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The big boys get into play on Thursday at the Big 12 Tournament, with Iowa State and Oklahoma each hoping a win can keep them on the bubble.
After a pair of play-in games, the Big 12 Tournament starts in earnest Thursday, with quarterfinals featuring the team's best -- and some squads looking to score upsets.
Kansas and Kansas State are the favorites, and will try to move on with ease, but perhaps the most interesting game of the day features Iowa State and Oklahoma, teams both battling to push further onto the bubble.
Action starts at 12:30 ET from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, and all games will be available on either ESPN2 or ESPN3.
12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2: No. 4 Oklahoma (20-10, 11-7) vs. No. 5 Iowa State (21-10, 11-7)
Both of these squads find themselves around the No. 11 or No. 12 spot in various brackets, so this might be the closest thing to a win-and-you're-in scenario in the Big 12 Tourney. It's possible that the loser ends up dancing too, but they'll have to sit through a precarious selection Sunday and hope no bid thieves appear in other conferences. These two split the season series, with Will Clyburn scoring 19 for Iowa State in a 19-point win and Romero Osby dropping 22 for Oklahoma in their 17-point win.
3 p.m. ET, ESPN2: No. 9 Texas Tech (11-19, 3-15) vs. No. 1 Kansas (26-5, 14-4)
Jeff Withey, Ben McLemore, and top-seeded Kansas are looking to crush the Red Raiders as they did in both regular season matchups, including a 37-point blowout at Allen Fieldhouse. Texas Tech probably feels nice after holding off West Virginia for a 71-69 win in the first round, but that's about all this tournament has written for them.
7 p.m. ET, ESPN3: No. 7 Texas (16-16, 7-11) vs. No. 2 Kansas State (25-6, 14-4)
Bruce Weber's squad enters this tournament seeking revenge on Kansas for beating them twice in the regular season and earning the No. 1 seed based on the head-to-head. They'll have to wait a while. First up is Myck Kabongo and Texas, who have had a rough go of things even after the star freshman was reinstated from suspension.
9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3: No. 6 Baylor (18-13, 9-9) vs. No. 3 Oklahoma State (23-7, 13-5)
After making it to the Elite Eight last year, Baylor entered the season with a lot of hope -- Pierre Jackson is a great point guard, and Isaiah Austin is a probable first-round pick when he decides to enter the NBA Draft -- but they'll need multiple wins in Kansas City to even merit consideration from the selection committee this year. Luckily, they had Oklahoma State's number: Jackson had 18 points and Cory Jefferson had a double-double in a 64-54 win over the Cowboys in Waco, with a block at one end and a Markel Brown lay-in at the other giving Oklahoma State an overtime win in the other. Brown and Marcus Smart make a scary backcourt for the Cowboys.
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