Big 12 men’s basketball tournament – game on!

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Kansas City, MO — Both Oklahoma State and Oklahoma begin play in the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament Thursday in Kansas City.  The Cowboys are seeded #3 and they will play Baylor at 8:30pm inside the Sprint Center downtown.  The Sooners are seeded #4 and they’ll tip-off against Iowa State at 11:30am Thursday in the first game of the day.

Each team has won a game in this regular season.  The Cowboys lost to Baylor in Waco 64-54 on Jan. 21st…then OSU beat Baylor 69-67 in overtime Feb. 6th in Stillwater on Markel Brown’s lay-up with :00.2 left before the final buzzer sounded.  For the Sooners, they ripped Iowa State 86-69 in Norman a few weeks ago in what is the worst loss Iowa State suffered all season.  But the Cyclones popped OU 83-64 on Feb. 4th in Ames.  So basically anything can happen in each game – and OSU star Markel Brown talks about the Pokes game, while Sooner stars Romero Osby and Sam Grooms discuss the Sooners game with Iowa State.

The consensus best player in Big 12 men’s basketball this season is Oklahoma State’s fabulous first year star Marcus Smart.  The rookie guard from Flower Mound, TX earned another major honor Wednesday, being voted the winner of the Wayman Tisdale Award, presented to the top freshman player in the entire country.  The award is named after the late, great former OU legend and the trophy will be presented April 15th at a banquet in OKC.  Smart and several of the league coaches talk about this wonderful player and the impact he’s had on the Cowboys team and season so far.

Also, OU head coach Lon Kruger used to be a star player in his own right.  In fact, Kruger as the old Big Eight Conference “Player of the Year” in back-to-back seasons (1973-74) while starring at Kansas State.  Their is a virtual yearbook on one of the walls at the Sprint Center in Kansas City that shows highlights of some of the great players in K-State history, and the current Sooner players got a kick out of standing around and watching video highlights of their coach back when he played.

Current all-Big 12 performer Romero Osby of the Sooners talked about seeing his head coach as a player…and how much he respects him as a leader.    When the Big 12 tournament tips off for each local club, OU and Iowa State will play Thursday morning at 11:30 while OSU and Baylor will meet Thursday night at 8:30pm in downtown Kansas City.

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