Big 12's best make their case for top league — Weekend lookahead

Big 12's best make their case for top league — Weekend lookahead

Big 12's best make their case for top league — Weekend lookahead

We've all done this exercise before.

"Last week everyone said, 'Oklahoma, they're the favorite, ' and now it's Texas Tech", Weber said. That's it for "big men" and Azubuike has been slowed in both Big 12 games by a sore back. The tabulation has Kansas as a two seed, WVU and Oklahoma as three seeds, TCU as a four, Texas Tech six, Baylor eight and Texas nine.

In the Big 12 Conference, where road victories are hard to find, four of the five teams won on the road on the conference season-opening weekend. The Red Raiders started 6-7 this season and were thrashed by Oklahoma and Baylor by more than 40 points to open league play. That's why it's so hard to continue to win in college basketball. The Red Raiders haven't trailed in a conference game yet.

But they'll have to spread around their scoring a little bit better than they did against the Cyclones. He has eight double-doubles this season, and on Wednesday night was only one rebound short of a triple-double. Frank Mason was arguably the nation's best go-to guy late in games, and Josh Jackson was a tough-minded two-way player. This season, 7-foot sophomore Udoka Azubuike is backed up by slender 6-8 sophomore Mitch Lightfoot. We are basically a man team. That the Red Raiders have been more willing to get out in transition this season is certainly a factor. Who's the best pro prospect that Kansas has right now?

Brown led the Wildcats with 24 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while fellow junior Dean Wade added 14. Arizona State transfer Sam Cunliffe has played single-digit minutes in all but one game he has been eligible.

The down time on days off can prove just as important as playing on national TV.

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KU, which is relying on the three this season more than past campaigns in the 15-year Self era, utilized a seldom-used 2-3 zone to frustrate the Texas offense Friday. "That's what our focus is". More importantly, though, it's not a typical Big 12 season.

Just one week into the season there is reason for concern.

Texas Tech is riding high, and there is no ignoring the next game on the schedule - a road tilt with freshman sensation Trae Young and Oklahoma. There's just more game-to-game variance involved and there's no guarantee the pendulum will actually swing the other direction. Could the Jayhawks race for 14 titles be in jeopardy? Tech leads the Big 12 in scoring margin at +22.3. According to, the Horned Frogs get 44.1% of their shots at the rim - 22nd nationally.

KU's 39.4% field-goal percentage defense on the season, predictably, hasn't maintained now that Big 12 play has arrived. With seven teams worthy of Top 25 consideration at this point, the league is going to have ranked showdowns on just about every game night. But the challenge will be surviving until then and then hoping the newcomers can help spark a strong finish.

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Evans hit for 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range, in the first half to lead all scorers in the first half.

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