Six from the Big 12 are dancing, but how long will they last?
It's time to dance, and the Big 12 Conference had six members invited to the party.But when the NCAA Tournament tips off today, which Big 12 basketball teams did you have enough confidence in to pick in your bracket to win a game : or two games : or even six games?Certainly you've got No. 1 seed Kansas (31-3) and No. 2 seed Texas (28-6) winning in the first round, and you've likely got both of them advancing at least to the second weekend if not farther.But how about the other four?Oklahoma (22-11) earned a No. 6 seed, Texas A&M (24-10) is a No. 9 seed, and Kansas State (20-11) and Baylor (21-10) both are potential bracket-busters at No. 11.Have you picked any of them to win their first-round games?Have you picked any of them to go deeper in the tournament?All four at times have shown the potential to make some postseason noise, but are you honestly confident in any of them?Oklahoma won four straight games late in the season, including a thrashing of Texas A&M, but the Sooners collapsed in the second half of their Big 12 Tournament semifinal game against Texas - a 28-point loss. The Sooners also have numerous discouraging losses this season, including a blowout loss at Nebraska and another loss at Colorado. There also was that little setback to Stephen F. Austin - at home - on Dec. 8.Texas A&M is an easy pick for a win if it performs like it did in the Big 12 Tournament when it beat Iowa State and K-State before falling in a nail-biter to Kansas. But that version of the Aggies seemed like an anomaly to anybody who saw them score just 37 points against Oklahoma and get blown out by K-State and Texas Tech during the regular season.Baylor looked enticing when it won 16 of its first 19 games, including a triple-overtime thriller against Texas A&M, but the Bears limp into the tournament as losers of eight of their last 13 games. A double-overtime loss to Colorado in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament seemed like it may have been the dagger that kept the Bears out of The Dance. In many ways, they are one of the luckiest teams to be in the NCAA Tournament. That said, the Bears have tremendous guard play that makes them a scary team.Kansas State has one of the most intriguing first-round pairings in the tournament with its matchup with USC. The winner of that game could end up in the Elite Eight. K-State proved early in the season that it could hang with, and beat, just about anybody when it's at its best. But the Wildcats' home victory against Kansas may have been the worst thing to happen to them this season, because since then they've self-destructed. They're 5-7 since beating KU, and they've got some absolutely embarrassing losses during that span - a road loss to a shorthanded Missouri club and a road loss at Nebraska when freshman Bill Walker's immaturity landed him a seat on the bench for the final nine minutes. It's likely that Walker will show up today - USC freshman O.J. Mayo was one of his high school teammates, so he has motivation to perform - and Michael Beasley has put up some ridiculous numbers night in and night out. The problem is you never know which Wildcats team will show up.As for my bracket, I've got KU and Texas in the Final Four, Baylor is my Sweet 16 sleeper, and Oklahoma lives to see the second round. I see Texas A&M and K-State heading home early.Of course, history has shown that my bracket doesn't turn out right very often.My questions to you: How far do you think the Big 12 teams will go in the NCAA Tournament? And if you read this after they've played, what did you think of their performances?
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