March 2, 2022 

WATCH: The Big 12 is in the home stretch

Title contenders, NaLyssa Smith's greatness and more

Every year, the same question always seems to come up in March – ‘why is the Big 12 so tough?’ To borrow a quote from Texas men’s head coach Chris Beard, “the Big 12 is an 18-round fight”. This is true again – and the regular season isn’t over yet.

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Throughout the Big 12 we see outstanding talent, great rivalries, creative game plans and schemes and teams battling at home and on the road. A stellar non-conference season can easily be derailed because the competition is so good and no matter how hard you wish it away, you must play everyone twice. This season we’ve seen teams get hot at the right time and others feel the gut punch of disappointing losses.

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Monday night was a fantastic environment for women’s basketball in Ames, Iowa with #5 Baylor visiting #8 Iowa State. The Bears were just too tough and clinched their 12th-straight Big 12 regular season title. 

Kansas was picked last in the pre-season poll and find themselves currently with double-digit wins in league play and poised to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013. If you are looking for a rising stock tip – go with Texas, winners of six in a row and back in the Top 10 in the nation. Freshman sensation Rory Harmon is so fun to watch – blink and you will miss her picking someone’s pocket.

#19 Oklahoma continues to find a way to win, including a buzzer-beater victory at home over K-State, a team that beat them by 29 in January. The Wildcats, led by all-American Ayoka Lee, have taken some gut punches as of late and need to win these last two regular season games to help their NCAA resume.

This is the last week of the regular season in the Big 12 and then it is off to Kansas City where luck will have it, it’s round three in Big 12 tournament. Who is your Player of the Year pick? 

Written by Missy Heidrick

I am a retired Kansas State shooting guard and spent almost 20 years working in Higher Education and Division 1 athletics. I am currently a basketball analyst for television and radio, contributing correspondent at The Next, Locked on Women's Basketball podcast host, WBB Naismith Award board of selectors member and run my own consulting business. I am a proud mother of two and wife to a patient husband who is almost as big of a sports junkie as I am!

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