Welcome to the HCS Big 12 basketball mailbag, our sixth of the 2021-22 Big 12 men’s and women’s basketball season.
This mailbag is for all you basketball junkies out there who root for a Big 12 school that not only have questions about your team, but other teams in the conference. So, join me, grab your favorite drink (I’m back to the Tito’s and soda), and relax as I answer all your Big 12 questions.
For those interested, I will send out a tweet (@PostinsPostcard) Wednesday night and you’ll have until Thursday at 5 PM CT to send in your questions to be answered every Friday right here at Heartland College Sports. And our site owner, Pete Mundo, will solicit questions on our Facebook page.
I want to thank each one of you who submitted a question this week and for those of you that are reading. For future reference, feel free to answer questions about men’s and women’s basketball, as we’ve added women’s Big 12 coverage to our HCS content this season.
So many great questions, and we have time for four.
Lott Hall of Facebook asks: Where is your article about why (TCU head coach) Jamie Dixon should be fired, since he hasn’t come close to (the) accomplishments of (Kansas State head coach Bruce) Weber?
That’s a fair question. We talk a lot less about Dixon’s job security. So let’s do a quick comparison at their respective schools:
Weber: 10 seasons at K-State, 182 wins, two Big 12 regular-season championships, five NCAA Tournaments, including one Elite Eight appearance.
Dixon: Six seasons at TCU, 112 wins, no Big 12 regular-season championships, one NCAA Tournament, two NITs, with one NIT championship.
On spec, yes, Dixon’s seat should probably be hotter. So why isn’t it?
My thoughts? Weber has been at K-State longer than Dixon has been at TCU. Dixon has the advantage of being a TCU alum and former player, which I think means fans and alumni cut him a break. Plus, TCU is in a huge media market where they’re overshadowed by pro teams. K-State doesn’t have that to deal with.
But, most notably, I think it’s each program’s histories that work for Dixon and against Weber. When Dixon took TCU to the NCAA Tournament in 2018, it was just the program’s eighth trip to the ‘Big Dance’ and their first since 1998. The Horned Frogs have been as far as the Elite Eight just one, back in 1968. Kansas State has been 31 times, made four trips to the Final Four and reached the 1951 national championship game.
Just getting to the NCAA Tournament is an accomplishment for TCU. Getting there is expected for Kansas State. That’s why Weber’s seat is much hotter right now.
Carrel Baker on Facebook asks: Can WVU keep momentum and solidify themselves in the (NCAA) Tournament?
So, let’s see? WVU has 14 wins now. What’s left? Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Kansas, TCU, Iowa State, Texas, Oklahoma and TCU. If the Mountaineers can win half of those games that gets them to 18. It may not be enough to dig them out of the first day of the Big 12 Tournament, but that may not be the worst thing. Win a game on Wednesday night, then another on Thursday and that gets the Mountaineers to 20 wins. That might be enough to get them in.
But the question is can they ‘keep momentum?’ If I’m Bob Huggins, I’m going all in with my four most productive players — Taz Sherman, Sean McNeil, Malik Curry and Jalen Bridges — and get whatever I can out of any interior player. I think that’s the only way the Mountaineers can sustain that momentum.
Nathan Larsen on Facebook asks: Will Iowa State win any more games this season and will they make the NCAA Tournament?
Yes, I think the Cyclones will win again this season. Why? They have two games remaining against Kansas State and one each against TCU, West Virginia and Oklahoma State. The Cyclones will win a few of those.
As for the NCAA Tournament, yes, I think they’ll make it. But they may end up playing a First Four game the way they’re tracking now. The game they cannot afford to lose, I think, is Oklahoma, given the Sooners’ bubble status.
Egap Snivek on Facebook asks: By how many games does KU win the conference?
Kansas still has too many tough games ahead for me to think they’ll win the league by more than a game. I still think there’s an outside chance they could share the title with someone. They’re going to lose a game they shouldn’t lose. And, no, that wasn’t the Texas game.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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