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Day 1 blog from Oklahoma City: Big 12 Tournament


10:54 p.m.

Oh, and by the way, at one point, Singletary scored 29 straight points for Tech. Amazing.

Here's a safe prediction: He's on the All-Tournament team no matter what happens the rest of the weekend.

10:48 p.m.

Solid coaching by Pat Knight, as with his team down one, he told his players to get the ball to Singletary and get out of the way.

They did, and Singletary rattled a shot in for his 41st point. After an A&M miss, Voskuil was fouled and hit two free throws.

Down three with under 5 seconds left, the Aggies threw the ball away on an inbounds pass.

Two more free throws from Singletary, and we have the first major upset of the tournament. Texas A&M, which entered with six straight wins, has lost in the first round to Texas Tech, 88-83.

Singletary scored 43 points — a new Big 12 Tournament record.

10:34 p.m.

Where did this come from with Texas Tech's Mike Singletary?

He didn't even start this game, and he's single-handedly brought the Red Raiders back.

He hit a three from the corner to tie it with 1:35 left, then made a layup with 1:06 remaining to knot the score again.

He has 39 points — breaking Marcus Fizer's Big 12 Tournament record of 38 points. Singletary averaged 11.1 points coming into this game.

10:24 p.m.

Somehow, Tech has scratched its way back into this game. Though the Red Raiders trailed by 21 in the second half, they have used a 27-11 run to pull to within two.

Mostly, though, it's been A&M that has played tentatively. I've seen them do that with a big lead more than once under Mark Turgeon (and especially in the NCAA Tournament last year with a big lead against UCLA).

9:50 p.m.

The crowd has emptied out quite a bit here. The Cowboy fans must be saving their energy for tomorrow.

Here's another reason to like KU in tomorrow's matchup against Baylor: The Bears are 16-0 when they shoot a better field-goal percentage than their opponent, and 2-13 when they don't.

More specifically, Baylor is 12-0 when shooting better than 50 percent against its opponents.

This just doesn't happen against Bill Self-coached defensive teams.

In fact, the 2007-08 season opener was the last time an opponent shot better than 50 percent against the Jayhawks.

It hasn't happened in a while, and I don't expect it to happen tomorrow.

How's this for a stat, too: Baylor's Henry Dugat has missed his last 20 three-point attempts.

His last three-pointer came against — you guessed it — KU on Feb. 2. He went 2-for-3 from behind the arc that day.

9:15 p.m.

The mind is starting to wander while watching this Texas A&M-Texas Tech game. We're not learning anything we don't know. The Aggies are playing well as of late. Alan Voskuil can hit open threes. For the most part, the Red Raiders look disorganized and uninspired.

How exactly did the Jayhawks lose by 19 to Tech again?

Anyways, let's look toward tomorrow's game between KU and Baylor. The early lines have the Jayhawks as nine-point favorites.

Who do you have in that one? Baylor is such a tough team to predict, because the talent is there, but the focus sometimes isn't.

Personally, I think Baylor is a better matchup for KU than Nebraska would have been. The Huskers proved in one game they could slow the Jayhawks down and take them out of their up-tempo game.

Tomorrow, the Bears will try to run with the Jayhawks and outscore them, and they weren't able to do that in Waco a month ago.

I would take the Jayhawks and the points, but again, nothing would surprise me with Baylor at this point.

8:40 p.m.

Kudos to the Texas Tech band for the first-ever pep-band version I've heard of the Goo Goo Dolls' Long Way Down. Very nice.

A few notes from OSU's 81-67 victory over Iowa State:

The Cowboys are 7-0 in Big 12 Tournament first-round games. To me, that's an astounding stat.

OSU committed just five turnovers, which tied for the lowest mark in Big 12 Tournament history. The Cowboys also had five turnovers against KU on March 12, 2005.

The Cowboys are fifth nationally in three-pointers made per game (9.5 per game). Isn't that a scary type of team to face come March?

Even though OSU started four guards, it outscored ISU, 34-8, in the paint.

ISU sophomore Craig Brackins scored his 1,000th career point. He now has 1,011 points in his two years. Will he be back next year to increase that total, or will he bolt to the NBA? Though he needs more muscle, my guess is that this will be the last time we see Brackins as a collegian. This year's draft class is short on talent (and big men), and ISU, at least now, doesn't look like it will be much better next year.

8:19 p.m.

I was reading the quotes from games earlier in the day, and thought this would be of interest to Kansas fans.

Baylor's Kevin Rogers (who out-rebounded Nebraska today by himself, 20-18) was asked his thoughts on playing KU.

Here's his response:

"You know, obviously Kansas is a great team. Everybody said that they were young and inexperienced. But they have two veteran leaders in Sherron and Cole. That's the heart and soul of the team. So we definitely have to come in with a different level of focus.

"When we played them at our place, we played them very close. They came out and got some stops and made some buckets. But like Curtis (Jerrells) said, this is a new thing. We are just going to come out and get a victory."

8:05 p.m.

Welcome back to the Newell Post Live, coming to you from the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., site of the 2009 Big 12 men's basketball tournament.

We just arrived in OKC a couple hours ago, so I've been able to see most of the Iowa State-Oklahoma State game. Here are some observations:

Isn't wearing a mohawk supposed to make you unique? For most of the game, four of the 10 players on the court have had mohawks. I don't think the hairstyle is serving its purpose when it's the most popular fashion choice of both teams.

If the Big 12 had a most-improved player award for the season, Marshall Moses might win it. Despite being only 6-foot-6, he dominated inside with 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting with six rebounds. The sophomore, who did not play in three of OSU's first nine games this season, came into the tournament averaging 11.1 rebounds in his last seven games. He also averaged 9.5 points per game in his last 10 games, including an 18-point performance against KU.

Obi Muonelo, with his quick release from three-point range, had a great night as well. Eighteen points on 4-for-6 shooting from deep. I had forgotten how tough his shot was to defend.

Oklahoma State's fans had a good showing, as the arena was at least 75 percent orange. The Cowboys will advance now to take on the Oklahoma Sooners, a topic Big 12 Spotlight editor Eric Sorrentino and I discussed on our Big 12 Soundoff.

With the number of Cowboys fans I saw here tonight, I'm not going to back off my prediction of a 2-to-1 ratio of Cowboys fans to Sooners fans in Thursday night's game between OU and OSU.


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