basketball

Big XII Preview

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Conference play is right around the corner, and it is now prediction time.  Who will surprise people?  Who will be the disappointing teams?  In this preview, I hope to answer any question you may have.  The teams who I believe will be the best and worst will be ranked in order from 1-10.

1.  Kansas- This should not come as a shocker to anyone.  The Jayhawks have won eight straight conference regular season titles, and it seems like they are a lock for number nine.  They lead the Big XII in field goal percentage and blocks.  They are second in points per game, free throw percentage, three point percentage and assists.  Where the Jayhawks lack in size, they more than make up for it in their guard play.  Conference play aside, the Jayhawks could make a deep postseason run if they cut back on their hefty amount of turnovers.  Every player on the team has been in a winning atmosphere since the first day they stepped on campus.  I just do not see a team in the Big XII who could derail Kansas from their ninth straight title.  Rock Chalk will haveended what has been so far a great season.

2.  Kansas State- I think this may come as a surprise to many people, and rightfully so.  I have   K-State at number two mostly because there is no other team that could be number two, but I also like the way KSU plays.  While former coach Frank Martin gets credit for the intense defense, Coach Weber has been able to continue this trend for Kansas State.  This is a team who can play very well in conference play and especially in the second half of the season.  Size wise, K-State is pretty big with a 7 foot center, but the only person who can lead this team is Rodney McGruder.  The senior has been in the shadows his entire career behind Jacob Pullen and Wally Judge.  Now, it is his turn to step up, and so far he has held his ground.  This is his team, and I am looking forward to seeing how McGruder handles his role as the team leader.  The one thing that could come back to haunt the Wildcats is the loss of head coach Frank Martin.  An average fan would not have noticed Frank was gone except not seeing him on the sidelines screaming at players.  However, the players are responding the same way wit Coach Weber.  This K-State continues to be the same physical, athletic team as they were in the past years.  K-State is my front runner for number two.

3.  Baylor- Coming into the season, I would have told you that Baylor would win the conference title.  Since then, my views have changed because of how much better KU is playing, and how much Baylor is struggling.  The Bears have one person who is under six feet tall.  With this size and athleticism, there should be no excuses to already have three losses on the year.  The one player under six feet is Pierre Jackson, who is arguably the quickest player in the NCAA and has been a leader on this team since he was a freshman.  Baylor’s rebounding is pitiful, and they should be one of the best in college with their size.  Averaging just over 37 boards a game, Baylor’s rebounding has been the reason for their three losses.  It would be okay if they did not lose to Northwestern, Boston College and the College of Charleston if they were a small team, but with such great size, these losses are disappointing.  In the end, I think this team is stacked with talented players.  I think the Bears will turn it around and could potentially swap spots with Kansas State towards the end of the season.


4.  Oklahoma State- I have always been a fan of Pistol Pete and the Cowboys.  This program has great tradition and is known to be a team that can rattle the standings.  In past years, it has been one of the toughest schools to win at home against in the Big XII.  However, history does not win games.  I like the Cowboys this year because of their hot start to the season.  Currently ranked 24th in the country, Oklahoma State beat North Carolina State very easily, who at the time was sixth in the country.  Oklahoma State is a threat to any team because of their defense.  The team gives up just 54.5 points a game, making them one of the best defensive teams in the country.  This scrappy team could make a deep push this year to fight for the top of the conference.

5.  Iowa State- The Cyclones have surprised me with the numbers they are putting up through 12 games.  Their play has made them the seventh ranked team in the NCAA in points and rebounds per game, averaging 82.2 and 43.5.  Assists wise, the team is dishing 17.2 assists per game, making them the 14th ranked team.  Iowa State is a quiet team, but has the ability to win big games if teams overlook them.  They did it last season at home versus the Jayhawks, and I would not be surprised if they did it to another team this year.  The only issue for the Cyclones is their size.  Senior 6’7 guard Will Clyburn will have to be a strong leader in order for Iowa State to make a jump in the standings.

6.  Texas-  With the suspension to Myck Kabongo, the Longhorns season can be thrown out the window.  I cringe when I see the stats the Longhorns have put up so far.  They are 246th in the country in points per game averaging 64.5.  They are also 246th in assists with just 11.9 a game.  Their worst stat is their field goal percentage of 40.4, making them the 276th team in the country.  An embarrassing loss in Hawaii to Division II school Chaminade essentially marked doom on the Hook ‘Em season.   The only thing I can ask about this team is, “What went wrong?”

7.  West Virginia- I was confident Coach Bob Huggins could help impact the Mountaineers first season in the Big XII, but after five quick losses, I have lost all faith in West Virginia’s season.  They were absolutely spanked by the Marist Red Foxes, falling 87 to 44.    The Mountaineers also lost in an early season conference matchup to Oklahoma and fell short at Duquesne.  This is undoubtedly not the year for West Virginia.  After seeing the sizes of their shooting guards and big men, it is sickening to see this team averaging 69.5 points per game with a field goal percentage of 41.  Something has to change for the Mountaineers, and it starts down low with the big men.  With one of the winningest active coaches in Bob Huggins, you should expect West Virginia to flip the switch and show major improvement.

8.  Oklahoma- To keep it short and sweet, this is a team who can not beat elite teams.  They have not in the past, nor will they this year.  There is not a go-to-player on this team, which just hurts their already slim chances of winning.  Senior Romero Osby is the only player who is somewhat productive.  His 12.7 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game make him the leader in both categories on this team, and those are not even close to impressive figures.  Until a leader emerges on this Sooner team, Oklahoma will have to wait for their chance to come close to a conference championship.

9.  Texas Tech- Since Bobby Knight’s retirement, Texas Tech’s basketball program has gone nowhere fast.  Forward Jaye Crockett is the only productive player on this squad averaging 15.8 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game.  There is not much more for Texas Tech to except except losing.  The Red Raiders have back to back losing seasons coming into this year, and you should expect that to become back to back to back losing seasons.  Hopefully for the Red Raiders, interim head coach Chris Walker can surprise some people and win some games.

10.  Texas Christian- Last but not least, I believe the TCU Horned Frogs will be the worst team in the Big XII this year.  The fact that they only scored 31 points in one of their games this year pretty much sums up this team.  Sure, they have a winning record of 8 and 4, but do I need to tell you who they beat?  Teams from the Big West and Southwestern Athletic Conference are not the teams you can beat and call yourselves a winning team, especially if you are winning by an average of just over 8 points.  Luckily for the Horned Frogs, expectations were never high and they were projected to finish last in the conference by other scouts and analysts.

In order to win a conference championship in the Big XII, or any league for that matter, a team must have a true, go-to leader.  Some of these teams have such a train-wreck of a season because there is no leader.  There is nothing complex to winning the Big XII.  If the right coaching is present, anything could happen.  Hopefully this Big XII season will be yet another one packed with great games.

Drew Agnello

Sportsman of the Year

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Nine days.  That is how much time LeBron James has taken off in the past year.  He has spent thousands of hours on the hardwood perfecting his game to a level only few have reached.  James has become what coaches call “positionless.”  He has the ability to play every position on the floor at ease.  Tell him to control the ball and LeBron will play point guard.  Next possession have him post up and he will be the forward.  After a remarkable season of winning, James has created the slogan “Earned, Not Given,” knowing how hard he worked to get where he is today.  LeBron James’ accomplishments over the past year have earned him the 2012 Sportsman of the Year.

Critics and sports fans throughout the world are outraged at the fact that one of the most hated players in any sport has the title of Sportsman on the Year.  Why not Tom Brady, who had an incredible NFL season last year?  Rory McIlroy is in the process of establishing himself as the best golfer in the world, and is very deserving of the title.  So why LeBron?  He is a “coward” to some.  To others, he is the least liked man on the face of the planet.  All of these people fail to see what LeBron James has accomplished in the past year.
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First came the MVP.  At only 27, James was awarded his third MVP.  What he did last season was incredible to see.  His game evolutionized in front of everyone’s eyes, and he established himself as the best in the league.  However, James thought of the award as nothing but him doing his job.  No awards mattered to him last year except for the championship.  In his press conference after winning the MVP, James stated, “This is not the award I want.  I want that championship.”

Then there was that championship he was talking about.  LeBron was dubbed as “The King with no ring” after a few years in the NBA.  James knows that in order to be compared with the greats, he has to have rings.  “It’s about damn time,” were the four words LeBron echoed after he finally held the Finals trophy.  That elusive first championship is now LeBron’s, and he wants more.  The taste of champagne, the calls, tweets and messages; he wants it all to happen again.  LeBron James will be working towards earning his second ring this season.

Everyone who witnessed LeBron James grow as an NBA player last season also saw what he did in the 2011 NBA Finals.  “Not four, not five, not six…,” LeBron stated at his Miami Heat introduction in 2010.  In his first season in South Beach, LeBron had the opportunity to keep his word and start the process of winning multiple championships.  He showed up in the playoffs and cruised into the Finals.  However, James choked and vanished against the Dallas Mavericks in the championship series.  After a bitter loss, the criticism was blown to an amount no other athlete has ever had.  LeBron was the complete opposite in last season’s Finals matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder.  He controlled every game that series and won the NBA Finals MVP, capping off an unforgettable season.

One would think that after winning your first championship and celebrating for days, you would probably take a break.  LeBron James did not stop, though.  He packed his bags and flew across the pond to London, where he would play for his second gold medal in the 2012 Olympic Games.  The team, with no surprise, dominated the tournament and won gold.  James won his fourth major award of the year, and returned home for a fresh NBA season.

A Finals win, MVP, Finals MVP, and a gold medal—LeBron James capped off one of the most memorable seasons any athlete has ever had.  What he did has put him in the conversation with Michael Jordan, who ironically is the only other to win these four awards in the same year, for greatest of all time.  However, that is another topic up for debate.  The 2012 Sportsman of the Year was anything but a debate, and LeBron James is this year’s best player in the world.

Drew Agnello

Danny Manning Leaves KU

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The University of Kansas suffered a major loss today when assistant coach Danny Manning decided to leave KU and become Tulsa’s next head coach.  Manning has very deep roots with the Kansas basketball team.  He was a player for KU and led them to the 1988 National Championship, and after his basketball playing career, was arguably one of KU’s best assistant coaches.  He turned many raw big men into all-American type players. He coached Marcus Morris, Markief Morris, Darrel Arthur, Thomas Robinson, and Wayne Simien all of whom were stars at Kansas.

With Kansas losing Manning, the recruiting may suffer as well.  Big men such as Tony Parker, one of the top centers in the 2012 recruiting class, may not go to KU because of Manning’s absence.  Also, this will mean that future Kansas big men Perry Ellis, Zack Peters, and Landen Lucas will not have the luxury of one the best coaches in college basketball coaching them the next 4 years. With that being said Manning will forever be remembered as one of five greatest KU players of all time.  Thank you foreverything Danny and without you the 1988 basketball team would not have been dubbed “Danny and the Miracles”.

Connor Willsey

The Badass Column: Signs of the Apocalypse

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I’m a firm believer that the world will end in 2012. Consider the last week: Jeff Withey was trending on Twitter, Newt Gingrich is seriously being considered as a Republican Candidate, Jeremy Lin went from being the Chinese bench-warmer who went to Harvard to the (obviously) Taiwanese baller who put up 38 points against the Lakers to the victim of a racist comment (someone on ESPN is getting fired), and Nicki Minaj singlehandedly ruined the Adele’s Grammy’s. I’m leaving out the fact that someone in Hollywood thought it would be a good idea to make a sequel to Ghost Rider (Nicolas Cage, please retire, thank you).The Mayans were right. What has this world come to?

One thing’s for sure, though, Jeff Withey is going to be living up this last year if he continues “gettinwitheywithit” (don’t look at me, I didn’t come up with this). That’s not to say, if he does poorly on the court, he still won’t be living it up, because he’ll always have his hilarious twitter account @FakeJeffWithey

That must have been a loud yell. Photo from: hdnux.com

 

Fake Jeff Withey@FakeJeffWithey- Skipped classes and practice today. Valentine’s Day is my Super Bowl #WitheyGettingBusy

Or is it your National Championship, since you are in college? Either way, it’s a worthless day, and we all know it.

Fake Jeff Withey@FakeJeffWithey- “Well at least we are still gonna get a degree from a fine academic university. Oh wait…” -Texas Tech players

Well at least we are still gonna get a degree…Oh wait.

…This just got awkward.

Fake Jeff Withey@FakeJeffWithey- Wow, Coach Self takes me out when I’m only 1 point and 6 blocks away from a triple double #BillSelfCockBlockParty

Happens to me all the time, sometimes in NBA 2K11 the computer randomly subs a player that was only 6 blocks away from a triple double. ONLY 6!

Linning

And while Jeff Withey has been playing superbly these past few weeks, this last week he’s been upstaged by the meteoric rise of the Harvard graduate and now currently starting point guard for the New York Knicks Jeremy Lin. If the world doesn’t end as the Mayans predicted, it may very well end by the world getting taken over by linsanity. I can’t remember the last time I turned on Sportscenter and didn’t see something about Lin.

But it should be realized that his success was the product of opportunity and preparation. Just watch the below video, he worked out three times a day and when he was given the chance to play, he capitalized. What might be more incredible is that just last week he was sleeping on Landry Fields’s couch, after his brother told him he was having guests and couldn’t use his couch (#couchproblems).  

It will be interesting to see how the future unfolds for Lin. Will he be able to control his rampant turnover problems? How will he handle the return of Melo? Both are interesting questions and will only be answered with time. Looks like we won’t be seeing any less of Lin on Sportscenter, oh well.

The light at the end of the tunnel

And while I do think the world will end in 2012, there is still hope in this sad world. You only have to look at the cover of the most recent Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to understand why. Those girls reaffirm my belief that there is goodness in the world. Kate Upton must have stolen beauty points from Snooki and co. from the Jersey Shore (what would this column be without a tasteless Jersey Shore joke?)

 Unfortunately, the cover is all I’ve seen. My beautiful and caring mother immediately withdrew the magazine, leaving me like a kid who just realized that the yellow first down lines for football on TV weren’t actually real (don’t ask me how or why I thought this). So I’ve only glanced over the cover, but that’s been good enough for me.

 Not only does the SI Swimsuit Edition give me hope for this world, but also the new movie Hunger Games. I’ve read all three books of the series and based on the trailer this looks like a gem. For me, it’s a day one visit to the movie theatre, and while I’m there I will promptly forget that the world will end in less than a year, relax, and enjoy my life.

Blase Capelli

Mizzou vs. Baylor: Big 12 basketball at its finest

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Call me crazy, but I think the Tigers have a shot to win in Waco. With both teams sitting at 17-1 overall and 4-1 in the big 12, a lot is at stake in this highly anticipated match-up.

The Baylor Bears have been playing amazing basketball this season, but if the Jayhawks taught us anything a few days ago, it’s that they’re not unstoppable. Kansas was able to thump the Bears because of two things: great shooting, a high point total, and a hell of a show by Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson. Luckily, the Tigers excel in these areas.

Kansas shot 57% from the floor. Luckily, the Tigers are second in the nation averaging a 50% field goal percentage. Senior guard Kim English’s three-point percentage even eclipses that with an astounding 51.1%. The Tigers depend on their ability to shoot the basketball more than anything else. If English, Denmon, the Pressey brothers, and Mike Dixon are hot, watch out.

It’s not like Kansas played great defense either. The Bears scored 74 points against the Jayhawks, only three under their season average. Quincy Acy and Perry Jones also met their season averages, scoring in double digits and snatching a significant amount of boards off of the glass. The difference was, simply, Kansas outscored them. Missouri has a chance at this kind of win as well. The Tigers are fourth in the nation is points per game with 83, which shows that if the Tigers can keep the Bears at their average scoring rate, they have a legitimate shot at a W.

The last aspect of the game, which is what separates good teams from great ones, was outstanding play by the team leaders. Thomas Robinson was a man among boys with his 27 points and 14 rebounds, completely dominating the paint throughout the course of the game. Tyshawn Taylor, who has been of a bit of a disappointment this season, also gave the Jayhawks a boost. His 28 points and 6 assists broke the spirit of the Bears, and they were never able to recover from the 10-point deficit at half time.

If Missouri wants to win, a few players need to have an outstanding game: Missouri senior forward Ricardo Ratliffe has flown under the radar this season. What most people don’t know is that his 77.4 field goal percentage is the highest in the country. For the Tigers to compete against Baylor’s 6-11 giant Perry Jones, Ratliffe needs to be outstanding in the post. But Jones isn’t Baylor’s only threat. 6-7 forward Quincy Acy is right behind Jones in rebounding and scoring. Because of these dual big-man threats, Missouri might have to run Steve Moore and Ratliffe on the court at the same time. While the Tigers have done this before, it detracts from the run-and-gun offense their guards are best at.

Ricardo Ratliffe has been under the radar all year, despite shooting a nation leading 77.4 field goal percentage. Picture from kbiasportsextra.com

The guards are also crucial. Seniors Kim English and Marcus Denmon must shoot over 50% from behind the arc. If guard Phil Pressey can create opportunities in transition, he can have a lasting impact on the game as well. This matchup should be a thriller. It’s for second place in the conference, a very high ranking in the country, and respect at the national level. For each side to win, the Bears must capitalize on the Tigers weaknesses in the paint, and the Tigers have to shoot the lights out in Waco. This is what Big 12 basketball is all about.

Zac Hardwick

Chicago smelling ‘Roses’

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 He glides through the lane with such prowess and ease, leaps into the air with unbelievable explosiveness and power, and slams the ball powerfully through the net. He trots back down the court without so much as a yell or even a fist pump, only a slight smirk. He has had that same smirk on his face since he was 13 years old, dominating grown men on the eroding concrete courts of Englewood, a small crime-ridden south Chicago neighborhood.

His name is Derrick Rose, and after all, he’s just living his childhood dream as the NBA’s best point guard for his hometown Chicago Bulls. Rose, the reigning NBA MVP, continues to amaze the basketball world in just his 3rd full NBA season. In the long, storied history of Chicago high school basketball, collegiate and professional scouts alike claim they had never seen a player more talented and determined than Rose come out of the Chicago area.

The Bulls used to be firmly against drafting hometown kids. There are enough distractions for a young man trying to establish himself in the most prominent professional basketball league in the world without the added pressure of playing in front of family and friends on a nightly basis. But that is exactly what Derrick Rose thrives on, pressure. He is the prodigal son of Chicago. Derrick Rose has brought hope to the small, brutal south side neighborhood of Englewood, a neighborhood that is consistently in the news for all the wrong reasons.

The people of Englewood are so beaten down by violence and injustice they can’t even fathom the theory of optimism. Derrick Rose has changed all of that in just 3 short years. Rose brings Englewood residents the hope that one day they, too, can rise above all the violence and make it. Since being drafted by Chicago in the 2008 draft as the number 1 overall selection, Rose has averaged 21.2 points per game, adding 6.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds each time he steps out on the floor.

Rose isn’t all about offense; his Bulls were number 1 in total defense last season. He took the Bulls, a franchise that hadn’t won a playoff series since the Jordan days, to back to back playoff appearances in his first 2 seasons, winning 3 playoff series during that time span. I really didn’t think it was possible, but the people of Chicago have embraced Rose more than they ever embraced Jordan, and Rose has yet to bring an NBA Championship back to the Windy City. Derrick Rose truly is Chicago.

Derrrick Rose has helped the Bulls become prominent again in the NBA

The 2010-2011 season for Rose was one that will forever go down as one of the best seasons a single player has ever had in NBA history. Rose averaged 26.5 points, 8.7 assists, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game during that remarkable season, a season in which he was named the NBA’s most valuable player. He guided his Bulls to an NBA best 62-20 record and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, where Chicago fell to the Miami Heat in 5 games. But the Bulls were back, and the baby-faced, bright eyed Derrick Rose had brought the Bulls from absolute mediocrity to title contenders.

Sure, like anybody else, Rose has his doubters. ESPN columnist John Hollinger called Rose’s MVP award “an absolute abomination to the league.” Many fault Rose for his less than flattering career field goal percentage (46.7 percent) and his career field goal percentage from beyond the arc (30.8 percent). However, Rose makes up for it with his unbelievable efficiency from the free throw line (career 87 percent) and his knack to take and make the clutch shot. He seems to transcend the game itself, yet he does it with such a calm, relaxed exterior. One would think the success Rose has experienced over the past couple of seasons would change the way he plays and the way he carries himself off the court. Just the opposite has happened for Rose.

Upon signing a new 5 year, 98.5 million dollar contract that would keep him with Chicago through the 2016-2017 season, Rose remarked “Of course, I know I’ll be able to afford whatever I want, but other than that, there aren’t too many things that excite me. Me winning is one of the things. I’ll take winning a title over anything I could possibly buy with money. Me being around my family, that’s another. Money, that’s the last thing I think about. This will not change who I am.”

 As a lifetime Bulls fan, I faintly remember the Jordan days. In fact, some of my fondest memories as a youngster were watching Jordan take over games like no other player has ever done. But now the younger generation of Bulls fans has their own Michael Jordan in Derrick Rose, and we plan on loving him until he hangs it up for good. This Jordan might not win 6 championships or retire twice, but NBA fans everywhere know Derrick Rose and the Bulls will be serious title contenders for years.

Tyler Howard

What to watch this week

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The sports world is buzzing right now. College football is in the midst of the BCS bowls, Big 12 basketball has just begun, and the NBA is in full swing. With so many games going on, sports fan might be overwhelmed by what to watch. So here are my can’t-miss games for any sports fan in the Kansas City area, along with my predictions.

Cotton Bowl Kansas State vs. Arkansas January 6, 7:00 PM (all times are central)

We gave our whole breakdown of the matchup in our preview. This kind of game has huge implications for all Kansas City sports fans. If Kstate wins cue the statuses, tweets, and chants by KState fans claiming their team is the best ever and they should have been in a BCS bowl. If Kstate loses cue the statuses, tweets, and chants by KU and Missouri fans claiming Kstate is overrated and didn’t deserve a BCS bowl bid. Either way, you’re going to have a headache, so might as well watch the game.

With the recent absence of Tim Tebow heroics, look for Collin Klein to stand up, fulfilling his role as The Real Tim Tebow. Later in the game, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear him humming some hymns on the sideline. Meanwhile, all Arkansas and SEC fans (besides Florida fans) will be having nightmares about Tebow and his domination of the Conference for two years as a Florida Gator.

Kansas State 35 Arkansas 31

BCS National Championship Alabama vs. LSU January 9, 7:30 PM

I’ll admit it. I fell asleep watching the first matchup between these two teams, but this time around I vow to stay awake. I look at it this way, since there has been absolutely ZERO defense in these bowl games, a change in pace and style to a more defensive game might be refreshing.

Heading into the National Championship game, sources tell me that Alabama held open tryouts in hopes of finding a kicker. Turns out their two specialists (they have a long range kicker and short range kicker) both can’t kick field goals, as Alabama missed four field goals in the first meeting between these two teams. Unfortunately, I predict this one to be a low scorer as well, and without a decent field goal kicker, I don’t see Alabama winning this game. Look for Honey Badger to score in some way– punt return, pick six, fumble recovery—Honey Badger doesn’t care, just as long as he scores.

LSU 20 Alabama 13

College basketball: (22) Kansas State at (15) Kansas January 4, 7:00 PM

There’s not a better time to be a Kansas City sports fan than during the Big 12 Basketball season, and this game is a prime example why. Kansas has been under-performing for a KU basketball team, while Kansas State has exceeded expectations with only one loss on a season that was dubbed as a rebuilding year by experts.

I’m surprised there has yet to be a Parental Advisory warning before Kansas State games, because Frank Martin’s stare might just be the scariest thing I’ve ever seen—little kids should not be able to see that. However, The Stare will not be able to handle the man-child and athletic wonder that is Thomas Robinson. Plus, Allen Fieldhouse might just be the hardest place to play in the Big 12. Without a consistent scoring threat for Kansas State and a 20 point 10 rebound game from T-Robinson, I see Kansas defending its home court and winning big.

KU-75 KState-62

College basketball: (13) Michigan at (12) Indiana January 5, 8:00 PM

While this game may not have local connections, Indiana is one of the most entertaining teams to watch in college basketball. They have already beaten a then #1 team, Kentucky, and then #2 team, Ohio State, this season and have rejuvenated the dying Indiana basketball program, making Indiana basketball relevant again. Likewise, the Michigan basketball team and fans are reminiscing about the good days of the Fab 5 with the strong play of their team. Both programs have returned to prominence. This should be a close one, but I give the nod to Indiana. Playing at home and riding a big win against Ohio State Indiana will continue to win the big game.

Indiana 65 Michigan 60

College basketball: (6) Missouri at (22) Kansas State January 7, 12:30 PM

Marcus Denmon looks to lead the Missouri Tigers past the Wildcats

Even if Kansas State loses at Kansas on January 4, this game will be very important to the Wildcats. As I see it, this week looks like a make it break it for Kansas State athletics sports. Win and the glory is yours. Lose and you’ll be sure to hear it.

One reason I’m hesitant to jump on the Missouri band wagon is, as one of my least favorite announcers, Clark Kellogg would call it, their “spurtability.” (Yes, I just quoted Clark Kellogg. Everyone please take note.) Denmon and the Tigers can put up bunches of points in bursts, but if the game is slowed down and minimized to a half court game, I think teams can give Mizzou fits. However, Denmon and the Tigers should be too much to handle defensively for the Wildcats which will help generate some offensive points and ultimately a win.

Missouri- 79 Kansas State-70

 And if you have more time, these are some other great games to check out also.

Allstate Sugar Bowl Michigan v. Virginia Tech January 3, 7:30 PM

College Basketball:

(11)Michigan State at (19)Wisconsin January 3, 6:00 PM

(20) Marquette at (9) Georgetown January 4, 6:00 PM

(20) Marquette at (1) Syracuse January 7, 3:00 PM

NBA:

Chicago at Orlando January 6, 7:00 PM

Blase Capelli