Friday, February 1, 2008

Big XII Weekend Capsule: Week 4, Part 2

#2 Kansas (20-1) (5-1) at Colorado (9-11) (1-5)

- The Jayhawks are coming off their first loss of the season and they will be taking out all of that anger on the hapless Colorado Buffaloes. Kansas was going to lose a game eventually and this should refocus them and allow them to put a beating on Colorado. Kansas got outplayed against Kansas State. Their combination of Collins and Robinson at point guard was outplayed by Kansas State's freshman point. The Jayhawks also had no answer for Beasley and Walker. The longterm prognosis of this loss isn't any huge weakness as much as it is one bad game and a loss. Colorado doesn't stand much of chance in this game. They're coming of a dismal 41 point performance against Iowa State and are struggling to get production from anyone not named Richard Roby. Two of their next four games are against Kansas, so they should be making themselves comfy in the cellar of the Big XII standings.

Prediction: #2 Kansas 79, Colorado 54

Iowa State (13-8) (3-3) at Nebraska (12-6) (1-4)

- Outside of Kansas State (who we knew would be good, just not that good) Iowa State has been the surprise team out of the Big XII. While they have played well, they need to take advantage of this game as A&M, Texas, and Oklahoma are looming on the horizon. Iowa State has been helped by their interior scoring, but if they hope to upset any of their upcoming opponents they will need to find some outside scoring to give them some balance on the offensive end. Nebraska finally got their first win in the Big XII, though I don't know how excited you can get about a four point win against the team formerly known as Missouri. I don't really know what to say about what Nebraska other than getting new players to go along side Aleks Maric. I'm sure he's counting the days until he can get out of Lincoln.

Prediction: Iowa State 68, Nebraska 61

Oklahoma (15-5) (3-2) at #23 Texas A&M (17-4) (3-3)

- After dropping their first two in conference, Oklahoma has reeled off three straight wins behind the play of stud freshman Blake Griffin and the surprising play of his older brother Taylor Griffin. The two have combined to reak havoc in the paint and give Oklahoma a formidable identity. They are playing well right now, but still need to get more consistent and improved guard play if they hope to move up the charts in the Big XII. This game should be extremely physical since both teams love to attack inside. Texas A&M got the win to turn their season around and it should stay with them for a few weeks. The win was big for the Aggies who were playing anything but their best basketball, but most importantly they found their identity in the victory. They got back to pounding the ball inside with Joseph Jones, DeAndre Jordan, and Byron Davis and using them to open up the three point shooting of Carter, Sloan, and Kirk. A&M had been relying on their perimeter players to create, something that they hadn't been asked to do in the past. A&M was able to pound the ball inside, kick it out for open threes, and then drive once the defense extended to guard the threes. This style of play is what they do best and makes them a force to contend with in the conference.

Prediction: #23 Texas A&M 68, Oklahoma 64

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