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Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Is Texas ripe for one-and-done?

By Jeff Caplan

Wednesday's first-round games in the Big 12 Championship is a day for the underdogs and unranked to catch lightning in a bottle and play on as long as possible.

The Baylor Bears did it a year ago and it's exactly what the Texas Longhorns hope to do.

Once No. 1, the sixth-seeded Longhorns are looking for any momentum it can find to take into the NCAA Tournament. But, don't count on a walk in the park Wednesday at Kansas City's Sprint Center against 11th-seeded Iowa State with those pesky Baylor Bears awaiting the winner.

The Cyclones are 2-4 in their last six, but all four losses have come by fewer than five points and they stunned Kansas State in Manhattan in the regular-season finale. Iowa State gave Texas a good run ealry in the conference season before losing, 90-83.

"The last six [games] we've been right there with an opportunity to win," Iowa State coach Greg McDermott said. "I give great credit to my team."

Texas Tech Red Raiders coach Pat Knight said he one of the lower-seeded teams will get hot and advance. Why not Tech?

It happened last year when Mike Singletary set scored 29 consecutive points in the second half and set a Big 12 record with 43 points to lead No. 11 Tech past No. 6 Texas A&M.

The ninth-seeded Red Raiders are coming off a horrendous three weeks and drag a seven-game losing streak into its game against eighth-seeded Colorado

Knight is still holding out the carrot of an NIT berth.

"We’re in the best conference, finished with a winning record, I think we’re deserving," Knight said. "So you don’t want to shut the door on it, kind of lead them with that carrot a little bit that they’re still playing for something, that each win that they can add to their record just helps them play in the NIT."

Here's the Big 12 Championship schedule:

Wednesday's first round
8 Colorado vs. 9 Texas Tech, 11:30 a.m. (Big 12 Network - KTXA/Ch. 21)

5 Missouri vs. 12 Nebraska, 2 p.m. (Ch. 21)

7 Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma, 6 p.m. (Ch. 21)

6 Texas vs. 11 Iowa State, 8:30 p.m. (Ch. 21)

Thursday's Quarterfinals

1 Kansas vs. Colorado/Texas Tech winner, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)

4 Texas A&M vs. Missouri/Nebraska winner, 2 p.m. (Ch. 21)

2 Kansas State vs. Oklahoma/Oklahoma State winner, 6 p.m. (Ch. 21)

3 Baylor vs. Texas/Iowa State winner, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Friday's semifinals

6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (Ch. 21)

Saturday's championship

5 p.m. (ESPN)