It's the final week of the Big 12 regular season and, surprisingly, I'm not as excited as I'd hoped to be.
Jason Whitlock thinks the refs weren't particularly impressive in the Sunflower Showdown this weekend. Whatever, Jason.
I should note something I forgot in the postgame reaction. The second foul called on Bill Walker, on the lob pass, was one of the worst officiating mistakes I've ever seen. The foul was clearly committed by Ron Anderson, but the refs screwed up and gave it to Walker. Absolutely terrible officiating.
The KC Star reports that Big 12 coaches want six teams in the NCAA tournament this year. I would love to see that, but it would be quite surprising. Burnt Orange Nation thinks the Big 12 gets five among the six teams being considered.
Here's how we stack up against the other teams in contention in the conference:
K-State (RPI: 43, Strength of schedule: 13, Conference: T-3rd)
Baylor (RPI: 33, SOS: 41, Conference: T-3rd)
Oklahoma (RPI: 30, SOS: 8, Conference: T-5th)
Texas A&M (RPI: 46, SOS: 72, Conference: T-5th)
I will also note that we beat two of those three teams. One on the road, the other by 21 points. The committee has repeatedly said it doesn't allocate bids by conference, but I have to believe we are, at worst, fourth in line in the Big 12.
Also from CNN/SI, an article about the sometimes-deplorable conduct of fans this year. While K-State is not among the worst offenders, some signs during the KU game in Manhattan merited mention because of their homophobic content.
Also from the TCJ, Rick Dean notes that ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla and "some NBA people" think Bill Walker needs to stay in school.
Those sentiments may not be without merit. Some mock drafts don't even include Walker among those projected to be taken in the two-round draft (that first link includes only the first round), while others have him going in the late first round. Walker really needs to step it up in the last two games of the season, the Big 12 tournament, and whatever postseason event K-State ends up in if he wants to be picked as highly as he wants. On top of that, only first-round picks are guaranteed to make money. If Walker were picked in the second round but didn't make a roster, he would have shot his college eligibility and would be without an NBA team for whom to play.
Finally on the basketball front, two quick hitters from the Wichita Eagle. Apparently Clent Stewart is handling the losing streak better than Michael Beasley, and Bill Walker's struggles are hurting K-State. No way!
On Senior Night, the K-State women rolled to an easy win over Missouri, 81-52. With the win, the women move back into a tie with Baylor for the conference lead, although the Bears hold the tiebreaker. In the final game of the regular season, K-State travels down the river to play the 4-11 'beakers, while Baylor has a home date with 10-5 Oklahoma State.
For reasons of age, overexertion and dubious alcohol tolerance, I was unable to make it to Beaumont, Texas, for the (Lamar University) Cardinal Classic baseball tournament last weekend. And boy did I miss out. After wasting a stellar effort by Brad Hutt on Thursday, the Cats won three straight.
It all culminated on Sunday, when the Bat Cats spread seven runs across the last four innings to erase Michigan State's six-run lead and win, 10-9. Preceding that win were wins over Lamar, 4-1, and another one against Michigan State, 8-0. Even more impressive was K-State's ability to pick up three wins in the Classic with only two at-bats from Byron Wiley, although we will need Wiley back to accomplish some of our goals for this season.
National champion high jumper Scott Sellers picked up his first Big 12 Indoor title by winning the high jump with a height of 7'6".
On the women's side, Loren Groves took first place in the women's weight throw. Congrats to both Scott and Loren!
Other notable finishes for K-State included Donniece Parrish (2nd in the women's 400 meter dash), Morgan Bonds (2nd in the women's 600 yard run), Liliani Mendez (5th in the women's 1000 meter run), Beverly Ramos (4th in the women's mile run, 5th in the women's 5000 meter run), Alexandra Gonzalez (3rd in the women's pole vault), Mike Myer (5th in the men's 60 meter dash, 4th in the men's 200 meter dash), Jason Collett (3rd in the men's 800 meter run), Colin Swaney (6th in the men's 3000 meter run).
Those performances added up to an eighth-place finish for the men, while the women came in ninth. Maybe the outdoor season will be kinder.