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All hail the Kansas resurgence?

Kansas State took #8 Texas A&M to OT and won the game on a last second lay-up.

Kansas traveled to Austin and won its big 12 opener against #25 Texas, 72-67. (“It was the fifth-straight year coach Gail Goestenkors and the Longhorns have lost the conference opener.”)

#17 Texas Tech held of a pesky Oklahoma State to earn a 58-53 win and stay undefeated. Great respect shown by the Raiders to the Cowgirls:

After the game, Tech and Oklahoma State players stood side by side with locked arms during an emotional playing of the OSU Alma Mater.

“There’s some things a lot bigger and more important than a basketball game,” Curry said. “I know Kurt and Miranda had the best seat in the house, and I know he was proud of the way both teams competed.”

Not so fast, there, other Mitten: Michigan State roared back in the second half to knock off Michgan.

More games Debbie and Beth would like: Miami (Ohio) took down Akron in OT, 95-85. The teams combined for 112 points in the second half and 32 in the overtime. Writes Matt Sussman at Hustle Belt:

Come for the women’s basketball information, stay for the Saturday Night Live mid-level skit references. But even sans gimmicky reasons to click-thru and read, this was truly a wild back-and-forth game. Courtney Osborn had an eye-popping game: 48 points, the most by a Division I player in the last two years.

How bare was the cupboard when McGuff left? With their 60-54 loss to the EIU Panthers, Xavier is now 3-10.

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From Swish Appeal: Mike Gundy Presents Fiesta Bowl Trophy to Shelley Budke, Remembers the 4

The imprint Kurt Budke, Miranda Serna and the Brandstetters made went far beyond the basketball court. The Budke family was present last night as OSU narrowly defeated the Stanford Cardinal in a 41-38 overtime win in the Fiesta Bowl. And the Budke family was present on the stage when Mike Gundy was presented the trophy, only to hand over the golden football to Kurt’s widow, Shelley.

“I want to dedicate this win to the four victims of the plane crash,” Gundy said to the sea of orange. “It meant so much to the Oklahoma State people and to our team and for their families. The players wanted to do it.”

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from Mechelle: Return to court will help healing process – Program must find way to persevere without two of its most important figures

There was no happier time for Oklahoma State women’s basketball than the January 2008 night this building was filled to capacity for the “Bedlam” game with Oklahoma, when the Cowgirls ended a 17-game losing streak to the Sooners in a season that would lead to an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.

And there was no sadder time than Monday: a gray, early-winter afternoon when the Oklahoma landscape looked bleak and bland, robbed of most of the green that can make this part of the country lovely in springtime and summer.

It was the kind of day that reminds us why basketball means so much, how it’s a respite from the cold and dark, how wonderful it can feel to walk into a warm, brightly lit gymnasium to the sights, sounds and smells of basketball.

Budke and Serna dearly loved that, and in reviving Oklahoma State women’s basketball after it had gone so far downhill, they were not just helping their own program. They were boosting the sport in general, creating another place where women’s hoops mattered, where there could be real, sustained excitement about the team’s accomplishments.

There are no seniors on this year’s Cowgirls’ squad. So much promise. So much to look forward to. Now, the Cowgirls have to persevere without two of the most important people they expected to have in their college lives.

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A slew of stuff from Ok. News:

OSU memorial: Kurt Budke was a basketball coach, life mentor, father figure

“This is how much of a family man Coach Budke is,” Clardy said, “it was Father’s Day when he asked me to commit. My dad wasn’t with me, my mom was, and when he asked, ‘Will you commit to us?’ I was like, ‘Absolutely.’ I almost fell out of my chair.

“And he said, ‘No, no, no, you’re going to go home and talk to your dad, then you call me and let me know.’ That was him, it was about family first.

The coach came up with the early morning workout regimen for Clardy, which usually included nothing more than basic drills and running but did wonders for Clardy’s confidence.

“You can just get so down when things aren’t going right,” Clardy said. “But she pulled me out of the deepest hole.

“She devoted her time to me, and I think that’s so rare to find in college basketball people. If I said, ‘Coach Serna, 5 doesn’t work for me. Does 3 work?’ She would have been here at 3.”

A photo gallery from the memorial service.

From the Tulsa World: They pay tribute to Budke and Serna’s dedication, kindness

Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said Budke wasn’t just a good man. He was a great man.

“A lot of us overuse that (‘great’) word in coaching,” Blair said. “But when you recognize a man for his family values and how he treats kids and how he treats other coaches, that’s greatness.”

Dave Sittler: Budke’s lessons live on for players

“Coming out of high school, I was the MVP and a state champion in Texas and thought I was going to come in here and be a stud,” Clardy said. “Little did I know that God’s plans for me were way different, and Coach Budke’s plans for me were way different.

“I’ll forever be grateful that I wasn’t a stud. Coach Budke changed my life when I wasn’t a superstar and helped me see things in a new light.”

From the Oklahoma State Scout Board: Budke Had A Profound Impact On Clardy

And that coaching position at SHS was just another example of how Budke impacted Clardy’s life.

“When I graduated I was like, ‘What am I going to do? I need my basketball fix,’ so coach Budke and coach (Jim) Littell got my in the position to coach at Stillwater High School with coach (Carl) Treat this year and all of last year … They know how much I love basketball and wanted to be around it so they helped make another one of my dreams come true.”

And those dreams that were realized by Clardy and the rest of the current and former Cowgirl players make the loss of their coach all the more painful.

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