It was touch and go late, but Missouri held on at Texas Monday night to record its 20th win of the season and third win away from home in the Big 12, making the fourth-ranked Tigers the first team in the conference to reach the 20-victory mark in the current campaign.
Baylor, the No. 6 team in the country this week, can match the Tigers in season victories with a win at Texas A&M on Wednesday. A win in College Station won't come easy, though. A&M has won 22 of its last 27 Big 12 contests at home. The Bears, on the other hand, started the season with 17 straight wins before losing to Kansas and Mizzou in successive games in mid-January and are having their best season in program history. Baylor's 6-2 mark in league play is the team's best start to the conference season since 1986-87.
Iowa State ended a 13-game losing string to Kansas this past weekend, handing the eighth-ranked Jayhawks their fourth loss of the season and first in Big 12 competition, despite all five Kansas starters scoring in double digits. It was the upstart Cyclones' first honme win over a top-five opponent since beating then third-ranked Kansas at Hilton Coliseum in January 1995.
Texas Tech entered conference play the beginning of January with a 7-5 record. Since that time, the Red Raiders have been on the losing end of eight consecutive games. They'll get another chance to post their first conference win Tuesday night when they entertain Oklahoma State, the only other team in the Big 12 with a non-winning record overall. The Cowboys are 10-11 on the season; Texas Tech is 7-13 overall.
Some other noteworthy numbers from Big 12 men's basketball action:
2 - Kansas has finished with a better shooting percentage against all but two teams it has faced this season. The Jayhawks have shot better than 40 percent from the field in all but one of their 21 games.
5 - Texas has faced five top-25 opponents (four in the top ten: Missouri twice, Kansas and Baylor) in a six-game stretch.
10 - Number of consecutive outings in which Missouri senior guard Marcus Denmon has shot 80 percent or better from the free-throw line. He is tied for the Big 12 lead in free-throw percentage at 91.5 percent.
13 - Wins by Iowa State in 16 games this season in which the Cyclones have outrebounded their opponents.
18 - Conference road wins for Kansas State under coach Frank Martin, more than the team's number of road wins (14) in its first 11 Big 12 seasons combined.
19 - Number of double-doubles in a game recorded by Kansas junior forward Thomas Robinson in his career, 14 of which have come this season.
24 - The number of consecutive free throws made by Oklahoma's Steven Pledger. The junior guard, who is second in the conference in scoring (17.8 points per game) in games through Monday, is 24 for 24 in conference games and has made 58 of 64 free-throw attempts on the season (90.6 percent).
43 - Wins by Baylor away from home and at neutral sites in the past five seasons. The Bears only won 28 games on the road or at neutral venues in their first 11 years in the Big 12.
67 - Blocked shots this season by junior Jeff Withey of Kansas (an average of 3 per game), 17 more than the next closest player (Quincy Acy of Baylor).
230 - Total number of turnovers by Missouri, a league fewest 10.5 per game.
329 - Free throws attempted by Texas A&M in 2011-12, the fewest in the conference. A&M also has the lowest team free-throw percentage in the Big 12 (63 percent).
489 - Number of three-point field goals attempted by Iowa State this season, the most in the conference. The Cyclones have made 184 of their three-point attempts for an average of 37.6 percent.
For more information:
Missouri Tigers' sports news and commentary