The Big 12 conference championship kicked off, Wednesday, with Kansas State taking on Oklahoma State for the right to face No. 1 seed and No. 1-ranked Kansas on Thursday afternoon.
The Wildcats appeared ready for a rematch with KU by jumping out on the Cowboys early, building an 18-8 lead.
OSU, which has had one of its worst seasons under head coach Travis Ford, was without Juwan Evans, the conference freshman of the year, as well as Phil Forte, who they have missed the entire year.
K-State frosh Dean Wade led the way for his team with 20 points and hit his first 3 three-point attempts in the first half.
The Wildcats dominated the paint area against a much more guard-oriented Oklahoma State. Like head coach Bruce Weber said following the game, the Wildcats should feel zero pressure in this tournament considering there are at least six teams ahead of them with better chances to win, at least on paper.
Now, KSU will need to get ready to go against the Kansas Jayhawks on Thursday, a team which is playing as well or better than any other team in the country and currently riding an 11-game winning streak. K-State has lost both match ups this season against KU, but played the Jayhawks closely in Manhattan.
In the night cap, Texas Tech took on the TCU Horned Frogs for the right to face second-seeded West Virginia on Thursday.
In most cases, Texas Tech has been listed as a school which could make its way into the NCAA tournament with the season its had. The Red Raiders have a resume which is led by an upset win over then-No. 1 Oklahoma.
However, Wednesday night did not help their case of becoming the seventh team to make the field after dropping a first-round opener to bottom-feeder TCU at the Sprint Center, 67-62.
Both teams struggled offensively and with TCU playing much better team defense of late, the Red Raiders struggled to find their offense.
Stellar TCU guard Chauncey Collins scored 19 points and hit three final second free throws to seal the deal for the Frogs as the No. 10 seed in the 10-team field.
Now, TCU will take on a West Virginia team built almost solely on its defense. Offensively, the Mountaineers aren’t overly fluid when it comes to half court sets and scoring against a ready defense, but with their hectic, play, they score a large chunk of their points off turnovers which create easy baskets in transition.
With a successful day 1 in the books at the Sprint Center, day 2 is ready to begin. Tickets are available for Thursday’s session as well as all remaining sessions through Saturday. Tickets For Less has a variety of seating options at the best prices, and with zero hidden service fees, what you see is what you get on all ticket purchases. Don’t miss any of the incredible action in downtown Kansas City. Get your tickets today!