Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Brutal Big 12 Championship tourney could decide NCAA Tournament fates

Brutal Big 12 Championship tourney could decide NCAA Tournament fates

The 43-42 lead, which came thanks to an offensive rebound and putback by Mykhailiuk with one second remaining, was a far cry from the 46-33 and 46-30 deficits KU faced during the first two meetings with Oklahoma State. "We've got to keep fighting and looking forward and get ready for the [NCAA] tournament now". "Before we left (the team hotel on Thursday), I had a little talk with myself and I just told myself, 'Whatever you do, just make sure you (eliminate) as many mental mistakes as you can'".

He reported that after a win, "You go from everybody, 'Aw, hey Malik, how you doing, ' to". "We went to Allen Fieldhouse and got a win".

"I was kind of beating myself (up) and down on myself because I felt like the two times that we did play (OSU), I was a huge contributor to us losing by me not being locked in, not paying attention to the scouting report and things like that", Newman said. And by the time Lagerald Vick curled in back-to-back baskets, the lead had swelled to 71-59 and the Jayhawks were on their way toward the title game.

"He was definitely a spark", the Cowboys' Mitchell Solomon said. The country's leader in assists (8.7) had plenty of options and chose a hard one. But after a steal, Young tried to lob an alley-oop ahead to teammate Brady Manek.

The Sooners never got any closer the rest of the way.

"I guess we have about 18 hours", Boynton said, "to refresh our bodies and minds". "That's been working all year".

"Their philosophy, what they did to Vlad was clear, and we knew it was coming, but they were clearly more physical than us, especially in the second half".

The top-seeded Jayhawks averted that setback, however, and did so without starting center Udoka Azubuike. For the fourth time in OU's recent slide, winning just 4 of 15, it finished with less than three double-digit scorers.

Everyone seemed to agree that Azubuike's absence mandated enhanced concentration, in that odd way that maybe coaches ought to keep out purposely at least one mainstay player per game. But WVU's defense was even better, which is the reason the Mountaineers came up with the sweep.

Wade has averaged 16.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

Mawien has started all 32 games and averages 18.8 minutes, 6.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots. Team Rebounds: 3. Team Turnovers: 10 (14 PTS).

You can also chalk up Oklahoma's struggles to the strength of the teams in the Big 12 Conference. Can this team turn it around in the next week before it plays again?

Friday's semifinals present us with two intriguing contests, as Kansas and Kansas State face off in a Sunflower State showdown, while West Virginia and Texas Tech fight it out for the third time after splitting the regular-season series.

The Sooners have one problem.

The question entering Sunday - and surely to be debated over the next three days - is whether the tournament's selection committee looks within the numbers, to the strengths of OSU's individual victories, or if it leans more heavily on RPI. Even Kruger couldn't say his team played with similar resolve.

The sophomore's buzzer-beater was the only shot he made after he missed his first three attempts and then he fouled out early in overtime.

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