32 Conferences in 64 Days: Big 12

The Big 12 top 4 teams might be the best top of any conference in the nation. As usual the question is, Can anyone else go the Big Dance? Oklahoma State having an postseason ban which doesnt help but except the Red River Rivalry be very important for at large bids for both teams.

  1. Baylor (1 seed #2 overall)
  2. Kansas (1 seed #3 overall)
  3. West Virginia (4 seed # 14 overall)
  4. Texas Tech (4 seed #16 overall)
  5. Texas (6 seed #24 overall)
  6. Oklahoma State (Not eligible for postseason)
  7. Oklahoma (9 seed)
  8. TCU
  9. Iowa State
  10. Kansas State 
  1. Baylor- A long run in March if COVID didn’t exist would have made this official but after this season we must recognize that there is an elite men’s college basketball program in Waco Texas. They have the front runner for Big 12 Player of the Year in Jared Butler Jr. They lose only Freddie Gillespie from last season where they would have been a 1 seed. The Bears will go toe to toe with Kansas just like last season. Unless the whole team gets injured, there is no doubt Baylor will be back as one of the nations best team.
  2. Kansas- Choosing between the Jayhawks and the Baylor Bears is the toughest choice between the top 2 teams in any conference. They lose Dotson and Azubuike which was their 1-2 punch that no one could stop when they were clicking.  But as always Bill Self went out and grabbed the players the roster needed to be one of the best in the nation. Marcus Garrett will be in the POY discussion and true freshmen Bryce Thompson will be in the starting lineup and will be a huge part of the team’s success. Except to see a 1 next to Kansas on Selection Sunday.
  3. West Virginia- Bob Huggins has had a couple of “rebirths” during his time in Morgantown. The latest revamp of the team is the death of “Press Virginia”. WVU pressed 33% and 36% of the time in 2017 and 2018. Then last season the Mountaineers only pressed 17% of the time which is about average in the NCAA. No more press but the program is still one of the best defensively every year and that wont change. The difference this season will be that Huggins’ team will be able to score. They return Derek Culver and Oscar Tshiebewe who both average double digits. If they can find some outside shooting, they could battle for the conference title. WVU is my dark horse in the Big 12.
  4. Texas Tech- Chris Beard must be sitting at his desk clicking refresh on his email to see if Mac McClung’s waiver gets approved. If McClung can play this season than the Red Raiders will jump into a 3-way race for being the favorites in the Big 12. But even without McClung, Texas Tech brings back a lot of fire power and will have two transfers starting in Joel Ntambwe from UNLV and Marcus Santos-Silva from VCU. They don’t have a lot of experience outside of their starters so if they can get some production from their bench then they will be very dangerous.
  5. Texas- Shaka Smart might have been saved from the pandemic because he was on the hot seat as the Longhorns did not have a shot at an at large bid and didn’t have the fire power to upset the top of the Big 12. But they bring back the whole roster from last season and add true freshmen Greg Brown who will start for this team. The longhorns will be a NCAA tourney team this season and could be a sneaky team that could sneak up into the top 20 and a 3-4 seed if they can play better defense then they did in 2019-20
  6. Oklahoma State- The biggest news this offseason in the Big 12 was Oklahoma State getting banned from the 2021 postseason for recruiting violations. Cade Cummingham was the top recruit in this freshmen class. It is a shame that we won’t be able to see if Cummingham can lead the Cowboys to the big dance. But they will still a good team and I wouldn’t be surprised if they upset one of the top teams this season.
  7. Oklahoma- The battle of the State of Oklahoma in the Big 12 will be alot of fun this season. the Sooners will have a starting lineup with 4 seniors. De’Vion Harmon the 2nd year point guard will be a huge part of this team’s success. If he can get the most out of the very experienced fellow starters than the Sooners can be a top 25 team. Lon Kruger will have this team ready and being 2 years removed from Tre Young, things seem normal in Norman.
  8. TCU- There is a large drop off between the middle of the pack in the Big 12 and the bottom 3. TCU is the best team of that bottom tier. The Horned Frogs have a very experienced 7-man rotation coming back. The bottom 3 teams in this conference are very close to each other so not the easiest to predict but I will give TCU the edge because of their experience.
  9. Iowa State- Iowa State was 5-13 last season in conference play and they lost 3 out of their 5 most productive players. The Cyclones will have a very tough season and fans will look at this like a throwaway season. Steve Prohm better get on the recruiting trail and develop his underclassmen, or the program might be stuck in the Big 12 basement for a while.
  10. Kansas State- How is this the same program that won the Big 12 title and went to the Elite 8 just a couple of seasons ago? This is a gutted roster with only 1 upperclassman on the roster (not a starter). The Wildcat fans have someone to be watching this season which is how the young guys develop but it is hard to see this team win many games in the Big 12.

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