The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 02, 1999, Page 7, Image 7

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Open race on the mens side
makes exciting Big 12 Tourney
By Adam Klinker
Senior staff writer
It was springtime in the Midwest on Monday -
baseball weather, perhaps.
But baseball is still a long time coming as far as
March Madness is concerned. Many more things
remain to be seen in the universe of college basket
ball. ■
Most pointedly - the conference tournaments,
which kick off for the Big 12 Conference on March
4 in Kansas City, Mo. Taking a look at the pairings
for the tourney, things look about as wide-open as
the regular-season league race for most teams. i
Or, as Oklahoma Coach Kelvin Sampson
waxed poetically, “It's like nirvana for some. ■CjgU
Anyone can beat anyone."
Here are the seeds and their first-round H
games: H
No. 1 seed: Texas (18-11 overall, 13-3 in
the Big 12) First-round bye. Ranked No. 22 in
the nation, the Longhorns won a swift race to the
top in stellar, if not surprising, fashion.
However, the Longhorns enter the tourney coming
off a 54A7 loss to Missouri on Feb. 27.
“Against Missouri, we didn’t do a very good job of taking care
of the basketball,” UT Coach Rick Barnes said. “We just need to get
some rest this week and come into Kansas City ready to play.”
No. 2 seed: Missouri (20-7 and 11-5), First-round bye. Tiger
Coach Norm Stewart said his team has had some trouble with injuries
and sickness as of late, but things are healing up nicely and with the
bye, the extra day's rest will be beneficial.
Forward Albert White was suffering from the flu while
freshman guard Keyon Dooling is recovering from an ankle injury.
“I think we'll get back to normal,” Stewart said, “but there are still
some things that aren’t 100 percent.”
Mizzou will play the winner of the Kansas State-Texas A&M game.
No. 3 seed: Kansas (19-9 and 11-5), First-round bye. The Jayhawks
didn’t run away with the league this year, as has been their calling card in
seasons past, and they’re also coming off a loss to Iowa State.
KU will face the winner of the Texas Tech-Nebraska game. KU is 0
3 vs. those teams.
No. 4 seed: Oklahoma (20-9 and 13-3) First-round bye. OU fm
poured it on late, winning seven of nine games, including key games at l§ffS
Texas, 64-63 and at Missouri, 69-57. £|||H
The Sooners will play the winner of the Oklahoma State-Baylor / |1
game. £j||H
No. 5 seed: Oklahoma State (19-9 and 10-6) plays Baylor. The
Cowboys aced Nebraska for the No. 5 spot based on the first head-to- """Tjl
head tie-breaker. OSU beat the Huskers 60-48 on Feb. 17. V
OSU has won three of its last four going into the tourney game with ■
Baylor, an 0-16 team in league play. H
“There’s always a danger in playmg someone who hasn't won a game
in the conference,” OSU Coach Eddie Sutton said. H
No. 6 seed: Nebraska (18-11 and 10-6) plays Texas Tech. The V
Comhuskers faltered late, but going off their performance in the second h
half in an 87-68 win against Texas A&M on Feb. 27, Coach Danny Nee said W
things are looking up for his ballclub. 'H
Nee said NU is looking forward to a rematch with No. 11 seed Texas W
Tech, a team that beat the Huskers earlier in the season. V
“We’ve got to play a solid basketball game,” Nee said. “We’ll be ready to ^k
play. We remember what happened at Texas Tech.”
No. 7 seed: Kansas State (18-11 and 7-9) plays Texas A&M. Following Cl
an up-and-down year in the conference where they couldn’t really string
any wins together, the Wildcats are hoping to get together some consis- SyjB
tency m the tournament. AI
In their previous game against the Aggies, the Wildcats lost a close 79- „
74 game Feb. 10. ^k
No. 8 seed: Colorado (16-13 and 7-9) plays Iowa State. Several Big ^BB^^ W
12 coaches remarked that the Buffaloes are the conference’s hottest team
going into the tourney. CU has won four games in a row and five of its last six.
“We’ve finished strong,” CU Coach Ricardo Patton said. “I’m real proud of the effort these kids
have given me.”
No. 9 seed: Iowa State (15-14 and 6-10) plays Colorado. Cyclone Coach Larry Eustachy is
determined not to finish out his season without a fight. With the momentum of a win over KU,
Eustachy said things are looking up for ISU.
“It certainly helps,” he said. “Our team has worked awfully hard. It was a nice win, but now we’ve
got to move on to Colorado.”
No. 10 seed: Texas A&M (12-14,5-11) plays Kansas State. There’s a history with the 10th seed
in the Big 12 Tournament. After the No. 1 seed, the No. 10 seed has the highest record at 5-2.
Also on A&M’s side is that it’s playing an opponent, Kansas State, that it has been successful
against in a tight game when the Aggies won 79-74 over the Wildcats on Feb. 10.
No. 11 seed: Texas Tech (13-16,5-11 conference) plays Nebraska. Texas Tech, coming off back
to-back losses, is rematched with a Nebraska team that it beat 73-68 on Feb. 20.
Injuries have hampered the Red Raiders in the last few games, but Coach James Dickey said
everyone should be ready to go for tournament time.
No. 12 seed: Baylor (6-23 and 0-16) plays Oklahoma State. There have been very few positives
for the Bears in leaeue nlav this season as the team lost all of its games.
Texas Tech leads way for women;
Nebraska looks to make noise
By Jay Saunders
Staff writer
Tt is time to “raise the roof” of Kansas City’s Municipal
That is because the roof-raising fad has been selected as
the theme ot this year s Big 12 Conference women s basket
ball tournament, which starts this afternoon.
Just when everyone thought the tournament seeds were rel
atively set, Saturday night came along.
The top four teams (No. 1 Texas Tech, No. 2 Iowa State,
No. 3 Kansas and No. 4 Texas) had already been deter
^ mined, but two upsets and a Nebraska win on the road
shook things up in the middle of the Big 12 pack.
Baylor beat No. 2-seeded Iowa State, which
V appeared to give the Bears the No. 5 seed regardless if
Nebraska beat Oklahoma State or not.
What Baylor, or many other people for that matter,
didn’t expect was Missouri beating Oklahoma in Norman.
Because of a senes of tiebreakers, the Comhuskers will
have the No. 5 seed, followed by Oklahoma and Baylor.
W No. 11 Oklahoma State, who figured to be playing
J Nebraska again in the first round now has to play the No. 6
Sooners. The Cowgirls have lost to OU twice already this season.
“I thought it would be Nebraska no matter what,” OSU Coach
Dick Halterman said. “But if there is a team that we can get up for,
it should be OU.”
Now that the seeds are set, the tournament can begin. In a year
full of parity throughout the conference, most coaches think the
tournament will be no different.
The most interesting first-round game may be No. 8 Kansas
State and No. 9 Colorado. These two teams split their regular-season
games and have the exact same records.
After losing four straight games, KSU closed the regular season
with an upset loss to Kansas.
Most coaches say the parity of this year’s conference season
should continue in the Big 12 tournament.
[ v\ But Nebraska Loach Paul sanaertora saia mere is one team
V A that may be called the favorite - the regular season champion
| . Texas Tech Red Raiders.
if j “You never know what is going to happen,” Sanderford said.
iS “But Tech is the league champions and they have played like it.”
A Here’s a seed-by-seed look at the Big 12 women’s tournament:
No. 1 seed: Texas Tech (25-3 overall and 14-2 in the Big 12)
First round bye.
The Red Raiders are the prohibitive favorite here, as they were
the entire season. The Big 12 player of the year, Angie Braziel,
anchors the center for Tech, averaging 20.7 points and 8.7
rebounds per game this season.
The rest of the team is balanced in its scoring with Rene
Hanebut able to hit the 3-pointer as well any player in the conference.
Texas Tech won the tournament last year. Tech lost to Texas and Kansas
during the conference season.
No. 2 seed: Iowa State (20-6 and 12-4)First round bye.
The Cyclones get balanced scoring form all over, but have a inside
! outside combination with Stacy Frese and Megan Taylor. Scoring isn’t a
| problem, as ISU averaged 75.7 points per game this season. Their oppo
nents averaged 62.5 points. Ihe Clones can be a dangerous team.
Wo. 3 seed: Kansas (21-8 and 11-5) First round bye.
It starts with Lynn Pride, who averages 18.0 points and 7.4 rebounds
per game. Frustrate her and you go a long way to stopping the Jayhawks.
But if she gets hot, KU’s dangerous. KU’s defense is among the bets in
the conference, holding opponents to 58.7 points per game. Beat both
OU and OSU earlier in the season.
No. 4 seed: Texas (16-10 and 10-6) First round bye.
UT ended the season hot, winning five of its last six. It puts them at
Xv ^■/ a iourtn seea wun a llKeiy game agaimi iNcmabKd awaiting mem.
Edwina Brown leads the Longhorns at 15.7 points and 7.6 rebounds.
No. 5 seed: Nebraska (19-10 and 8-8) plays Texas A&M.
Barring complete collapse, NU should beat the Aggies. Nicole Kubik looked refreshed after a
move to two-guard and the Huskers have the speed to beat and challenge Texas Tech. Brooke Schwartz
will be a key here.
No. 6 seed: Oklahoma (14-12 and 8-8) plays Oklahoma State.
The Sooners need a lot of help to get into the NCAA Tournament. Phylesha Whaley is the leading
scorer and rebounder. OU’s defense gives up 72 point per game.
No. 7 seed: Baylor (16-12 and 8-8) plays Missouri. BU pounded Missouri earlier in the season
78-54. The Bears’ guards are among the best in the conference. Not a team easily pressed.
No. 8 seed: Kansas State (14-12 and 7-9) plays Colorado. Not afraid to shoot the 3-pointer.
Nicky Ramage a strong leader. Really, though, just fodder for Texas Tech.
No. 9 seed: Colorado (14-12 and 7-9) plays Kansas State. Again, fodder for Texas Tech. The
Buffaloes average 69.2 points per game and give up 68.1 points.
No. 10 seed: Missouri (12-14 and 5-11) plays Baylor. Julie Helm and Kesha Bonds form solid 1
2 attack. MU turns the ball over on frequent occasions.
No. 11 seed: Oklahoma State (12-14 and 4-12) plays Oklahoma. A low-scoring team. Jennifer
Crow averages 17.1 points per game, but no one else is in double figures.
No. 12 seed: Texas A&M (7-19 and 2-14) plays Nebraska. The Aggies are the worst team in the
conference. Prissy Sharpe and Kera Alexander score but also turn the ball over. Should bow out to NU.