Blake Griffin might be gone, but plenty of star power returns in the loaded Big 12, which can flex its muscles with the preseason No. 1 (KU), a legit Final Four contender (Texas) and a host of others lurking just behind.
DeMarre Carroll scored 20 points and Missouri (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP) ended Baylor's surprising run through the Big 12 tournament, grinding down the Bears 73-60 to win their first postseason conference title in 16 years.
Zaire Taylor scored a season-high 19 points and Leo Lyons added 12 of his 15 points in the second half as Missouri (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP) beat Oklahoma State 67-59 to move on to the Big 12 championship game.
Missouri (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP) finished up a perfect season at home and grabbed a share of second place in the Big 12 with a 73-64 victory over Oklahoma (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) on Wednesday night.
J.T. Tiller scored a career-high 20 points, including two key free throws with six seconds left, helping short-handed Missouri overcome recent suspensions to shock No. 22 Kansas State 77-74 on Saturday.
So what if Kansas racks up regular-season wins and Big 12 titles. Success in college hoops is now measured by NCAA Tournament wins, and that has been a shaky proposition for the Jayhawks, writes Andy Glockner.