By Cody Daniel @CodyDanielRS on March 11, 2014
With the way the Big 12 has shaped up this season, nothing should come as a surprise. Every night in this loaded conference was a war which led to final standings that nobody saw coming. That said, here are some bold predictions for the Big 12 Tournament.
Since Marcus Smart returned from his three-game suspension, the Cowboys have been playing with a chip on their shoulder. One of the teams that fell victim to Oklahoma State’s efforts of keeping their tournament hopes alive were the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks in Stillwater. The Jayhawks will meet Oklahoma State again in the 2nd round of the Big 12 Tournament. Without Joel Embiid to anchor the paint,the Jayhawks will fall short of the Cowboys again.
It won’t be hard for the Baylor Bears to overcome the TCU Horned Frogs for the third time this season. As for the 2nd round, the underachieving Bears will fall to the Oklahoma Sooners to go winless against them on the season (0-3). That loss could potentially destroy the Bears' hopes of good news on Selection Sunday.
The team that blemished Oklahoma State’s possible storybook ending to the season after the resilient Cowboys bounced back was Iowa State. The Cyclones edged the Bears in a nail-biting 85-81 victory in overtime to conclude the regular season. The 3rd round of the Big 12 Tournament will be the Cowboys' shot at revenge, and they will get it to advance to the Big 12 Championship.
The Oklahoma Sooners have had Texas' number in both of their regular season meetings. That luck will run out when they face the Horns’ for the third time this season. This year's Longhorns squad has shown heart and the will to win all season. Couple that with the Big 12 Coach of the Year Rick Barnes' attention to detail and improvement, and you have the underdog Longhorns getting over that Texas-sized obstacle that is the Oklahoma Sooners.
When the Cowboys first saw Texas in Stillwater, Oklahoma State had its way with the Longhorns behind Marcus Smart’s double-double (24 points, 11 assists). In the second go-around for these two teams, Rick Barnes' squad got the best of Oklahoma State during the Marcus Smart suspension. Smart is back now and Texas simply can’t beat the Cowboys with him running the show.
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