Big 12 men’s basketball: What we learned from the holiday tournaments


All the Thanksgiving tournaments are over this weekend. So, what should we take away from all the games?

Biggest winner: Kansas at Orlando Classic

I had Kansas under Texas, and if the Longhorns didn’t have a clutch go-ahead basket to win the game against Connecticut today, they would have surpassed them as the top dogs in the Big 12. The Jayhawks dominated the boards (43-35 edge in rebounds), and attacked the basket more to get more chances at the free throw line. If they did better at the charity stripe (made 18 of 27), it wouldn’t have been as close as it was.

Most disappointing: Baylor at Las Vegas Invitational

Having 15 turnovers compared to 5 won’t win many games, and that’s what Baylor suffered despite dominating the boards. Both teams struggled from downtown and the free throw line, but the Bears will have to play a lot better than they did in Las Vegas to be a contender in the conference.

Most surprising: TCU at Corpus Christi Coastal Classic

Their stats are inflated because they’ve played seven garbage teams, but don’t take them for granted. 16 assists per game is the biggest stat to take home — that could continue in the Big 12, and as Iowa State fans know, assists to field goals made are a big way to succeed.

Exactly what we expected: Oklahoma at Battle 4 Atlantis

The Sooners made it to the final against Wisconsin and even played well in the first half of the championship against Wisconsin, but they fell apart in the second half. But against the Badgers who thrive on defense and made the adjustments at halftime? Can’t be too harsh on it. Beating a top-25 UCLA team was an impressive win.