When it comes right down to it, conference tournaments are about taking teams that are on the verge of NCAA Tournament hopes and either securing their place in the Big Dance or outside the tournament looking for an NIT bid. The No. 6 seeded West Virginia Mountaineers was one of these bubble teams — at least they were until they were crushed in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Big 12 Tournament by the No. 3 seeded Texas Longhorns.
West Virginia was off from the opening tip. They were down by 21 at half and leading scorer Juwan Staten only went 1 – 11 from the floor for a total of four points. On the other hand, Javan Felix and Jonathan Holmes combined for 36 points en route to a 66 – 49 victory.
Next up for Texas is the Baylor Bears, who they will face in the semifinals. The Longhorns will be confident after defeating the Bears twice already this season, but must be cautious. Not only has Baylor consistently become better, but it’s extremely hard to beat a good team three times in one season. Look for the game to be decided down low as center Cameron Ridley will fight for rebounds with the veteran forwards of Baylor, who include one of the best forwards in the country, Cory Jefferson.
A Big 12 Championship is right around the corner for Texas, but they cannot afford to get too cocky after stomping West Virginia. The Longhorns are a team to watch not only for the rest of the 2014 Big 12 Tournament, but the 2014 NCAA Tournament as well.