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"We wanted to see K-State and Texas for our rematches. It's going to be a dog fight game but that's what we're ready for. Games like that get you ready for the NCAA tournament and we're definitely banking on playing those games."
The Kansas Jayhawks beat the Oklahoma State Cowboys, 63-62 in the second round of the 2011 Big 12 tournament.
The bracket pit these two together after OSU beat Nebraska in the first round and I wasn't looking forward to a particularly close game since KU had just beaten them by 27 points at Allen Fieldhouse a few weeks earlier.
Instead, OSU came out hot and nearly shot themselves into a victory. With KU leading 63-62 and OSU on their last possession with under 10 seconds remaining in the game, the Cowboys had a broken play that ended up with a shot beyond the three-point line as time expired. Jean-Paul Olukemi's attempt wasn't close and KU sealed the victory.
Still, this KU team was a 14.5 point favorite so this was a closer game than we thought.
Key performances from Kansas include Marcus Morris' 16 points and 11 boards (nine offensive) as well as Markieff Morris' 10 points and six boards. OSU's Keito Page had 23 points including connecting on all nine of his free throw attempts while Olukemi finished with 17 off the bench.
We'll have more to come on this game but Kansas survives another day.
The Kansas Jayhawks basketball team is getting all it can handle today against Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have been shooting very well leading Kansas for much of the game but the Jayhawks have responded with a mini-run midway through the second half.
Kansas regained the lead, 51-50, at the 11-minute mark. Marcus and Markieff Morris are stil the big guns in this game combining for 21 points and 11 boards while Brady Morningstar has added nine points.
OSU's Keiton Page has 17 points and several key Cowboys have three fouls including Marshall Moses. Meanwhile, Markieff Morris has four fouls midway through the second half so both teams may be in some trouble if they can't stay away from the refs.
Kansas was a huge favorite in this game, and beat OSU by 27 points a few weeks ago, so this is a surprising performance by the Cowboys.
We'll see if Kansas, the No. 1 seed, can pull it off over Oklahoma State, the No. 9 seed.
The first half of the quarterfinal matchup between Kansas and Oklahoma State is over with and it's the Cowboys who take the early lead over the Jayhawks, 41-35. Here are a few highlights from the first half:
-Marcus Morris has 12 points and five boards but got most of it early in the game.
-This isn't a situation where Kansas just didn't show up. They're not playing great but not terrible either. This is about Oklahoma State shooting very well, much like they did in the first half against Nebraska. OSU is shooting 56 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point land while KU is at 40 and 18 percent in those categories.
-OSU's Jean-Paul Olukemi had a nice dunk on a breakaway and, upon coming down from the rim, let out a scream at the KU player closest to him.He was celebrating the dunk but the refs didn't like it -- he was T'd up.
-With less than a minute remaining in the first half, OSU's Markel Brown had a monster block on Marcus Morris, who fell to the ground as OSU took the ball up court. As Morris hit the ground, Brown turned around and yelled something in his face which prompted the referees to give him a technical.
-ESPN's Holly Rowe said this is what Bill Self had to say to his team coming out of a timeout with about seven minutes left down three points: "Guys they're kicking our butts out there and what makes me sick is that you're liking it."
It's still early in Kansas City but KU's Marcus Morris is the MVP so far. Through about eight and a half minutes in the first half, Kansas and Oklahoma State are all tied up, 16-16, in the second round of the Big 12 tournament. Marcus Morris is dominating early with 10 points and three boards but OSU shooting 3-for-3 from the three-point line is keeping it close.
OSU's Jean-Paul Olukemi had a big fast break dunk and came down from the rim screaming at a Kansas player which quickly resulted in a technical foul. (Bob Knight quickly said there's no place for that "garbage" in college basketball. Um...)
OSU started out 5-for-5 in Wednesday's game against Nebraska and I said they'd need something like that again to compete with Kansas and that's what they're doing so far.
KU has clear advantages in this game but if OSU can continue to shoot like this we're headed for a close game.
Kansas dominated OSU in their first meeting of the year, 92-65, but as of now it doesn't look like we're headed for a game like that. We'll see if OSU can keep this up.
The last time Kansas and Oklahoma State played Marcus and Markieff Morris went off combining for 42 points and 12 boards. Marcus had 27 points by himself so it's pretty clear what one of the keys is for Oklahoma State -- keep one or both of those guys in check.
They'll both be on the court when Kansas-Oklahoma State tips off at 11:30 a.m. as will Elijah Johnson. KU's starting lineup includes both Morris twins, Johnson as well as Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed.
Johnson is only a recent addition to the starting line up when he took over the position following Tyshawn Taylor's suspension. Some feel Johnson is actually better there and that Kansas should have been going with him regardless of Taylor's suspension.
We'll find out this afternoon when the two teams tip-off. We're about a half hour from the start of the game. Check out Rock Chalk Talk and Cowboys Ride For Free for more on the game. Here's the full Big 12 tournament bracket.
Oklahoma State is looking for some payback.
Several weeks ago, OSU met the Kansas Jayhawks on ESPN's Big Monday and walked away embarrassed after a 92-65 loss to KU. Jayhawks' big men Marcus and Markieff Morris combined for over 40 points and dominated the game.
That, according to OSU's Jean-Paul Olukemi, won't be happening again.
It's more of a payback game, I think. That's where everybody's mind better be. They embarrassed us on national TV and this is an opportunity to show the world that we went down there and didn't play like ourselves. That's what that game should represent for us.
Marshall Moses put up 27 points for OSU in that game and calls playing top ranked teams "like a dream".
It's fun to play against teams like Kansas and the Dukes and all the teams that are ranked in the top five of the country. You couldn't ask for anything better. It's like a dream.
We'll see what OSU has to say after the game because, if you believe the latest college basketball odds, this one won't be close. Kansas is a 14.5 point favorite.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys needs another victory -- probably a few of them -- in the Big 12 tournament to make it into the NCAA tournament, Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self predicts. OSU comes in with a 19-12 record on the season and 6-10 in the Big 12 after beating Nebraska in the first round of the conference tournament on Wednesday.
Speaking to KUSports.com, Self predicted OSU likely needs to win the Big 12 to get into the tournament.
"They are in a situation they probably need to win the tournament (to get an NCAA bid)," Self added of the No. 9-seeded Pokes, who meet No. 1 seed KU in a quarterfinal contest at 11:30 a.m. today in Sprint Center.
"I think they'll play in the postseason, no question. To get in the NCAAs, they probably have to win this, which they are certainly capable of doing."
College basketball odds say Oklahoma State is very unlikely to do that. KU is a 14.5 point favorite heading into this game and with the Sprint Center likely to be packed full of crimson and blue, OSU's task is not an easy one.
We've predicted a KU basketball victory and we'll stick with that. Kansas will win and win big. Check out Rock Chalk Talk and Cowboys Ride For Free for more on the game. Here's the full Big 12 tournament bracket.
For the second time this year the Kansas Jayhawks will play Bill Self's Alma Mater in a matchup against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. As the Big 12 tournament enters day two the Cowboys might be a welcome tuneup for Kansas compared to a tough, physical Nebraska Husker squad that fell to Oklahoma State in round one.
In talking about the game Self hinted at preferring the matchup with the Cowboys but cautioned anyone from being too optimistic one way or the other.
Nebraska obviously got our attention here and we played really well against them up there. Oklahoma State, we played pretty well against them. But I've never gotten in the habit of hoping for something because usually what you hope for, you realize it's not the best thing for you. So I really don't care."
In the last meeting between these two teams just two weeks ago, the Jayhawks played well start to finish and the result was a 27 point victory. The game also marked the beginning of Elijah Johnson's reign as the starting point guard for the Kansas Jayhawks. Since that time Kansas has looked as well defensively as they have all year and while the game wasn't particularly telling, it could mark a key moment in the Jayhawk season.
As for the Cowboys, the feeling in the lockeroom was of relief after the close win, but also an understanding of what comes next in a matchup against Kansas. Forward Marshall Moses talked about what it takes to beat Kansas.
Kansas is probably the best team in America. They're efficient defensively. Offensively they've got two really good guys inside. They've got shooters. A great point guard. They've got depth on the bench. Basically what I took is that in order to have a chance against winning them, it's going to be a team effort and we all have to be ready to play and give our best effort for 40 minutes.
For guard Keaton Paige, it's an opportunity to get another shot at Kansas after a game that left a sour taste in the Cowboys mouth.
We weren't too happy when we left Lawrence last time. Like Marshall said we'll have to regroup tonight, get back to the hotel, go over some stuff and see what we can do tomorrow, team effort and see what we can do to come in and get a win.
Of the two matchups this is probably the one that gives the Jayhawks an easier path to the semifinals and a possible third meeting with Kansas State, but Kansas can't overlook a hungry Cowboy squad and needs to be focused on attacking the Cowboys in the same way they did in Lawrence.