Big 12 This Weekend: Kansas eyeing outright Big 12 title
A look at the things to watch this weekend in the Big 12.
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: Ninth-ranked Baylor visits Iowa State on Saturday in a crucial game for both teams. The Bears (23-5, 10-5) were in the running for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament before back-to-back losses to Texas Tech and Kansas, though they did bounce back to beat Oklahoma this week. And the Cyclones (18-9, 10-5) have ripped off four straight wins to improve their chances of landing an at-large berth on Selection Sunday, though a win over the Bears would probably take any drama out of it.
LOOKING AHEAD: No. 3 Kansas (25-3, 13-2) clinched a share of its 13th straight Big 12 title by beating TCU on Wednesday night and can win it outright with a victory at Texas (10-18, 4-11). The Horned Frogs will try to bounce back against No. 12 West Virginia, Texas Tech visits Oklahoma State, and Kansas State heads to Oklahoma where the Wildcats need to avoid a damaging defeat to its NCAA Tournament hopes.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Frank Mason III was averaging a Big 12-best 20.3 points heading into the Jayhawks’ game against TCU. He promptly dropped 20 on the Horned Frogs. How’s that for consistency? Mason also had four assists as he tries to become the first player in Big 12 history to average 20 points and five assists in a season.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Johnathan Motley had 21 points for Baylor in its win over Oklahoma, but perhaps more importantly, pulled down 16 rebounds in the kind of performance that is making him an easy first-round NBA draft pick. He’s a big matchup problem for the Cyclones, who watched him go for 13 points and 12 boards in a loss in January.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: Texas (21-6, 14-2) has endured a brutal stretch that included a win over No. 4 Florida State, a 74-73 loss to No. 19 Oklahoma and a 70-67 loss to No. 4 Baylor. Things don’t get much easier with Iowa State (16-11, 7-9) on Friday night and Kansas State (20-8, 10-6) to wrap up the regular season Monday night.