This 2018 season was a fun one. Though Kansas did what they’ve done for the past 14 years, this was the most they’ve been pushed in a while and by some normally quiet programs. Texas Tech and West Virginia challenged for that top spot from the very beginning and pushed Kansas to the brink before Bill Self’s crew rose up to take the crown once again. The Jayhawks are hated by the other nine fanbases in the league and despite all this hate, they continue to win. At this point it’s extremely impressive to watch this feat.
At this point, it’s all about getting the most teams into the NCAA tournament as possible. Kansas, TCU, Texas Tech and West Virginia are guaranteed to get in, while Iowa State has zero shot. That leaves five other teams still vying for a spot. No conference in the history of college basketball has ever had more than 70% of the conference in the NCAA tournament, can the Big 12 do the unthinkable and get eight or nine teams in?
1. Kansas (-)
What an impressive run and this year Devonte Graham is the hero of the team. Graham virtually put the team on his back against Texas Tech and clinched this year’s title. With the thought that this was the year the streak would end, this team is sure to take up a special place in Bill Self’s heart.
2. Texas Tech (-)
Four game losing streak aside, this is still the second best team in the Big 12. There will likely be some “what-ifs” surrounding this team if not for the Keenan Evans or Zach Smith injuries but nonetheless, this is still a season to be proud of. The whole gang should be back together this Saturday just in time to make a deep run into the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments.
3. West Virginia (-)
The Mountaineers have played well down the stretch and regained their swagger. Press Virginia is back to making teams uncomfortable and will look to improve their seeding in the tournament.
4. TCU (+2)
Talk about playing your way into the tournament. The Horned Frogs weren’t destined to get in, even two weeks ago, but a four game winning streak over other bubble teams is just enough to do it. In only Jamie Dixon’s second year, he has TCU set up for success and this tournament experience can only make them stronger.
5. K-State (-1)
Bruce Weber had his team riding high until the recent road trip and now K-State has been brought back down to Earth. Back to back road losses this past week has the Wildcats back on the tourney bubble, and will now have to play a virtual tournament play in game this Saturday against....
6. Baylor (-1)
The Baylor Bears. After allowing WVU & TCU to end their streak Baylor came back home and put a beat down on Oklahoma. That is exactly what the Bears needed to regain their momentum. Losing this Saturday’s game doesn’t eliminate the Bears from the tournament but it very well may be the last notch they need to get themselves into the big dance.
7. Texas (+1)
If Shaka Smart could schedule only schools from the state of Oklahoma, he would. Outside of wins against OU and OSU, the Longhorns are in big trouble. Currently Joe Lunardi has Mohamed Bamba and company as one of the last four teams in, but if they fail to win this big home matchup against West Virginia, their chances could blow away in the wind.
8. Oklahoma State (-1)
The Cowboys needed that win at Texas badly. That was the game to put them in contention and would have virtually put them right where Texas is today. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t bounce their way and they suffered a loss. The win against Iowa State won’t truly help them but a home win against Kansas can. If Okie State can pull off this upset and win a couple in the tournament then watch out, but if not then an NIT trip won’t be so bad for this group.
9. Oklahoma (-)
An NIT trip would be doomsday for a program that was ranked as high as 4th this year. Though they found their winning ways again beating K-State, they got embarrassed the very next game against Baylor. They are currently a 10 seed in bracketology and have a home game against Iowa State and may be blessed with an opening round contest against those same Cyclones. Those two wins may be enough to get them in but a loss in either would be just enough to kick them out.
10. Iowa State (-)
We all knew the Cyclones had a slim to none chance of making the tournament but we all hoped they could at the very least make the NIT and give all 10 teams exposure in March. That simply is not going to happen. A five-game losing streak to end the season simply does not bode well for their chances. However the future is bright for this young squad and they won’t be pushovers next season.