Big 12 Basketball: There Could Be a Three Way Tie For First

By John Hayden
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

There could be a three-way tie for first place in the Big 12 this season for the first time since the conference was formed.

The teams that have a chance are Oklahoma State, Kansas State and the University of Kansas. Right now Kansas State and Kansas are neck to neck in first place  and Oklahoma State is in second place. That all could change this weekend when the Wildcats collide with the Cowboys in Stillwater. The Cowboys have really impressed me this season with how they play as a tough unit and fight to win every game even if it takes two overtimes to do it and still come up with a loss.

The Cowboys are on a mission and have a chance to spoil the Wildcats hopes to win a Big 12 Championship. They have played great at home so far this season. They are undefeated in Big 12 play in Gallagher Iba Arena and are ready for the Wildcats to come to town and avenge their loss to them earlier this season. One thing can’t do is look past the Iowa State Cyclones. They get the lucky opportunity to play on the road in Ames against a very hostile crowd, just ask coach Bill Self and his Jayhawks.

If they take their eyes off of the Cyclones, they will not even have a prayer of winning the Big 12.It is not easy at all to play at the Hilton and the Cycones need to win this game to help their chance to make it to the Big Dance. For the Cowboys they need their talented freshmen,Marcus Smart  to step up and have a out of the box night to go home with a victory.

Kansas State inched a little closer to winning the Big 12 by beating TCU at home on Tuesday night. Now they are hoping Kansas will lose on the road against Baylor so that they can secure the championship by themselves. The game in Stillwater will be a tough one since it will be Senior night and the last time Smart will be playing at home. I believe that Smart will declare for the NBA season. He is such a talented player who I believe will be a top 5 pick in the draft.

Smart, Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash will make sure with all the power they have to get the victory over the Wildcats at home. This will be a great match-up against two teams that have the same mission, to dethrone the Jayhawks.

Kansas Jayhawks on the other hand only needs to win at Baylor to make it nine straight Big 12 championships. They have had problems playing at Baylor in the past. This game could be Baylor’s redemption game this season. The Bears have lost  the last 5 out of 6 games and recently lost at Texas. This season hasn’t gone the way most people thought it would for the Bears. There are times it looks like the Bears have given up on their coach, Scott Drew, or on the season.

So here is the scenario, if Kansas and Kansas State losses on Saturday and Oklahoma State beats Iowa State on Wednesday there could be a three way tie. That will be a tough pathway to travel for them to get a piece of the crown. Another scenario, if Kansas losses at Baylor and Kansas State beats Oklahoma State than the Wildcats will win the Big 12 outright for the first time in a century.

Kansas just needs to focus on the game in Waco and to play the best they have all season on the road. As Elijah Johnson said, “It’s time to rock out. It’s time to get to business, and I think we all know that. I honestly think that the reason (the last home game) hasn’t hit us yet is because we are so focused on what we have to do. We aren’t dwelling on the moment, and that’s where our heads are at the moment. When I say it’s time to ‘rock out,’ I mean it’s time to go out and leave it all out on the court.”

It is time to leave it all on the court for each team this Saturday which will determine the Big 12 Regular season champion. Just think we still have the Big 12 tournament still to go. So sit back and enjoy how all of this will unfold this weekend, as the Kansas Jayhawks keep their crown.


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