Big 12 commentary: Colorado, Texas A&M basketball making early noise
Fort Worth, Texas ? Texas A&M made the most of a big home week, and a distinct rumble continued from teams picked to the lower half of the conference.
The Aggies (16-1, 3-0) obliterated Oklahoma State and outdueled Missouri (15-3, 1-2) in overtime Saturday in the best-played game of the young conference season.
“I thought it was one of the best college basketball games I’ve been a part of,” A&M coach Mark Turgeon said. “I thought Missouri was fantastic.
“In the end, we had great toughness. It was just a good win, one of those games where the other team for the most part played great and probably deserved to win. It’s a great win for us.”
Meanwhile, surprising Colorado (14-4, 3-0) continued to play like a contender by winning at Kansas State and coming from 12 points down in the second half to defeat OSU. Nebraska (13-4, 1-2) had a shot at overtime before falling at Kansas (17-0, 2-0), and Iowa State (14-4, 1-2) got its first win with an impressive dismissal of Baylor (12-4, 2-1).
The Buffs’ win was significant in that it attracted a sellout crowd to the Coors Center, long a place with that empty feeling.
“That was a big thing why we needed to get this win — to get people to come back,” senior guard Cory Higgins said. “I don’t want anyone to think it’s a fluke. We’re here for the whole year, so we’re just building on this.”
The Cornhuskers were oh-so-close to handing KU its first loss of the season and the first loss in 69 games at Allen Fieldhouse. But coach Doc Sadler didn’t leave the building satisfied after a second road loss of the week to a ranked team (77-69 at Missouri).
“We’re very disappointed,” Sadler said. “We didn’t come over here to get beat. We came to win. We’re not going to accept playing close as a moral victory … but we’re going to win a ball game like that.
“And when it’s all said and done, we’re going to win a lot of them. We just didn’t get it done this week.”
Texas (14-3, 2-0) gets down to serious business, opportunity continues to beckon for the Aggies, K-State and Mizzou tangle, and the Jayhawks also face a challenging week beginning at Baylor tonight.
“We’ll have to play a heck of a lot better than we’ve played the last three games,” Kansas coach Bill Self said looking ahead.
After Baylor, Kansas plays host to Texas on Saturday. The Longhorns get A&M at home Wednesday.
“Obviously, A&M is playing great basketball,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “They’ve got a lot of guys who have really improved. A team that can hurt you from a lot of spots.”