Cory Jefferson, Marcus Smart

No. 22 Oklahoma State wins another thriller, this time in OT vs. Baylor

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Marcus Smart and Markel Brown finished a combined 8-38 from the floor and 1-11 from three, but Oklahoma State still managed to find a way to be up 14 on Baylor with about six minutes left.

That’s when Pierre Jackson finally woke up.

The diminutive point guard scored 20 of his 24 points after the break, hitting a pair of free throws to force overtime. Baylor took the early lead in the extra frame thanks to a pair of threes from Jackson, but Forte tied things up with a three of his own with a minute left, setting up a thrilling finish.

After Michael Cobbins blocked a shot from AJ Walton at one end, Brown took the loose ball the length of the court in about five seconds for the buzzer-beating layup.

The 69-67 win moves No. 22 Oklahoma State to 6-3 in the Big 12, putting them into a tie for third place in the league race.

But the more important note here involves Baylor.

The Bear’s comeback was impressive. When you’re down that much on the road to a ranked team and can force overtime, it’s notable. But it’s also notable when you’re down 14 points to a team that got an 8-38 shooting performance out of their two best players.

Jackson finished with 24 points, eight assists and 11 turnovers. We saw everything there is to see about Jackson in this game. He can hit big shots. He’s a nightmare to try and keep out of the paint. He’s a talented on-ball defender. And he can get into takeover mode too early and too often.

The problem is that he doesn’t have enough consistent help on the floor with him. Brady Heslip hasn’t hit a shot all season. Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin need Jackson to create for them. AJ Walton, Gary Franklin and LJ Rose? Meh.

Jackson’s not good enough to try and takeover games the way he does, but Baylor needs him to be the dominant ball-handler and playmaker.

That’s not a good combination.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

No. 25 Texas A&M outlasts No. 10 Gonzaga

Billy Kennedy
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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No. 25 Texas A&M made a statement on Turkey Day, as they knocked off No. 10 Gonzaga 62-61 in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Danuel House led the way with 19 points for the Aggies while Tony Trocha-Morales finished with 14 points as Texas A&M picked up the win despite the fact that they did not score for the final eight minutes of the game.

Billy Kennedy’s club looked the part of an SEC contender, playing tough defense and keeping Gonzaga’s massive and talented front line in check. Perhaps most impressive was that they were able to hang on despite blowing a lead late in the second half, and that they did it with their defense. Gonzaga can score. They have big bodies inside and shooters to surround them, but Domantas Sabonis struggled with foul struggle throughout the game while Kyle Wiltjer did not score in the final 12 minutes.

Kentucky, at this point, is the clear-cut favorite in the SEC, and while Vanderbilt looked really good in Maui this week, A&M looks like they’re going to end up giving the Commodores a run for their money for second-best in the league.

On the other hand, this loss wasn’t a total disaster for the Zags. They had the final possession with a chance to be a good team on a day when Domantas Sabonis was rendered completely ineffective. And, more importantly, point guard Josh Perkins was terrific. He did have a late turnover, but he scored all 15 of his points in the second half as he helped keep the Zags within striking distance.

Texas A&M will play the winner of Syracuse and No. 18 UConn for the title.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Thanksgiving Day Edition!

Kevin Ollie
(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.

For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.

The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.


1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.

2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.

3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.

4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.

5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?


  • No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
  • No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
  • No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.