For the Kansas schools and Oklahoma State, the Big 12 tournament is a dress rehearsal for the really big event next week.
For Oklahoma, Iowa State and particularly Baylor, the Kansas City craziness is much more important. They are just trying to get a seat at the NCAA tournament table.
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FINAL BIG 12 POWER POLL
1. (1) Kansas; 26-5 (14-4); vs. WVU-Tech winner, Thu.; Jayhawks the real league champ, having swept K-State. KU’s 56 conference titles are most in NCAA.
2. (2) Kansas State; 25-6 (14-4); vs. Texas-TCU winner, Thu.; It’s Sunflower State kind of year in Big 12 hoops. Picked to finish 5th, Wildcats tied for 1st.
3. (3) Oklahoma State; 23-7 (13-5); vs. Baylor (18-13), Thu.; Marcus Smart voted league player of year, but he’ll have no chance to repeat. The NBA beckons.
4. (4) Oklahoma; 20-10 (11-7); vs. Iowa State (21-10), Thu.; Sooners scoot past 80-point plateau in 5 of last 6 games, and now point guard Buddy Hield is back.
5. (5) Iowa State; 21-10 (11-7); vs. Oklahoma (20-10), Thu.; Will Clyburn-led Cyclones will feel lot better about NCAA chances if they beat Sooners.
6. (6) Baylor; 18-13 (9-9); vs. Oklahoma State (23-7), Thu.; Tough gig: Bears probably need to upend Cowboys to make next week’s really big tournament.
7. (8) Texas; 15-16 (7-11); vs. TCU (11-20), Wed.; Kabongo-led Longhorn drive to low-rent CBI picks up steam with back-to-back Ws.
8. (7) West Virginia; 13-18 (6-12); vs. Texas Tech (10-19), Wed.; Huggins says Mountaineers, losers of 6 straight, can still ‘make a run.’ A run back to the hills, maybe.
9. (9) Texas Tech; 10-19 (3-15); vs. West Virginia (13-18), Wed.; Red Raiders about to post back-to-back 20-loss seasons for 1st time since 1989-91.
10. (10) TCU; 11-20 (2-16); vs. Texas (15-16), Wed.; Hapless Horned Frogs come into KC off victory, which only 4 other Big 12 teams can say.
Big 12 tournament
at Kansas City, Mo.
8-West Virginia (13-18) vs. 9-Texas Tech (10-19), 6 p.m.
7-Texas (15-16) vs. 10-TCU (11-20), 8:30 p.m.
4-Oklahoma (20-10) vs. 5-Iowa State (21-10), 11:30 a.m.
1-Kansas (26-5) vs. WVU-Texas Tech winner, 2 p.m.
2-Kansas State (25-6) vs. Texas-TCU winner, 6 p.m.
3-Oklahoma State (23-7) vs. 6-Baylor (18-13), 8:30 p.m.
Thu. afternoon winners, 6:30 p.m.
Thu. night winners, 9 p.m.
Semifinal winners, 5 p.m.