As I mentioned in the most recent BIG 12 OUTLOOK, feel free to use this entry as a live discussion thread today.
I'll try to pop in throughout the day, but a BlackBerry Curve only can do so much — and I've got basketball to watch, dammit.
Follow the jump for some predictions and brief, thoroughly pedantic analysis.
Note: All of today's games will air on the Big 12 Network.
11:30 a.m.: No. 8 Nebraska vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State
- BracketCat: Nebraska 65, Oklahoma State 62
- GAMER: Nebraska 62, Oklahoma State 61
- Pomeroy: Nebraska 64, Oklahoma State 59
- Sagarin: Nebraska 70, Oklahoma State 67
All the experts agree this likely will be a low-scoring, defensive affair. That's Nebraska's stock in trade and it's not like Oklahoma State really has the weapons to object. The Cornhuskers won their only meeting this year 65-54.
Of course, having said that, watch the two of them get into a corn-fueled shootout at Eskimo Joe's.
One thing we do know is that Nebraska is a desperate team, being the furthest away of the Big 12 bubble teams from the sweet spot (if you believe Joe Lunardi).
Which is why, even though I think OSU will give a game effort, I expect Doc Sadler's boys to find a way to win a close game and advance to take their requisite beating tomorrow.
2 p.m.: No. 5 Colorado vs. No. 12 Iowa State
- BracketCat: Colorado 79, Iowa State 76
- GAMER: Colorado 76, Iowa State 71
- Pomeroy: Colorado 79, Iowa State 76
- Sagarin: Colorado 82, Iowa State 80
The theme of "departing traitor school versus land-grant loyalist" continues with this intriguing pairing.
Did I say "intriguing?" I meant "dreary." Only the prospect of a repeat of last week's 95-90 turbocharged Cyclones win has me enthused at all about this game.
While I'm sure some will say that Hilton Magic-infused result means Iowa State can become the third consecutive No. 12 seed to win its opener when I personally am in attendance at Sprint Center, let's get real.
Colorado is a desperate team, similar to Nebraska, and it simply has more offensive weapons if it ever decides to get serious about playing defense.
The Buffs should roll in this one, as they did in the first meeting (95-69), and I hope they do, because I want payback tomorrow afternoon.
6 p.m.: No. 7 Baylor vs. No. 10 Oklahoma
- BracketCat: Baylor 68, Oklahoma 62
- GAMER: Baylor 68, Oklahoma 61
- Pomeroy: Baylor 68, Oklahoma 62
- Sagarin: Baylor 69, Oklahoma 63
Ooh, boy, this should be fun. The team that plays like a discombobulated AAU squad versus the fairly untalented roster that has its athletic director wondering why Texas Tech beat him to the punch in the Billy Clyde Sweepstakes.
The Bears and the Sooners split the regular-season series, with the Bible Aggies winning 74-61 in Waco and the Land Thieves securing a 73-66 victory in Norman.
Both teams are rather allergic to defense, so this should be a fairly entertaining game for the innocent bystander.
And both coaches tend to be, shall we say, dullards at times, so expect at least one laugh-inducing brain fart from each bench at some point in the game.
Really, on the tournament's opening day, what else can you ask for?
8:30 p.m.: No. 6 Missouri vs. No. 11 Texas Tech
- BracketCat: Missouri 85, Texas Tech 72
- GAMER: Missouri 79, Texas Tech 67
- Pomeroy: Missouri 86, Texas Tech 74
- Sagarin: Missouri 90, Texas Tech 75
Gee, did Missouri have a sweet draw or what?
What kind of punishment is a non-top four seed when you get to play a team with a lame-duck coach, followed by a team that even NASA physicists have examined and cannot explain how it got to 10-6 in Big 12 play?
Of course, Mizzou didn't exactly steamroll the Red Raiders in Columbia a few weeks ago. In fact, the Tigers had to hold on at the end for a 92-84 win. And they aren't exactly on a roll right now, having dropped three straight.
Plus, if anyone can find a way to screw up a winnable Big 12 Tournament game, it's Mike Anderson, he of the two opening-round losses to Nebraska teams with inferior talent in the last four tourneys.
Stick around for this one. It could become interesting.