KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 10: Kim English #24 and Marcus Denmon #12 of the Missouri Tigers talk in the second half against the Baylor Bears during the championship game of the 2012 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 10, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Big 12 Tournament Finals: Missouri Wins Final Conference Title Before SEC Move

Behind a balanced offensive attack that had five players with over 15 points, Missouri rolled to a 90-75 victory over Baylor in the Big 12 Championship Game in Kansas City.

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Missouri Hitting Its Stride On Way To Semifinal Against Texas

With two minutes left in the first half, walk-on forward Andrew Jones entered the game to get some serious playing time.

Yes, I said the first half.

That's all you really need to know about Missouri's dominating 88-70 win over Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Quarterfinals on Thursday night.

It was pure dominance for the Tigers from the opening tip, capitalizing on poor defense by the Cowboys to go on a 30-to-6 run at one point. Missouri led by as many as 29 points in the win and got two standout performances from their senior leaders.

Kim English led the Tigers' charge out of the gate with 21 first-half points. The senior from Baltimore finished with 27 points, two shy of his career high, on 11-of-13 shooting.

Marcus Denmon did what he usually does: score 20 of the quietest points you will ever see. The 6-3 senior guard shot 9-of-14 from the floor, scoring 24 points while pulling down 8 rebounds.

Basically, this game was what happens when Missouri is clicking on all cylinders. The Tigers looked as dangerous as can be in a tournament setting and look extremely focused on winning their last eight games of the year.

The Tigers face a quick turnaround as they are set to face the Texas Longhorns tonight. Texas looked impressive in disposing of Royce White and Iowa State on Thursday night, removing themselves (at least temporarily) from the bubble and into the field of 68.

The Longhorns weren't an easy out for Missouri this year, as both the Tigers needed a last-second shot to beat Texas in Austin last month. J'Covan Brown averages 20 points per game and should be a tough matchup for the Tigers defense, which has struggled a bit lately.

Still, if Missouri gets the kind of performance it had on Thursday night, there aren't many teams in the nation that could hang with them for 40 minutes.

The key for the Tigers for the rest of the Big 12 Tournament will be the play of Phil Pressey. In the game against Oklahoma State, Pressey was basically unstoppable, both distributing the basketball and taking it away. Pressey finished the game with 12 assists, one away from the school record for a game, and five steals, two away from the school record.

As a result, Missouri scored at a high rate and the Pokes never had a chance. When he is at the top of his game, there are probably only 3-5 other point guards in the nation that are in the same class as Phil Pressey. If he can play like that all the way through March and into April, the Tigers will be cutting down some nets.

Missouri and Texas face off tonight at 9 p.m. The winner moves on to the Big 12 championship game set for 5 p.m. on Saturday


Big 12 Basketball Tournament: Kansas Takes On Baylor In Semifinal

Twice the Jayhawks have squared off against the Baylor Bears and twice Kansas has emerged with a fairly easy win. How will round three between these two teams play out? Based on the way both teams played on Thursday it looks like it could be a good one.

Baylor was led by Perry Jones III who has struggled in big games throughout the year, but came up huge on Thursday with 31 points and 11 rebounds. For Kansas it was a superior shooting night including a 66% three point shooting night that led Kansas to an easy win over Texas A&M.

Bill Self and Kansas understand that they played well, but they are also well aware that Baylor handled their business in impressive fashion.

I anticipate getting their best shot tomorrow. Because they're really -- they're so talented, it's a joke. And Pierre is as good as any guard around. So it will be an interesting next 24 hours trying to get ready.

- Bill Self

So who shows up tomorrow? Playing a team for the third time is never easy. Beating a team for the third time is even harder. Kansas will have to pass that test if they want a shot at the Big 12 tournament championship on Saturday.


2012 Big 12 Basketball Tournament: Kansas City Is The Big Financial Winner

For the past few years Kansas City has been lucky enough to host the men's and women't basketball tournaments. While the total economic figures can be debated there is no doubt it is a positive thing for the city financially.


Big 12 Basketball Tournament Will Be One Of The Most Hotly Contested On The Court And For Fans Wanting A Ticket

Kansas won its eighth straight Big 12 men's basketball championship last week and this week sets its sights on its ninth Big 12 Tournament championship.

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