Tonight should be exciting! The Big 12 basketball Tournament plays its semi final round games tonight in the Spring Center in Kansas City. The Iowa State Cyclones stage a furious late game comeback against the Oklahoma Sooners to win 73-66. They will take on the Kansas Jayhawks in the first game Friday evening. KU dashed the hopes of the Texas tech Red Raiders 91-63 on Thursday. The second game will pit the Kansas State Wildcats against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Wildcats beat the Texas Longhorns 66-49 and Oklahoma State held off a late rally by the Baylor bear 74-72 to earn their spot in the semis.
Game One, 6:30 p.m.
Iowa State Cyclones (11-7, 22-10) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (14-4, 27-5)
Iowa State is going to have a major chip on their shoulder for this game. The Cyclones feel they were robbed in both of their previous meetings. In the first match-up in Lawrence, Ben McLemore hit a last second three at the end of regulation, then KU rolled from there. In Ames, some questionable calls in the last two minutes in regulation of that game allowed Elijah Johnson to hit two late free throws to send that game into an extra period. Again, the Jayhawks rolled over a deflated Cyclone squad in overtime. Iowa State is going to be gunning for the Jayhawks. KU had better be ready. The Cyclones like to get up and down the court, blasting away from long range. If they get hot, like they did late against the Sooners Thursday, ISU may get their revenge. KU must keep their heads and understand ISU will be playing on emotion. They need to stick with the Cyclones and outlast them. Look for the Cyclones to pull the upset and enjoy a moment of sweet revenge on the Jayhawks.
Game Two, 9:00 p.m.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (13-5, 24-7) vs. Kansas State Wildcats (14-4, 26-6)
In a rematch of a hotly contested battle just six days ago, neither team will be eager to give up a chance to play in the championship game on Saturday. K-State brings mental toughness and team continuity to the court and have two terrific players in Big 12 Second Team selection Angel Rodriguez and conference First Team player Rodney McGruder. O-State offers supreme athleticism with a rough physicality that causes hard match-ups. They are lead by All Conference selections Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash, and Big 12 Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, Marcus Smart. The Wildcats have performed at a steady, consistent level all season, improving as the year has progressed. The Cowboys started out slow in league play, with a rough, early, conference road schedule, but have played better than anyone over the past six weeks. This should a classic contest that will come down to the final moments, each team trying to prove it belongs in the title game. Watch for Kansas State to win it in the end, justifying their spot as co-champions of the regular season.
Enjoy these two games tonight. There may not be two more entertaining games in any conference tournament in the nation. These promise to be evenly matched teams going for the tourney championship tomorrow. It’s going to be a blast.