NCAA Tournament Projection: Big 12 Conference Predictions
Projecting the NCAA Tournament is not easy and is ever changing right up to Selection Sunday. The Big 12 has had a very disappointing year after having a very good year last year. Currently handicapper Craig Trapp has only four teams that are a lock for the NCAA tournament. There are four other Big 12 teams that are on the NCAA bubble and need a string of wins to find themselves in the dance.
Also check out Craig's other recent basketball article, his NBA power Rankings!
Oklahoma is carrying the flag very well this year for the Big 12 Conference. Currently Craig has Oklahoma as No. 4 in his Power Rankings, and if healthy, this team is one of Craig's 10 teams that can win it all. Blake Griffin has been the best player in all of college basketball all year and has carried his team to a 25-2 record.
Strength of schedule is not great this year with a down year in the Big 12. Looks like a solid No. 1 seed come tournament time, most likely in the West bracket.
Kansas is the second best team in the Big 12 this year, and they are a young exciting team to watch. This team started the year with only one player, Sherron Collins, having any significant experience. But since then they have continued to improve and have a big matchup with Oklahoma, where the winner will be in first position in the league.
The Jayhawks might have the biggest upside of any team in NCAA basketball, and these young players are very exciting to watch. If this team keeps improving, they will play themselves into a No. 2 seed, or at worst this team will be a No. 4 seed.
Missouri has been a welcome surprise for the Big 12 conference this year. With a couple key wins over Kansas, Texas, and Baylor, this team has proved they are a force to be reckoned with. Mike Anderson has brought the defensive pressure he learned at Arkansas under Nolan Richardson. Full court defensive pressure is more than most teams can handle, and most teams fold late under the intense pressure.
The Tigers will be a tough out come NCAA tournament time and are a legitimate Elite Eight contender. Selection Sunday will find this team very happy with a No. 4 seed.
Texas had a big win this weekend over Oklahoma, and they can now breathe as they are safely in the big dance. Defensively they have been up and down all year and need to get it worked out before NCAA tournament time. This team will be one of the teams that everybody will be predicting to be upset first round.
Damion James and A.J. Abrams both are solid players, but neither can carry the load offensively, and a lack of a good point guard will spell trouble come March. Texas needs a strong finish to improve their seeding; they could be anywhere from a No. 6 to a No. 8 seed.
As of right now, Craig has four other Big 12 teams that are outside of the bubble: Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and Nebraska. Check out Craig's bubble teams article to get more details. Of course, with a string of wins down the stretch or winning the Big 12 tournament, any of these teams could end up sneaking into the Big Dance!
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