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February 29, 2008
Wildcats, Jayhawks set to meet again
» MORE BREAKDOWNS: ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC
Nebraska at Oklahoma State
Texas A&M at Oklahoma
Missouri at Baylor
Texas at Texas Tech
Iowa State at Colorado
Kansas State at Kansas
Texas Tech at Kansas
Colorado at Kansas State
Nebraska at Texas
Texas A&M at Baylor
Oklahoma at Oklahoma State
Iowa State at Missouri
Best matchup: Kansas State at Kansas. The last time these teams met Kansas State took over first place in the Big 12 with an 84-75 win in Manhattan. The second meeting will have more of an impact on NCAA Tournament seeding. Kansas looked like a lock for a No. 1 seed before losing two of its past four, including a 61-60 setback to Oklahoma State on Saturday. Kansas State's seeding is dropping by the week. The Wildcats are 3-5 since defeating Kansas, including a four-game losing streak on the road.
The pressure is on: Oklahoma and Texas A&M. The postseason picture for both has been muddied after recent weeks. The Aggies have lost three of four, but recovered with a 98-54 win over Texas Tech on Wednesday. Oklahoma has lost two in a row, including an embarrassing 63-45 loss at Nebraska on Wednesday. When the Sooners and Aggies meet in Norman on Saturday, seeding - or even a tournament appearance - could be on the line.
Upset alert: Oklahoma State over Oklahoma. The Sooners have lost four of their past five on the road, including a 72-58 loss to Colorado on Feb. 9 and consecutive losses to Texas and Nebraska last week when Oklahoma was outscored 125-90. As for Oklahoma State, Sean Sutton has gone from hot seat to hero in the past two weeks, winning four in a row and five of six, including a win over Kansas at Gallagher-Iba. All signs point to the Cowboys putting a thorn in Oklahoma's tournament hopes in the Bedlam Game.
RPI watch: Texas' push to be a No. 1 seed could be helped by its rise in the RPI. The Longhorns were No. 11 three weeks ago and now are No. 4. The Longhorns are followed by No. 8 Kansas, No. 31 Oklahoma, No. 33 Baylor, No. 42 Kansas State and No. 43 Texas A&M.
Key stat: Five Big 12 teams had winning records in February. Texas (8-0 in February) and Kansas (5-2) aren't surprises, but Oklahoma State (5-2) and Nebraska (5-3) may have worked themselves into postseason play. Texas A&M (4-3) also had a winning record.
Freshman to watch: Kansas State forward Bill Walker has struggled at times, though it hasn't always manifested itself on the scoresheet. Wildcats coach Frank Martin benched Walker for the final 9:33 last week in a loss to Nebraska for what appeared to be lackadaisical play. He responded by scoring 31 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in a loss to Baylor. He followed that with his worst game of the season, a one-point outing in a loss to Texas in which he was 0-for-14 from the field.
Who's hot: Texas guard D.J. Augustin has averaged 23.3 points in his past three games. He was 26 of 47 from the field (55.3 percent) in that span. He also was named a first-team Academic All-America by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Missouri junior forward Leo Lyons had the best game of his career in Tuesday's loss to Oklahoma State: 27 points, 18 rebounds, three blocks, 12 of 13 from the field. Oklahoma State guard Byron Eaton has averaged 20.8 points over his past three games. Baylor forward Kevin Rogers has had a double-double in each of the past four games, averaging 18 points and 12.8 rebounds in that span.
Who's not: Oklahoma center Longar Longar is averaging 6.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in five games since returning from a leg injury. He averaged 13.2 points and 5.9 boards before the injury. Colorado seniors Richard Roby and Marcus Hall combined to shoot 9-for-29 in a loss to Baylor on Wednesday. Texas Tech freshman Mike Singletary has found a spot in Pat Knight's doghouse. He was relegated to the bench and sent to the locker room with 16:47 left in Wednesday's loss to Texas A&M. Singletary has scored 13 total points in the past four games and none in the past two.
Worth noting: Kansas State's Michael Beasley has won the Big 12 rookie-of-the-week award five times in a row. He scored a Big 12-record 44 points in a loss to Baylor on Saturday. Nebraska guard Cookie Miller (sprained shoulder) is day-to-day. He didn't play Wednesday against Oklahoma. Texas Tech senior forward Tyler Hoffmeister, who won a walk-on roster spot on ESPN's reality show "Knight School," started the second half and played a career-high 15 minutes in the 98-54 loss to Texas A&M on Wednesday.
David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.