Scratch was the name of the game on Thursday as the top four seeds advanced in the Big 12 tournament for the first time since 2010. Here are the game by game summaries of Thursday's action in the Sprint Center.
Game 1 - (4) Baylor 80 - (5) West Virginia 70
The early game on Thursday has become appointment television these past few years with Iowa State's late victories over Oklahoma in 2013 and last year over Kansas State. Baylor and West Virginia lived up to the billing with a back and forth game with both teams surging to small leads throughout the game.
In the end Baylor's depth and length proved too much for the Mountaineers and the Bears pulled away with well timed defensive execution that led to back-to-back West Virginia turnovers that created easy buckets in transition.
Four Bears scored in double figures with Taurean Price leading the way with 18 points. Royce O'Neal had 16, Rico Gathers 15 (and only nine rebounds), and Lester Medford chipped in 10 points. The victory sets up a Friday night showdown with...
Game 2 - (1) Kansas 64 - (9) TCU 59
TCU was scrappy throughout, but Kansas benefited from late defensive stops to put away the Horned Frogs late in the second game of the day. Kelly Oubre set a new career high with 25 points that included an emphatic dunk with under a minute left that left TCU down by two possessions with little hope of a comeback in sight.
The Jayhawks were once again without Perry Ellis as he rests his ailing knee, but got 13 points out of sophomore forward Landen Lucas. If there's concern for the Jayhawks going forward it's their lack of bench scoring, which only managed seven points across four players. To further compound the problem, only Oubre and Lucas scored in double figures for the Jayhawks, who shot 49% from the field but failed to convert on eight 3 point attempts.
Now Kansas and Baylor will meet for the third time this season in the early game of Friday's session. The game will tip at 6:00 PM on ESPN2.
Game 3 - (2) Iowa State 69 - (7) Texas 67
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Game 4 - (3) Oklahoma 64 - (6) Oklahoma State 49
Oklahoma used stifling defense in the second half to shut down Oklahoma State after going in to the locker room trailing by five. Big 12 Player of the Year Buddy Hield went 5-15 from the field, but 3-6 from behind the arc, and 9-9 at the line to lead the Sooners with 22 points. 16 points from TaShawn Thomas and 10 and 11 points from Isaiah Cousins and Jordan Woodard, respectively, paced the Sooners down the stretch.
Le'Bryan Nash led the Cowboys with 27 points but only got help to the tune of a single point from the bench. Oklahoma State is squarely on the bubble come Sunday, and will rely on the strength of the Big 12 to get in to the field of 68.
The win gives Lon Kruger his first postseason win since coming to Norman, and with the top four seeds advancing to the semifinals, Oklahoma will now turn their attention to Iowa State. That game will tip at 8:00 PM on ESPN2.