With the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament set to get underway on Wednesday, we decided it was a good time to look back at the best games in this tournament since the turn of the century.
While there have been plenty of memorable games, we widdled the list down to ten contests that Big 12 fans will never forget.
(Each team is listed with Big 12 Tournament seedings that year.)
10) 2014 Quarterfinals: #1 Kansas 77, #8 Oklahoma State 70 (Sprint Center, Kansas City)
The No. 10 Jayhawks (23-8) dominated most of the first 36 minutes over the 21-11 Cowboys. OSU obtained their first lead with 4:08 remaining on Markel Brown’s layup. Both teams battled toe-to-toe over the next two-and-a-half minutes, and then Brown’s 3-pointer put OSU ahead 67-65 with 1:32. Kansas answered with Andrew Wiggins’ baseline jumper to knot the game at 67-all.
OSU’s Marcus Smart missed a trey with 32 seconds to go, and Wiggins also missed from beyond the arc with two seconds left.
Each team managed only one field goal in overtime, but KU made 8 of 12 from the charity stripe to advance to the semifinals. Iowa State beat the Jayhawks in the semifinals. Wiggins, a freshman, led KU with 30 points and 8 rebounds.
Kansas failed to advance past the third round of the NCAA Tournament, while the Pokes lost in the second round.
9) 2003 Semifinal: #3 Oklahoma 67, #7 Texas Tech 60 (American Airlines Center, Dallas)
After a sluggish second half of only 18 points and a 12-point lead melt into a 56-56 tie in regulation, the sixth-ranked Sooners (22-6) outscored Texas Tech 11-4 in overtime to send the 18-11 Red Raiders packing. Guard Ebi Ere, playing with a heavily-taped broken wrist, scored 7 points in the extra frame, including a dagger from beyond the arc for a 63-60 lead with 3:36 to go. In the final minute, Ere, who finished with 17 points, also added two free throws and scored a dunk with 2.6 seconds remaining.
OU then went on to beat Missouri for its third straight Big 12 title for Kelvin Sampson. The Sooners were rewarded with the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament’s East Regional, but their season ended with a loss in the Elite Eight.
8) 2002 First Round: #7 Kansas State 74, #10 Baylor 73 (Kemper Arena, Kansas City)
Both teams fought to a 30-30 draw in the first half, and each team added 30 more in the second half. KSU’s Larry Reid, the team’s leading scorer during the regular season, was shut out in the first half. He scored 21 points in the final 10:44 of the second half. Reid was 8 of 12 from the field, including three treys. Reid hit a driving layup with six seconds left in regulation to send the game into OT.
Forward Matt Siebrandt nailed the game-winning free throw in overtime to give the 12-15 Wildcats a one-point win over the 14-15 Bears. The Wildcats lost to Oklahoma in the quarterfinals.
7) 2018 Quarterfinals: #4 Kansas State 66, #5 TCU 64 (Sprint Center)
Both teams battled through 14 lead changes and 13 ties. The 21-10 Wildcats rallied from a 9-point halftime deficit over the 21-10 Horned Frogs. They dug out of another hole with an 8-0 run to lead 55-53 with 4:38 left in regulation. KSU held a slight advantage until TCU’s Desmond Bane popped a trey at the buzzer to tie the game at 59.
The Wildcats outscored the Frogs 7-5 in OT. Kenrich Williams made a pair of free throws for TCU to notch the game at 64-all with 1:03 remaining. Barry Brown’s layup with 11 seconds left put the Cats up for good 66-64. Brown was fouled by TCU’s Shawn Olden, but he missed the ensuing free throw to stretch the lead by three.
Makol Mawien fouled TCU’s Alex Robinson with 1.3 seconds left. Robinson missed the first free throw and intentionally missed the second, hoping for a rebound and put back by a teammate, but the Cats’ Xavier Sneed clutched the rebound, and K-State advanced to the semifinals.
Kansas State lost to Kansas in the semifinals. The Wildcats made it to the Elite Eight in the Big Dance, but their season ended there at the hands of Loyola-Chicago.
6) 2001 First Round: #8 Baylor 86, #9 Colorado 84 (Kemper Arena, Kansas City)
Freshman Matt Sayman sank two free throws with 10 seconds remaining in overtime to send the Bears into the quarterfinals. With 13 seconds to go in regulation, Baylor guard DeMarcus Minor missed the first of his two free throws, and the 17-10 Bears were forced into overtime at 78-78 against the 14-15 Buffaloes. BU led by 11 points at halftime, but the Buffs slowly chiseled at their deficit in the final 20 minutes. Leading 78-77 with 22 seconds to go, Colorado’s Chevis Brimmer missed two free throws in an attempt to stretch the lead. Minor, who led Baylor with 30 points, was fouled as the Bears moved up court from Brimmer’s second miss. The Bears stunned No. 7 Iowa State in the next round but lost to Texas in the tournament’s semifinals. BU lost to New Mexico in the opening round of the National Invitational Tournament.
5) 2000 Quarterfinal: #3 Oklahoma 84, #6 Missouri 80 (Kemper Arena)
OU entered the game with a 24-5 mark and No. 15 in the polls. Unranked Mizzou was 18-11. This game witnessed 13 ties and 15 lead changes and consisted mainly of a free throw shooting contest. Oklahoma converted 78.7% (37 of 47) at the charity stripe and Mizzou made 87.5% (28 of 32).
But it was the free throws by the Sooners that struck a dagger in the Tigers. Sooner freshman Hollis Price made two free throws with two seconds remaining to force overtime. Backup guard Kelley Newton’s 3-point bucket lifted the Sooners to an 82-80 lead with 22.2 seconds left in OT. MU’s Clarence Gilbert missed a trey on the next possession. Newton was fouled, and he sank both free throws with 3.5 seconds to go to secure the victory.
Oklahoma defeated Texas in the semifinals but lost to Iowa State in the championship game.
The Tigers were bounced out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament, while the Sooners failed to survive past the second round.
4) 2002 Final: #2 Oklahoma 64, #1 Kansas 55 (Kemper Arena)
The Sooners were ranked fourth nationally with a 26-4 record coming into the matchup with the 29-2 Jayhawks, ranked No. 1 in the country. OU guard Hollis Price, the tournament’s MVP, poured in 23 points to be named the tournament’s MVP. Center Jabari Brown added 7 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, blocked 4 shots, and had 4 steals. Oklahoma held KU to 37.2 percent from the field and 38 points below the Jayhawks’ average coming into the game.
Kansas coasted through the quarterfinals and semifinals with a combined 35.5 margin, shooting 51 percent from the field and beyond the arc. OU held the Hawks 33% shooting, including 16.7% from downtown.
The Sooners held a 29-19 lead at halftime as both teams shot poorly (OU 37% to KU’s 23%) from the field. The Jayhawks managed only seven field goals in the first half but hit their first six in the second half to cut the deficit to 31-28 with 17:20 to go. Nick Collison’s bucket with 8:42 remaining tied the game at 41-apiece, but the Hawks never could gain the lead.
Kansas kept it close over the next minute-and-a-half, but Price nailed a couple of treys over the next 82 seconds, and Brown’s bucket with 4:13 left pushed OU’s lead to 57-49. Kansas could not get closer than four points the rest of the way.
Both teams reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament, and both lost in the semifinal game.
3) 2008 First Round: #12 Colorado 91, #5 Baylor 84 (Sprint Center)
The Buffaloes (12-18) shot 72 percent in the first half to take a commanding 44-31 lead over the 20-10 Bears. CU stretched its lead to 15 with 14:24 left in the game. Baylor chipped away at the deficit and Curtis Jerrells’ jumper with 1:48 remaining to tie the game at 65-65. Neither team scored the rest of the way in regulation.
The first OT ended at 74-all. Baylor trailed 74-72 late when LaceDarius Dunn’s slam dunk with 15 seconds to go tied the game with 15 seconds to go. Marcus Hall’s shot at the buzzer to give the Buffs a win caromed off the glass.
Colorado went on a 7-0 run to start the second overtime, the only double OT in tourney history. The Buffs never relinquished the lead. CU’s Richard Roby finished with 32 points and 12 rebounds and hit 11 of 18 from the field.
2) 2007 Final: #1 Kansas 88, #3 Texas 84 (Ford Center, Oklahoma City)
No. 14 Texas (24-8) coasted to a massive 22-point lead in the first 12 minutes. The No. 2 Jayhawks (29-4) outscored the Longhorns 24-7 in the final eight minutes of the opening half to trail 39-34 at intermission. KU outscored the Steers 45-40 in the second half. Kansas’ Mario Chalmers hit a trey with 15 seconds left in regulation, and UT’s Kevin Durant missed a 12-foot jumper to send the game into overtime tied at 79-apiece. Russell Robinson’s jumper put the Jayhawks ahead 83-81 with 2:19 remaining in OT. Moments later, Julian Wright’s free throw stretched KU’s lead to three. UT’s D.J. Augustine had two shots blocked, one from beyond the arc, on consecutive possessions. Darnell Jackson sunk a pair of free throws to extend Kansas’ lead to 86-81 with 13.2 to go. A.J. Abrams knocked down a trey for the Horns, but Robinson nailed two free throws to give KU the deciding tally. Durant’s 3-pointer caromed off the rim with 2 seconds left.
Durant, the tournament’s MVP, recorded 92 points in three games, a record that stands today for one tournament.
Kansas was the top seed in the NCAA West Region and lost to Syracuse in the Elite 8. Texas only survived one round in the East Region of the Big Dance.
1) 2015 Final: # 2 Iowa State 70, # 1 Kansas 66 (Sprint Center)
Trailing 17 points early in the second half, the No. 13 Cyclones (24-8) rallied to upset No. 9 Kansas to claim their second straight Big 12 Championship. ISU scored 10 unanswered points to trail by 7 with 16:56 to go. The Cyclones tied the game at 51-51 on Georges Niang’s dunk at the eight-minute mark.
I-State then went on a 10-3 run for a 61-54 advantage with 4:34 remaining. KU fought back and tied the game at 63 on Wayne Selden’s 3-pointer with 1:29 left. The Cyclones went 0 for 3 from the field in the final 89 seconds but secured the victory by making six of seven free throws down the stretch.
In the second half, Iowa State connected on 52% shooting to just 26 % for the Jayhawks. Niang, the tournament’s MVP, hit 50% (9 of 18) from the field and led the scoring with 19 points.