The Big 12 Tournament semifinals kicked off in Kansas City, with Kansas, Iowa State, Texas, and TCU all fighting for a spot in the Big 12 final.
Takeaway #1: Kansas’ defense ruins Iowa State’s momentum
Anytime Iowa State tried to get a run going, Kansas would force a turnover. The Cyclones committed 22 turnovers, well over their season average of 12.8 points per game. Kansas kept building the lead to around eight points, and whenever Iowa State tried to cut it down, the Jayhawks would force a turnover and maintain the lead.
While Iowa State isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut, Kansas’ ability to hold leads in the first two games of the Big 12 Tournament has been impressive. Late-game situations have cost many teams key victories this past week, and Kansas’ prevention of that has been massive.
Takeaway #2: Texas only makes two threes and still wins easily
A big reason for Texas’ success all season is their ability to hit shots. They make about seven a game, and in modern college basketball, if the threes aren’t falling, it’s hard to win games, especially when the opponent makes eight of them. The fact that Texas can still win a game this way, where it never really felt like their lead was in danger, not to mention against a top-25 team, shows how talented this team is.
When the shots start to fall, there aren’t many teams that can stop the Longhorns from winning it all. There aren’t many times you’re going to have Marcus Carr and Sir’Jabari Rice go 5-for-27 from the field, and if you can’t take advantage of that like TCU, then you have no chance.
1. Kansas will face 2. Texas on Saturday at 6 p.m. on ESPN.