2

Kansas State (10-4) at Oklahoma (12-3)
- This game is probably the biggest contest of the weekend in the Big XII. Neither team has a great shot to compete against the Big 3 in the conference, but the winner of this game will be in the drivers seat towards making an NCAA tournament bid. It could be very likely that these two teams sit 4 & 5 in the Big XII at the end of the season with very similar tournament resumes. Kansas State is lead by their two stars, Michael Beasley (24.3 ppg/13.3 rpg) and Bill Walker (15.3 ppg/6.9 rpg). They make a formidable front court tandem as both can play inside and out and can run the floor, handle the ball, and score. It will be a difficult test for Oklahoma's two leading scores, PF Blake Griffin (Fr; 14.7 ppg/8.8 rpg) and C Longar-Longar (Sr; 12.7 ppg/6.1 rpg). Both are more traditional big men and will have a difficult time dealing with their athleticism. If they can attack Kansas State inside and get Beasley in foul trouble, Oklahoma will have a good chance to win this game.

Prediction - Oklahoma 67, Kansas State 64

Iowa State (10-5) at Baylor (12-2)

- No, really. Baylor is good. And they proved themselves on the road, with wins at Wichita State, Notre Dame, and South Carolina. They also lost to #3 Washington State by 3 and Arkansas by 7 in Waco and beat Winthrop. This team has 5 guys scoring in double figures and deep and talented guard play. With Curtis Jerrells, LaceDarius Dunn, Aaron Bruce, Henry Dugat, and Tweety Carter, Baylor can play with any team in the country. The one glaring weakness for the Bears is in the front court where Kevin Rogers is expected to pick up most of the slack. This is the weakness that Iowa State will need to attack if they have any hope of winning this game. With three forwards and a center scoring in double figures for the Cyclones, they have the weapons to attack Baylor's weaknesses. It will come down to which team can dictate the pace and their style of play. And that's where you think that Baylor's backcourt will prevail.

Prediction - Baylor 82, Iowa State 69

#3 Kansas (15-0) at Nebraska (11-2
- With wins over Arizona State and #16 Oregon, behind the play of first team All Big XII center Aleks Maric (Sr; 16.2 ppg/8.4 rpg) , Nebraska has looked its strongest in the past four years. Will that matter against Kansas? No. This team is too talented, too deep, and too well coached. They have been tested against Arizona, USC, Georgia Tech, and Boston College this season and they have handled them all. The only time they look vulnerable is when they get complacent. Their roster is littered with future NBA players and are the clear favorite to win the Big XII this season. They won't drop their conference opener.

Prediction - Kansas 87, Nebraska 69

1 comment:

Rachel said...

the loss to arkansas was in dallas, btw