March 18, 2018

Big 12 Notebook: Mountaineers Sit And Wait For Thursday's Action

10 March 2018, 12:45 | Randolph Howard

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

The Jayhawks finally beat Oklahoma State this season, 82-68, after losing their first two matchups against the Cowboys this season. Updates with new lead and quotes.

First-team All-Big 12 forward Dean Wade missed the game with a foot injury he received Thursday night. While little-used players Mitch Lightfoot and Silvio De Sousa filled in admirably for Azubuike, Kansas still lacked size and ultimately allowed Oklahoma State to grab a whopping 18 offensive rebounds.

Newman finished the first half with 20 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers around the 6:30 mark that first tied the game at 30-all and then gave KU a momentum-building lead.

The 2018 Big 12 Tournament is down its two semifinal games on Friday, March 9, 2018.

Kansas, which led 52-50 at the start of OSU's cold stretch, scored 14 unanswered points in the decisive run.

It turned Duke from one of college basketball's top 80 defenses to one that has climbed all the way to 7th in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency metric.

"Malik got on a roll and basically carried us offensively", Self said. "And yes, they're a football school, but I think they're gonna win tonight", she said of KU.

Most friends and couples who were rooting for opposite teams say they'll go back to being friends now that the game has ended.

On the season, Kansas State basketball averages 72.7 points, 30.5 rebounds and 14.4 assists per game. West Virginia with their press defense and Jevon Carter, Oklahoma and the firepower of Trae Young if they sneak in, TCU's leadership and skill, Texas Tech's team play, the magic of Oklahoma State, I mean it's very possibly that multiple Big 12 teams could be in the Elite Eight or Final Four. He wanted to play. Not only did Mike Boynton's Cowboys become the first Big 12 team to sweep Bill Self and the Jayhawks, they had a chance to do it for the hat trick. Baylor, Texas and Oklahoma were all considered bubble teams that will make the tournament.

"It makes everybody feel good when a player can get off like that", freshman Marcus Garrett said of Newman's huge night. If he is healthy Wade will get his points.

What earlier this year seemed like nearly a sure thing that Oklahoma would return to the NCAA Basketball Championship after a one-year absence has slowly and painfully deteriorated to the point that the Sooners' chances of making the NCAA Tournament field is a giant question mark.

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"His eye was damaged, hopefully not too severe that he can't come back" for the NCAA tournament, Weber said. Then: "The two times we played them, it hasn't been close in my opinion". "We can still win".

Depth was a problem once again, as Young paced the Sooners with 22 points on 7 of 21 shooting, 5 of 13 on 3-pointers, adding five assists with four turnovers.

How did things go so wrong, so fast? Texas State has been poor at defending the paint, but superb at closing off the 3-point line.

Boynton said after his team's rough-and-tumble win over the Sooners that he didn't buy into the notion that beating a team three times was any more hard than beating it once.

With 15 minutes left against Kansas, the Cowboys' legs looked shot.

Cartier Diarra scored or Kansas State, knotting the game 53-all. If I don't get open, we can't run the play.

"When you play in this league", said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, "and you play everybody twice ... we're not one of those leagues where they play the best team like once every three years".

The Longhorns (18-13) are part of the logjam with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State fighting for NCAA Tournament positioning.

Azubuike, a 7-foot center from Delta, Nigeria, is a starter for the Jayhawks and one of KU's few frontcourt threats. With a potential 9 Big 12 teams dancing this year, the conference could in the headlines for weeks to come.

Oklahoma State waits anxiously to hear its name called on Selection Sunday. These two split their two meetings this season, but the Mountaineers managed to cover in both games.

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