The Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament reaches its climactic conclusion tonight, and here's all the important information you need..
#4 Iowa St. Cyclones
(25-7, 11-7, 16/16)
#7 Baylor Bears
(24-10, 9-9, arv/arv)
Was that something, or what? The Cyclones gave up a 16-0 run at one point yesterday, and still won by 11. We got to see Fred Hoiberg actually get angry about something, shoot almost 70 percent from the field in the second half, and Georges Niang get what will probably be a nice scar over his eye. Baylor, meanwhile, has trailed for only one minute and 37 seconds in their three games at Sprint Center this weekend, vaulting from the seven seed to the title game by absolutely obliterating a lifeless Longhorn squad in the semifinals. This has been an absolutely fantastic tournament, and everyone spent all week saying any of eight teams could win it... and we were more right than we imagined. Tonight could be a truly excellent fireworks show.
It's the second time Baylor has attempted to claim the championship after starting play on day one of the tournament, a feat no team has ever accomplished; indeed, regardless of who wins this will be the first time the Big 12 Championship has been won by a team outside the top three seeds. It's also the first time that a Big 12 title game at the Sprint Center doesn't include at least one team along I-70. And from a Wildcat-centric perspective... we have the only two teams to beat the Wildcats twice this season facing off for the trophy.
Iowa State holds a 16-10 series lead, and has won two of the teams' three meetings in the Big 12 Championship. The Cyclones are seeking their second Big 12 tournament title (2000), and their third conference tournament title (1996). The Emerald Bears have never won the Big 12 Championship -- in fact, Baylor has never, ever won a conference tournament, and hasn't won a conference basketball championship of any kind since sharing the Southwest Conference regular-season title with Texas in 1950.
Sixty-four years. Paul McCartney wrote a song about that once.
Odds: Iowa State is favored by 1.5 points tonight.
Tipoff: 8:00pm CT at Sprint Center (18,972) in Kansas City, Missouri.
Television: After jumping all over the television dial all weekend, the Big 12 Championship finally lands on the flagship. Brent Musberger, Fran Fraschilla, and Holly Rowe will take over ESPN for the evening.
Radio: John Morris and Pat Nunley have the Baylor call on ESPN Central Texas, while John Walters and Erick Heff announce the game on the Cyclone Radio Network in Iowa. One of the two pairs will be on Sirius 84/XM 84.
Online: Video streaming via ESPN3, live stats via Big 12 Sports. There is no free audio stream.
After the game, live postgame will be available via Big 12 Sports, and for your viewing pleasure here are the post-game press conferences from last night: