Big 12 Conference Tournament Preview

The Buffs are playing Texas today in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament. Here is a look at how the tournament breaks down.

At Kansas City (Kemper Arena)

Thursday-Sunday

Regular-season champion: Oklahoma and Kansas (12-4; Sooners are tourney's top seed).

Thursday schedule: Missouri vs. Nebraska; Iowa State vs. Baylor; Texas A&M vs. Kansas State; Texas vs. Colorado.

Friday quarterfinals: Oklahoma vs. Missouri/Nebraska winner; Texas Tech vs. Iowa State/Baylor winner; Kansas vs. Texas A&M/Kansas State winner; Oklahoma State vs. Texas/Colorado winner.

Best potential non-championship matchup: Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech (semifinals). It would be a rubber match between teams that won on the other's home floor this season.

Keep this in mind: One of the five or six best players in the conference (swingman Keith Langford of Kansas) is questionable because of an ankle injury . . . Oklahoma State starts four of the players who were in the lineup when the Cowboys won the tournament and advanced to the Final Four a year ago . . . OU's Kevin Bookout and Taj Gray have evolved into the best set of post players in the conference, and one of the best nationally.

Player to check out: Curtis Stinson. The sophomore guard is capable of guiding Iowa State to the semifinals, at least.

Projected tournament winner: Oklahoma State over Oklahoma. The Cowboys gear up for a trek to St. Louis for a second Final Four in a row.

At-large Land: Kansas needs to get to Sunday to keep dimming No. 1 seed hopes alive. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas and Texas Tech are in the field, no matter what happens Friday, and Texas probably became a "lock" with the Saturday win at Oklahoma State. A win over Baylor probably put Iowa State in. Does Texas A&M's gosh-awful non-conference slate mean the Aggies need two wins in Kansas City to crack the 65-team club Sunday?


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