Big 12 Tourney Breakdown

League: NCAA Basketball
By: Tony George Published on: 03/10/2015

Each year the Big 12 Tourney comes to Kansas City, which I always attend, and this year’s edition brings a plethora of talented and ranked teams to KC for a knockdown drag out with 4 days of action. Kansas of course wins the regular season again for the 11th year in a row, but I have serious doubts about their chances of winning this tourney or motivation to win it, although it is just 40 minutes from their home court.

Whether Kansas wins this tourney or goes out in their first game, they will be a a number 2 seed in the big dance and in all honesty I would be mildly shocked to see them get to the Sweet 16 this season, I am not high on KU. Numerous teams who have taken turns beating up each other all season in conference action have a chance to win this tourney. I will give you the odds and my predictions, along with my dark horse for this year’s Big 12 Tourney Madness in Kansas City.

Here are the odds to win the Tourney

Kansas 5-2

Oklahoma 7-2

Iowa State 4-1

Baylor 5-1

West Virginia 15-2

Texas 8-1

Oklahoma St 12-1

Kansas St 28-1

TCU 50-1

Texas Tech 100-1

Rest Assured any of the top 5 teams listed can win this tourney. Kansas of course is King of the Mountain, but they have serious challenges here as they are anything but invincible this season, and Ellis is still not 100% which is huge and Alexander was suspended from the team as well as Green in their last game. KU also lost to lower level teams like West Virginia (barely beat them in OT last week), lost to OU on Saturday which was heartbreaking, and Kansas State has beaten them as well as Okie State. I personally think Kansas is a bad bet , I do NOT see them winning this tourney and any team who presses them hard on defense, especially full court pressure will find success, KU’s guards are iffy at best and not good ball handlers.

Iowa State won this tourney last year and are the #2 seed and they have a deep and talented roster and can put up points in a hurry with the best of them, but they play little or no defense so when they do not knock down shots, they are beatable big time. They are a good road team and come in on a high note here and I feel have a better shot at winning than Kansas does. They are deep on the bench and all starters contribute to the point total on offense, and I feel they are the most dangerous team to play if they are scoring consistently. If they can shoot 45% or above from the floor and hit 35% of 3 pointers, they are virtually unbeatable here.

Texas needs to win this tourney to get in the big dance in my opinion, and I expect them to play well and advance once, but Rick Barnes cannot win or coach a big game to save his life as a head coach. I do not understand the 8-1 odds by oddsmakers, but it seems they expect them to make some noise. I do not see them getting deep into this tourney, nor do I see Okie State who struggles against good teams away from Stillwater going deep here.

Kansas State is too inconsistent with no depth, but are giant killers at home, and both TCU and Texas Tech are bottom feeders. The game with K State and TCU actually should be a good game on Wednesday's card, however neither team will advance again in their next game.

How close is this tourney and how many upsets will occur? Well seeds 4 and 5, West Virginia and Baylor finished a game behind Kansas for the regular season crown. This tourney is parity filled and there will be a shocker here and there in the final scores, trust me. Baylor is also a good tourney team and is paired off against West Virginia in round 1 but Baylor beat up on WV twice this year, but if Huggins can pull this game out, West Virginia is good enough to get to the finals. Baylor comes in here as hot as any anyone in the Big 12, but beating a team like West Virginia 3 times in 1 season is a tall order and this matchup is a must see game in the opening game Thursday.

Here are my Picks – Best Underdog and longshot:

Winner: Iowa State at 4/1

Also worth a look (Underdog): Oklahoma 7/2

Longshot / Dark Horse: West Virginia 15-2 (if they can get by Baylor)

Worst investment: Kansas at 5/2