Top Three Takeaways From Saturday’s Big 12 Basketball Games (Mar 9 2024)

Heartland College Sports – An Independent Big 12 Today Blog

Here are three takeaways from Big 12 Conference men’s basketball on Saturday, which was the final day of the regular season.

So what happened? Injuries, set brackets, Big 12 Tournament week upon us and much more.

Here are three thoughts on the day.

 

Kansas’ March Hopes On the Brink?

For the last several weeks, Kansas has been monitoring the health of Kevin McCullar, with Bill Self doing everything in his power to make sure his veteran was set for a deep run in March. But then came Saturday, when things got worse as Hunter Dickinson suffered a dislocated shoulder in a 30-point loss to the Houston Cougars on the final day of the regular season. McCullar then missed the second half of the game as well.

After the game, Bill Self said, “(Dickinson) dislocated his shoulder, popped back in, but he’ll have an MRI to see the diagnosis and try to get a game plan moving forward for him. Kevin, he hasn’t done anything since (the Kansas State game on Tuesday). Today, he felt better and thought he’d try (to play). I wish we wouldn’t have played (McCullar).”

“It’s a pretty big level of concern when your two best players are probably questionable moving forward.”

Self would not say whether or not they will play in the Big 12 Tournament, but at this point, the NCAA Tournament feels like a best-case scenario for both guys. And if they miss March Madness, Kansas, without much depth, is likely looking at an early exit.

 

Is Kansas State Back on the Bubble?

Well, according to the ultimate Bracketologist, Joe Lunardi, the answer is no.

Lunardi still doesn’t have Kansas State in the picture, despite their upset of No. 6 Iowa State on Saturday.

Now look at these blind resumes.

 

And now for the reveal.

Team A: Mississippi State, consensus 8 or 9 seed.
Team B: Kansas State, supposedly not even on the bubble.

The reason for the difference? Computer ratings. Mississippi State has far stronger NET and KenPom numbers.

But Kansas State will have opportunities in the Big 12 Tournament, starting with playing Texas on Wednesday night. And if they win? It’s a re-match with Iowa State.

Big 12 Tournament All Set

The Big 12 Tournament is ready to tip off at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City on Tuesday. All the Big 12 Tournament information can be found here.

 

Congratulations to the Houston Cougars, who in Year 1 in the best college basketball conference in the country, win the league and land the No. 1 seed in KC. This year’s tournament features four double byes, since the league is at 14 teams, which went to the Cougars, Iowa State, Baylor and Texas Tech.

Kansas limps in as the No. 6 seed for reasons noted above, while one of the big positive surprises was BYU, who gets the No. 5 seed. The Cougars have been as fun a team to watch as anyone this season in this league.

It’s going to be an awesome week and our lead Big 12 basketball writer Matthew Postins will be in KC for all your coverage. Stay tuned for more at Heartland College Sports.