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Berry Tramel

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Big 12 basketball: Bedlam battle looming?

by Berry Tramel Modified: March 5, 2014 at 10:15 am •  Published: March 5, 2014
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A Bedlam basketball showdown could be on the docket for the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals.

With only four days left in the regular season, the most likely scenario is that OU finishes second in the Big 12 and OSU seventh. That would put the Cowboys in a first-round game Wednesday night against TCU, with the winner playing OU at 6 p.m. Thursday in the quarterfinals.

If OU wins its final two games, the Sooners finish second — and OU will be heavily favored to win both games. The Sooners host West Virginia on Wednesday night and play at TCU on Saturday. If OU stumbles, it would open the door for Texas to win out and finish second. The Longhorns host TCU on Wednesday night and play at Texas Tech on Saturday.

Iowa State and Kansas State both sit 10-7 in the Big 12, a half game behind OU and Texas. The Cyclones host OSU on Saturday, while the Wildcats host Baylor.

OSU at the No. 7 spot is a little more complicated. The Cowboys could finish anywhere from sixth to eighth.

West Virginia is 8-8 in the league, OSU and Baylor are 8-9.

West Virginia plays at OU, then hosts Kansas, so the Mountaineers could be staring at an 8-10 finish. OSU is playing at Iowa State, where it will be difficult to win. And Baylor plays at Kansas State.

If the favorites all win, there would be a three-way tie for sixth among OSU, Baylor and West Virginia. Baylor would win the tiebreaker, followed by OSU and then WVU. So that would make Baylor sixth, OSU seventh and West Virginia.

Finishing second, third, sixth or seventh is optimal as far as the tournament goes. Staying away from Kansas’ side of the bracket is the best course of action. The Jayhawks have the best team, plus they are very difficult to beat in Kansas City. KU has won four of the last five Big 12 Tournaments played in KC.

So a 2-7 matchup between the Bedlams is a decent slot for both schools. From where OSU was two weeks ago, a seven-seed is just fine. And while the Sooners may not relish playing a team of OSU’s caliber in a quarterfinal, OU has swept the Cowboys this season, including a dominating performance when State had Marcus Smart.

Then the winner moves on to face, say, the Texas-Baylor winner. Especially for the Sooners, that’s a great draw. OU is 4-0 against the ‘Horns and Bears this season. OSU is 1-3 but played two of those games without Smart.

 

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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