OK, as promised, here are my predictions for the Big 12 Tournament (bracket) which starts tomorrow. We'll start at the beginning, with the first round games, featuring a majority of Southern Big 12 Conference teams...that's right, the Big 12 North turned out to be stronger this season, despite lots of early criticism. Ha ha.
Round 1 (Wednesday)
Baylor wins out over a scrappy Nebraska squad, the Bears desperately looking to redeem a season that was supposed to feature a deep NCAA tourney run. Baylor 65, NE 62
Texas beats Colorado handily. TX 82, CO 69
Oklahoma State beats a luckless Iowa State team en route to earning a sure NCAA bid. OSU 75, IS 54
Texas A&M beats Texas Tech in the closest game of the first round. Tech puts up a fight, but A&M is hot, and play with the confidence of a team headed for the Big Dance. A&M 69, Tech 67
Round 2 (Thursday)
Kansas crunches Baylor, beating them brutally in the post. So much for the Bears' hopes for post-season redemption. KU 85, Baylor 72
Texas beats Kansas State, because at heart the Longhorns know they are a top 25 team who has under-achieved. TX 78, KSU 69
Oklahoma hangs on to beat their Bedlam Series rival in a nail-biter. Blake Griffin, of course, is the difference maker. OK 76, OSU 74
Texas A&M beats Missouri. Again. The Aggies have the Tigers' number. A&M 81, MU 73
Round 3 (Friday)
Kansas beats Texas, but with more breathing room than last week, when the Jayhawks overcame a 14 point deficit. KU 89, TX 78
Oklahoma beats A&M, as the Aggie momentum runs up against Blake Griffin, the immovable object. OK 69, A&M 64
Tournament Championship (Saturday)
Kansas beats Oklahoma for the second time this season, but for the first time with Blake Griffin at full speed. KU's interior players--Aldrich, the Morris twins, and Mario Little--come in with a chip on their shoulder, determined not to get overshadowed, and play Griffin to a draw. The Jayhawks' superior guard play puts the game away. KU 89, OK 86
After the Big 12 Tournament concludes on Saturday (for the first time in years), the teams kick back and enjoy the selection show on Sunday. Six Big 12 teams make the cut, proving yet again that this conference does not get the national recognition it deserves. The teams everyone knew were in...
Are joined by...
Not really a down year for the Big 12 after all. Coming up next: 2009 NCAA Bracket Predictions.