The Big 12 is one of the best conferences in college basketball this year, highlighted by the top two teams having amazing years.
Kansas and Texas are the class of the conference and, pending a disastrous performance by either team, should meet in the final. They are both stout inside and complement their superior inside games with several three-point snipers.
Both get after it defensively and have a creator in the backcourt that can get you points in the clutch. Jordan Hamilton and Tyrel Reed are great players on the perimeter.
The middle-tier teams are nothing to scoff at either. Third-place Texas A&M had one of the toughest schedules in the country and still managed to collect 23 wins. It is one of the better defensive teams in the country but was exposed by Texas and Kansas' frontcourt dominance.
A&M struggles to score unless Khris Middleton is going. If he has a good game, the Aggies could beat anyone in the country. Unfortunately, teams know that.
Kansas State rebounded from a 2-5 conference start to finish in fourth place by winning eight of its final nine games, including a win over then-No. 1 Kansas.
Missouri is another team that could make a run at the title despite finishing fifth in the conference. Its full-court press and up-tempo pace could cause problems for teams playing games in back-to-back nights. The Tigers are in great shape and could run teams out of the building
What could turn out to hurt them is they tied with Colorado in the standings but are actually the sixth seed, despite splitting the two meetings and finishing with a better overall record.
By all accounts, the top five teams are already goin' dancing, and the following three teams have some work to do.
Colorado, Nebraska and Baylor each have signature wins, but they coupled them with poor losses.
Colorado has wins over Missouri and Texas and swept Kansas State, but it also has bad losses to Harvard, Iowa State, San Francisco and Oklahoma. If the Buffaloes want to go dancing, they need to win their matchup with Iowa State today to keep people from putting them on the first four out.
The same goes for Baylor, who swept Texas A&M, which seem to be their only signature wins. They have to make some noise in the Big 12 tournament to get people putting them back in the NCAA tournament. Right now most people have them as one of the first four out.
I was busy this morning, so I was unable to write this until now. Nebraska just lost to Oklahoma State, which should prevent it from making the tourney.
At most the Big 12 should get six teams in the tournament, but if Colorado and Baylor find their way into the semis or the finals, they could get as many as seven.
With that, here are my predictions for the Big 12 tournament.