Sooners Illustrated asks the pressing questions facing each game

There's a few questions still to be answered as the Big 12 Championship kicks off in Kansas City.

The bracket is set, and it’s time for postseason basketball in the Big 12 Conference. Sooners Illustrated is ready to predicted the Big 12 Championship. Let’s get rolling.

Here’s a look at an intriguing question or two for each game and a prediction on the result of the tournament.

 

Wednesday

No. 8 Kansas State vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State
Exactly how many games does Travis Ford have to win in the tournament to keep his job with the Cowboys? Which Kansas State team shows up: The one that routed the Cowboys at home or the one that lost in overtime in Stillwater?

No. 7 Texas Tech vs. No. 10 TCU
Has anyone noticed that Texas Tech has won six of its last eight games? Is Trent Johnson really on the hot seat, and if so, can he do anything in the tournament to save his job?

 

Thursday

No. 4 Texas vs. No. 5 Baylor
Jonathan Motley has just two points in the Bears’ final two games. Does this game hinge on Motley, who scored 24 points in the Bears’ win against Texas but just five in their loss? Will Cameron Ridley return for the Big 12 Championship or the NCAA Tournament? How healthy is Isaiah Taylor?

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 9 Kansas State…
Will there be Sunflower State magic or will Kansas make it a clean three-game sweep? The Jayhawks have won 10-straight games in the conference, but will they finally have a dominant tournament performance?

No. 2 West Virginia vs. No. 7 Texas Tech…
How many turnovers will West Virginia create (The Mountaineers forced a combine 38 turnovers against the Red Raiders this season)? Can Tubby Smith, the Big 12 Coach of the Year, create one more masterpiece?

No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners vs. No. 6 Iowa State
Will we get another display of beautiful basketball? Please say we get another display of beautiful basketball? Can Iowa State win its third-straight Big 12 Championship title? Will Oklahoma re-find its shooting stroke? Which Isaiah Cousins shows up in Kansas City?

 

Friday

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 5 Baylor…
In a battle of long-time senior forwards is it Perry Ellis or Rico Gathers that makes a final conference statement? Does Baylor have anything left by the semifinals? Just how much momentum does Kansas build heading into the championship game?

No. 2 West Virginia vs. No. 3 Oklahoma…
Can Oklahoma once again handle the West Virginia pressure in the third game between the teams? Will the Mountaineers shoot like they did in Norman or in Morgantown?

 

Saturday

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 3 Oklahoma…

No more questions. Here’s a prediction: Kansas rolls. The early departure of Iowa State allows Kansas fans to buy all the remaining tickets, turning the Sprint Center in Phog Allen East. It’s a relative home game for the Jayhawks, and Kansas has reason to make a statement win and wrap up the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Sooners are shooting better but nothing like the first match-up in Lawrence – the triple-overtime loss.

 

NCAA Tournament impact?

Kansas heads into the NCAAs as the No. 1 overall seed in the nation. Oklahoma snags the top No. 2 seed and heads to Oklahoma City. The Sooners could grab a No. 1 seed with an early exit from either North Carolina or Virginia in the ACC Tournament. Baylor gets a small spike to a No. 5 seed, while Iowa State remains at No. 3 despite losing its first game. Texas falls to a No. 7 seed when Isaiah Taylor can’t play in the second half, and West Virginia sticks at No. 3. Texas Tech makes it a 70-percent mark for the Big 12 Conference.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories