The day started about 11:30 a.m. and ended around 10:30 p.m. with four games to start the 2011 Big 12 tournament. I love the first day of the Big 12 tournament and Wednesday's offering confirmed that. We had three games close games and two within two points as well as one major upset on the first day of the basketball tournament.
Here's a recap of day one at the Big 12 tournament:
Oklahoma State 53 Nebraska 52
This was a fun game to watch -- in the second half at least. Oklahoma State jumped out to a double digit lead early and I thought they were going to run away with it. But, as Nebraska does, they clamped down and their defensive skills really showed as they chipped away at the lead to come back and make a game out of it. The Huskers had a shot late in the game when OSU's top free throw shooter missed the first shot on a one-and-one giving Nebraska the ball with 10 seconds remaining. Unfortunately for Big Red, they couldn't do it. Nebraska moves on from the Big 12 tournament and the Big 12.
Colorado 77 Iowa State 75
Wow this was a much better game than I thought. iowa State hung right with Colorado all game despite being the lowest seed in the tournament and a 4.5 point underdog. The first half for this game wasn't very pretty for Colorado, specifically Alec Burks. He had nine boards but just four points on what appeared to be a disappointing night. Of course he turned it on the second half scoring 25 more points and adding six more boards. The final tally: 29 points, 15 boards. Yep, there's a reason he was a Big 12 player of the year candidate. Colorado has plenty of faults but this is a team you can't ignore.
Oklahoma 84 Baylor 67
There are quite a few things to talk about in this one. First, this is a big upset as Baylor was 8.5 point favorites. Second, Baylor was told hours before the game that freshman Perry Jones III, a key contributor, has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA and wouldn't be playing in the game. Third, LaceDarius Dunn really struggled throughout the game. That about sums up what happened here but you have to take a minute to appreciate Oklahoma shooting so well. The Sooners came to play.
Missouri 88 Texas Tech 84
Marcus Denmon put up 20 points, five assists and five steals in Wednesday's night game helping the Tigers grab the victory. John Roberson for Texas Tech nearly had the Red Raiders winning the game as he scored 29 points by the time it was all said and done. Texas Tech announced earlier in the week that head coach Pat Knight wouldn't be returning so this was his send off.