For the first time in Big 12 history, two players who have reached 2,000 career points will face off when Oklahoma meets Iowa State in a Big 12 tournament quarterfinal game on Thursday.
Sooners guard Buddy Hield enters the tournament with 2,120 career points. Iowa State forward Georges Niang has 2,111. They are the eighth and ninth Big 12 players to surpass 2,000, and four of five seniors to be named first team all-conference.
Thursday’s game will mark the 11th meeting between the teams in their careers — third in the tournament — and Hield said he has a love-hate relationship when it comes to locking horns.
“He’s one of the worst guys you want to play in college basketball because he knows how to create for his teammates and create for himself,” Hield said. “And he doesn’t miss a lot. I rarely have seen him have a bad night.
“They’ve been fun battles and he’s competitive. We talk to each other on the court. I told him in Ames I wanted to win the game. He said, ‘You’re not going to win here, baby.’ It’s fun. You like to compete against guys like Georges. It makes the game fun.”
The teams split their regular season games for the fourth straight season. The Cyclones have won the previous two Big 12 Tournament meetings.