Big 12 seeds to settle: WVU and Iowa State going for 2nd
Some things to watch this weekend in the Big 12:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 24 Iowa State (20-9, 12-5 Big 12) at No. 10 West Virginia (23-7, 11-6) on Friday night to determine the No. 2 seed in next week's Big 12 tournament. The Cyclones have a six-game winning streak , and the Mountaineers would like to get a little momentum going into tournament time. West Virginia lost by 11 at Baylor on Monday, two days after shooting a season-low 37 percent in a one-point win when the tiebreaking free throw came with 4.8 seconds left after a questionable foul call.
LOOKING AHEAD: There is still a lot of seeding to be settled the conference tournament in Kansas City. Top-seeded and top-ranked Kansas (27-3, 15-2) is set after clinching its 13th consecutive Big 12 title. Oklahoma State (20-10, 9-8) is locked in as the fifth seed. As for everybody else ... Baylor (24-6, 11-6) can't finish second, but is tied with West Virginia for third. Getting into the top six means a first-round bye next week, but only one team from the trio of Kansas State (18-12, 7-10), Texas Tech (18-12, 6-11) and TCU (17-13, 6-11) will avoid playing on the first day. Oklahoma and Texas are both 4-13, so they will definitely be playing Wednesday.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Is eight enough? Kansas State coach Bruce Weber believes any Big 12 team that wins eight conference games should be in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats have to win their home finale Saturday against Texas Tech to become the sixth team with eight wins in conference play - and avoid a first-round game in Kansas City. ... Things have been mostly close in the Big 12, with 61 of 85 conference games (72 percent) decided by 10 points or less, including 43 of the past 58. ... West Virginia leads the nation in turnover margin (plus 9.2), turnovers forced (21.4) and steals (10.9).
PLAYER TO WATCH: Iowa State senior guard Monte Morris has 63 assists with only five turnovers in the last eight games. Morris' 6.2 assist-to-turnover ratio would shatter the overall Big 12 record of 4.8. In his home finale Tuesday against Oklahoma State, he had 12 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists. With his three steals in that game, Morris passed Jeff Hornacek to become the school's career leader in that category.
ON THE WOMEN'S SIDE: The Big 12 women's tournament starts Friday in Oklahoma City . Second-ranked Baylor won its seventh consecutive regular-season title, and the Lady Bears will try to win the Big 12 tournament for the seventh year in a row and ninth time overall. ... For the first time in league history, there were no ties in the conference standings. Every team had a different league record. ... Iowa State entered the tournament with its first five-game Big 12 winning streak since 2008-09.
Compiled by AP Basketball Writer Stephen Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas.
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