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The Line with Caroline: Breaking Down the Big 12

We are in Kansas Toto…  KU and K-State are the only teams that are currently ranked in the depleted Big 12.   This conference is very, very young this year.  Perhaps, the youngest ever.  So many of the top teams are relying upon their youngsters this year.

Here’s a look at five teams to watch in the Big 12 and predictions for their biggest game in the next week.

(6) Kansas
KU has been unstoppable since their three-point loss to Michigan State in November.  This team has won 13 in a row and will compete for it’s ninth straight Big 12 title.  Jeff Withey is one of the best big men in the country and blocking 4.8 shots per game.  He’s averaging 13 points-per-game and leading the team with rebounds with 4.8.  KU will continue to dominate with their league leading 17.5 point per win margin.

Game of the weekKU vs Baylor on Big Monday.  Baylor is just coming off a statement overtime win against Texas, but KU has too much for the Bears.  Kansas by nine.

(18) K-State
The Wildcats are developing with new head coach Bruce Weber.  This team is young.  Three sophomores make up the starting lineup and they are three of the top five scorers.  Point guard Angel Rodriguez is leading the team with 4.4 assists per game.

Their win over Florida was a bit of a surprise, but losses to (2) Michigan and (14) Gonzaga show that this team has a lot of growing up to do.

Game of the week: K-State vs OU, Saturday.  After coming off a one point win at West Virginia, this team is ready for a home win.  The Wildcats by seven.

Iowa State
After the overtime loss at KU, Iowa State actually showed promise.  They are second to KU in scoring margin with a 13.8 scoring margin.  They had an impressive win vs. BYU, but their losses to Cincinnati, my Hawkeyes, and UNLV still leave some question marks.

Iowa State has led the league in 3-pointers made in each of Fred Hoiberg’s first two seasons and that is not likely to change.  (Currently second to KU by .14 lead).  This team is leading the league in rebounds with 42.6 per game.

Game of the week: ISU vs West Virginia. Iowa State just beat Texas by twenty.  With Senior Will Clyburn leading the team in points and 14.3, Cyclones will win by 10.

 

Oklahoma
Lon Kruegers’ recent two wins have this team buzzing.  After a 10-point win in Morgantown and winning Bedlam against the Cowboys, this team is the Big 12s most improved team.  Four of the Sooners top six players are newcomers to the Big 12.

This team lost against Gonzaga, Arkansas and Stephen F Houston.  this team has to be more consistent in order to contend.

Game of the week: OU @ K-State Saturday.  The Sooners will face a hostile Manhatten crowd.  The Sooners won’t have enough to beat the Wildcat offense.  K-State by eleven.

 

Baylor
The Bears opened Big 12 play with an overtime win against Texas and looked amazing in Tuesday’s 34-pint thrashing of Texas Tech.  Scott Drew, who returns to the bench this weekend after serving a two-game suspension, has already led his team to a victory at Kentucky’s Rupp Arena.  Their only losses are to Colorado, Gonzaga and College of Charleston.

Game of the week:  Baylor @KU on Big Monday. Their offense, led by 19.2 ppg Pierre Jackson won’t be enough…  Beware of the Phog, the Fieldhouse will be too much for Baylor. KU by nine.

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