No. 9 Oklahoma State (12-19) vs. No. 8 Kansas State (16-15)
When: 6 p.m.
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Coach: Travis Ford
Tournament titles: 2004, 2005
RPI rank: 159
Players to watch: G Jeff Newberry has emerged as the team’s leading scorer without Jawun Evans and Phil Forte in the lineup ... G Jeffrey Carroll is a quality three-point shooter.
Pack enough clothes for: Two games, max. Oklahoma State won’t be favored in any of its games. Even if it beats K-State, No.1 Kansas is up next.
Most recent NCAA Tournament: 2015
What they are: A basketball team that has fallen on hard times and is struggling to attract crowds to home games. Ford is on the hot seat.
What the rest of the Big 12 sees: Empty seats at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
What they should be: A perennial NCAA Tournament team and contender for an upper-division finish in the Big 12.
Coach: Bruce Weber
Tournament titles: None.
RPI rank: 83
Players to watch: G Justin Edwards has been K-State’s most consistent scorer of late ... F D.J. Johnson is emerging as one of the top low-post players in the conference.
Pack enough clothes for: An overnight stay. The Wildcats should beat Oklahoma State, but they haven’t won back-to-back conference games all season.
Most recent NCAA Tournament: 2014
What they are: A basketball program that, of late, makes the NCAA Tournament more often than not. K-State’s fan base and facilities are better than most in the Big 12.
What the rest of the Big 12 sees: A team that can’t win close games.
What they should be: A team that regularly contends for the NCAA Tournament and challenges for Big 12 championships in the best years.
No. 10 TCU (11-20) vs. No. 7 Texas Tech (19-11)
When: 8:30 p.m.
Coach: Trent Johnson
Tournament titles: None
RPI rank: 183
Players to watch: G Chauncey Collins is one of the better shooters in the Big 12, capable of scoring in bunches ... F Karviar Shepeherd is the team’s most talented player, though he has slumped hard this season.
Pack enough clothes for: The whole week. TCU is unlikely to win a game in Kansas City, and its fans know it. Any making the trip might as well explore the city.
Most recent NCAA Tournament: 1998
What they are: The worst basketball team in the Big 12.
What the rest of the Big 12 sees: A good football team.
What they should be: A team that challenges for the NIT.
Coach: Tubby Smith
Tournament titles: None
Players to watch: G Toddrick Gotcher is Texas Tech’s leading scorer ... G Aaron Ross can score on the inside and outside.
Pack enough clothes for: A long stay. Odds are, Texas Tech heads home after two games, but the Red Raiders won five straight conference games in the regular season. They have some darkhorse appeal.
Most recent NCAA Tournament: 2007
What they are: A team that can win with an established coach, such as Bob Knight or Tubby Smith.
What the rest of the Big 12 sees: Lubbock isn’t the easiest place to sell to recruits. That’s why Texas Tech is never consistently great in any sport.
What they should be: A tough team to beat on the road that occassionaly makes the NCAA Tournament.
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett