Big 12 Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals

Big 12 Tournament: No. 16 Iowa State outlasts Kansas State

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Melvin Ejim, Georges Niang and Dustin Hogue were simply too much for Kansas State’s bigger front line, as No. 16 Iowa State’s starting forwards combined for 61 points and 27 boards as the Cyclones ran past the Wildcats in a thriller, 91-85.

The Cyclones were up five in the final minutes, but after Kansas State star Foster rattled home a three and Ejim missed a layup, the Wildcats had a chance to tie the game at 87 but Shane Southwell committed a turnover and Naz Long buried a pair of free throws. Bruce Weber’s club never got the ball in a one possession game again.

Kansas State had been one of the best defensive teams in the Big 12 this season, but they not only allowed Iowa State to score 91 points, they gave up 50% shooting from the floor and 16 offensive rebounds. For a team that struggles offensively, losing a game with they shoot 54.5% from the floor is disheartening.

Iowa State will be one of the more interesting teams to seed come Selection Sunday. This group had 10 top 50 RPI wins, which is an outstanding numbers. If they can somehow find a way to win the Big 12 tournament, it might be time to start considering the Cyclones for a No. 2 seed, and maybe even for the last No. 1 seed.

No one else seems to want to win their way into the top line. Why not the Cyclones?

Iowa State will advance to take on the winner of Oklahoma State and No. 10 Kansas on Friday.

Akron reveals special bobble heads for LeBron, high school teammates

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When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.

LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.

Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).

All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.

NEW PODCAST: Indiana, Cal, troublesome trends and a weekend preview

California's Jabari Bird celebrates a score against Oregon in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.

Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.