Big 12 Tournament Preview
The reign of terror for the Kansas Jayhawks has finally ended. With the injuries and issues all season, Kansas was never able to get going in Big 12 play and not to mention how good Texas Tech and Kansas State were. The league feels pretty open this year and Big 12 has 8 teams with legitimate hopes at dancing.
2018 Champion: Kansas
1-seed Kansas State Wildcats 24-7 (14-4)
When the Wildcats are healthy, they are one of the best teams in the league. Dean Wade dealt with injuries and K-State still won (a share of) the Big 12. Consistently finding their offense has been the issue for the Wildcats this year but their defense is one of the best in America.
2-seed Texas Tech Red Raiders 26-5 (14-4)
Jarrett Culver is good enough to propel his team to a title alone in a single elimination tournament. But his supporting cast has stepped up late in the year to make the Red Raiders a tough out. This is the best defense in the country, that’s how they will win the tournament.
3-seed Kansas Jayhawks 23-8 (12-6)
It’s been a tough year for Bill Self and company. The Jayhawks lost 6 games in conference play for the first time since the 1988-89 season when they went 6-8 in the Big 8. The injury to Doke obviously changed the season and the mid-season departure by Lagerald Vick didn’t help either, but this team really lacked interior depth and consistent guard play. The key to winning the Big 12 tourney is David McCormack. He’s been great lately and provides cover for Dedric Lawson down-low.
4-seed Baylor Bears 19-12 (10-8)
Somehow, someway Baylor got the 4th in the Big 12. The Bears dropped their final 3 games of the regular season including a home game to Oklahoma State and that is the best description of this team. They can seemingly beat and lose to anyone in this league. Makai Mason’s health is key because without him the scoring is hard to find.
5-seed Iowa State Cyclones 20-11 (9-9)
The Cyclones are one of the best offensive teams in the entire country. They have so many different guys that can beat you and they can score it from anywhere on the floor. Marial Shayok has been incredible all year and really made up for the absence of Lindell Wigginton who has dealt with injuries this year.
7-seed Oklahoma Sooners 19-12 (7-11)
Oklahoma plays very good defense. But I’m more intrigued by the offensive abilities of some of their best players, Christian James and Brady Manek. Those two have had big years and need to keep it going to make a run in Kansas City.
6-seed Texas Longhorns 16-15 (8-10)
Shaka is coaching for his job. The Horns have been very up-and-down this season and have really stumbled of late. Texas has been playing their way out of the tournament. Yes, the Kerwin Roach suspension hasn’t helped, but they are 2-5 in their last 7 games. Jaxson Hayes and Matt Coleman are the keys for Texas to make a run.
8-seed TCU Horned Frogs 19-12 (7-11)
Desmond Bane is a very good player for Jamie Dixon’s team, they play pretty well on both ends of the floor, they just can’t seem to close. Losing Jaylen Fisher hurts and they lack an inside scoring threat.
9-seed Oklahoma State Cowboys 12-19 (5-13)
This isn’t the Oklahoma State team we’re used to. They have played a very difficult schedule this season, but they had a lot to replace. The good news is their core should be back next year, Cam McGriff, Lindy Waters, and Thomas Dziagwa are all juniors and any experience they can get in this tournament is huge.
10-seed West Virginia Mountaineers 12-19 (4-14)
I’m not sure how Bob Huggins hasn’t lost his mind yet with how frustrating this team has been. Sagabe Konate got hurt early in the year, he has since dismissed multiple players from the team and is pretty much left with Derek Culver and Lamont West.
TCU over Oklahoma State
Oklahoma over West Virginia
Iowa State over Baylor
Kansas State over TCU
Texas Tech over Oklahoma
Kansas over Texas
Kansas State over Iowa State
Texas Tech over Kansas
Texas Tech over Kansas State