K-State wanted to play Oklahoma State. They did. Everyone did. Everyone wanted to see it, too.
So let's get that out of the way, right now. If there was going to be a matchup on that side of the bracket, it was K-State vs. Oklahoma State.
The Wildcats had one team to beat at the end of the season to win the Big 12 regular season title outright. Oklahoma State beat them. Now it's pay back time.
This game might be more exciting that KU/Iowa State, simply for the athleticism and the Jayhawks and Cyclones have some athletic players.
But the game comes down to two players: Cowboys' marcus Smart and K-State's Rodney McGruder. McGruder is such an incredible shooter of late, he earned every award that was handed to him. And Smart? Well, what else do you say about the Big 12 Player of the year?
These two are going to go toe to toe Friday night, and that is going to be must see TV.The hope is that the players play up to those standards set before them. Rodney scored 24 Thrusday, Smart had 21.
Both players have the green light and rarely does K-State let him take the foot of the gas. Same goes for Smart but he has LeBryan Nash and Markel Brown to pass off to. McGruder has Spradling and Shane Southwell.
These two teams couldn't be more evenly matched, it's hard to find an edge for either club. Maybe it's the coaches fashion sense? Cheerleaders? WHO KNOWS?!
Winner plays for the Big 12 tournament title - something both teams want desperately to validate their seasons.
Let me first start out by saying that I love food, and BBQ. So Kansas City is all right with me.
After wrapping up everything from the night before, I hopped out of an elevator with Bruce Weber and coachin staff, following, what I'm assuming was a film session - he didn't look up from his phone the whole time - I set out a thought process for lunch Friday.
Fortunately, KWCH Chief photographer Brian Gordon loves food and BBQ as much as I, so we had no problem deciding what to it, it was where.
In the realm of arguments and discussion, the best BBQ ranks right up there with Sports and Politics. No one can decide on the best stuff - everyone has a differing opinion. And it gets ugly in Kansas City. One place is overrated, another is decent, but only because of one thing. People think the one across town tells them a lot about you. And every place, and no placg like are the best, end of discussion.
For this discussion, I will say that we decided on Jack Stack and it was delicious. The portion size was enormous and, yes Jenn, they looked like Dinosaur bones. Couldn't believe the size of the beef ribs, onion ring appetizer was not a wise move.... but it was tasty.
And then we had to go to work, after somehow getting up from our table.
Power and Light District is a wild joint. The inside bowl section with bars and live music is something like I've never seen before. And then putting it next to the Sprint Center only makes it better, adding to the atmosphere of the Big 12 Tournament. I don't know what it was like in Oklahoma City but I can't imagine a better venue for the tournament to be played.
The arena is top notch, the fans get into it and it's at a nice center point for the fans to reach.... except it lies on the Missouri side and the Tigers have left the conference. I wonder how much longer before it moves back to Oklahoma City?
Why not move it to Wichita? Here me out: Intrust Bank Arena is trying to get a regional tournament for the NCAA, they've hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder in NBA preseason action and Wichita State plays there every year now. And so does K-State and KU is trying to get down there. It's right in the middle of a major highway, it's right in the middle of the Big 12 region, plenty of hotel space and IT'S IN THE MIDDLE OF KANSAS. Just a thought to ponder.