The headline nationally is that Kansas won its 2000th game, but in local news I don't have to sell plasma to pay off a what I thought would be a breeze of a statement.
Thanks to the Texas A&M Aggies, I am not on the hook for paying all commenters to the tournament preview $100 each, as I said I would if Nebraska won the whole thing. The Corn did scare me on Wednesday when they took out Missouri, but the Aggies gigged 'em and live to see another day.
In the late game, the low seeds also swept, thanks in large part K-State's Jamar Samuels who picked a good time to score a career high and Ekpe Udoh who proved his worth as newcomer of the year.
See all the scores, recaps and players of the games after The Jump.
Kansas (1 Seed) - 80
Texas Tech (9) - 68
Kansas reached a major milestone, one just two other programs can claim.
A nice accomplishment, worthy of the trophy case.
There just isn't time for the Jayhawks to enjoy it. Not after struggling against Texas Tech, not with more important goals still out there.
Leaning on stars Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins, No. 1 Kansas became the third team to reach 2,000 wins by pulling out an 80-68 victory over scrappy Texas Tech on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.
"It means a lot to us right now, but right now we still have a lot of games ahead of us and we don't want to put too much focus on it," Collins said. "It means a lot to people who support us, all the players who played before us and all the people who support the program, so it's more for them than for us."
Kansas (30-2) was upset by Baylor in last year's Big 12 tournament and seemed headed for another with an uneven start. The Jayhawks slogged through a sloppy first half and had to withstand a Texas Tech rally in the second before pulling away to reach 30 wins for the ninth time, including three of the past four years.
Aldrich had 12 points, 18 rebounds and altered the game defensively, while Collins had 19 points and six assists despite foul trouble. Markieff Morris provided a lift off the bench with 11 points and nine rebounds, and Xavier Henry added 13 points help Kansas join Kentucky and North Carolina in the 2,000-win club.
Player of the Game: Cole Aldrich, Kansas, 12 pts, 18 reb
Up Next: Kansas vs Texas A&M
Texas A&M (4) - 70
Nebraska (12) - 64
Nebraska missed its chance to make some history at the Big 12 tournament.
Donald Sloan scored 23 points, Bryan Davis had a key three-point play at the 1:01 mark and No. 23 Texas A&M stopped the upset-minded Cornhuskers 70-64 in a close and cleanly contested quarterfinal Thursday.
Nebraska, trailing all game while trying to become the first No. 12 seed to win two Big 12 games, got close in the final minutes but Sloan and Khris Middleton hit big shots to keep the Huskers at bay.
"We really executed against the zone late," Aggies coach Mark Turgeon said. "Wish our defense would have been a little bit better down the stretch."
After Nebraska cut the lead to 62-58 with 1:35 left on Sek Henry's 3-pointer, Davis managed to get behind the Nebraska defense for a layup, was fouled by Jorge Brian Diaz and made the free throw.
In Friday's semifinals, the Aggies (23-8) get a rematch with No. 1 Kansas, which beat them last month 59-54.
"I think our guys are ready," Sloan said. "We're prepared."
Player of the Game: Donald, Sloan, Texas A&M, 23 pts, 3 reb, 4 assists
Up Next: Texas A&M vs Kansas
Kansas St. (2) - 83
Oklahoma St. (7) - 64
Jamar Samuels scored 21 of his career-high 27 points in the first half, helping No. 9 Kansas State turn a rematch into a rout with an 83-64 victory against Oklahoma State on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.
Kansas State (25-6) had been waiting to play Oklahoma State again since a home loss in January. The Wildcats opened the game with a big run and closed the first half with an even bigger one, leaving no doubt while tying a school single-season record for wins.
Denis Clemente had 12 points and 10 assists, Jacob Pullen added 19 points and Samuels had 10 rebounds to send Kansas State into Friday's semifinals against the Baylor-Texas winner.
Oklahoma State (22-10) shot poorly and defended even worse, following up an impressive victory against rival Oklahoma with a clunker.
The Cowboys will still likely get into the NCAA tournament, but their seeding is sure to drop. Big 12 player of the year James Anderson had 27 points to lead Oklahoma State.
Kansas State had been hoping this game would come.
The Wildcats were riding an emotional high into the first meeting on Jan. 23 after knocking Texas from the top spot in the polls earlier that week. Oklahoma State put a quick end to the euphoria, beating Kansas State 73-69 in the Little Apple for its 12th victory in 14 games against the Wildcats since the inception of the Big 12.
Player of the Game: Jamar Samuels, Kansas St. 27 ots, 10 reb
Up Next: Kansas St. vs Baylor
Baylor (3) - 86
Texas (6) - 67
LaceDarius Dunn, benched with three quick fouls in the first half, rebounded with 17 of his 19 points after intermission and No. 21 Baylor made it three in a row over Texas with an 86-67 victory Thursday night in the Big 12 quarterfinals.
Ekpe Udoh, the Big 12's newcomer of the year, scored 25 points for the third-seeded Bears (25-6), who will meet No. 2 seed Kansas State in the semis.
Damion James had 18 points and 12 rebounds for his second straight double-double for Texas (24-9) but the all-conference senior drew one of Texas' two technicals and fouled out with 2:43 left. A few seconds later, center Dexter Pittman also fouled out for Texas, which started the season 17-0 and climbed to No. 1 before falling out of the rankings.
Tweety Carter had 20 points for Baylor, which hadn't beaten Texas three in a row since 1981-82.
Player of the Game: Ekpe Udoh, Baylor, 25 pts, 8 reb, 3 assists
Up Next: Baylor vs Kansas St.
Evan Pfaff, Managing Editor
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