There are a few things that happen this time of year, every year, without fail.
- The six MLB fans left in the country tweet romantically about Spring Training and how it symbolizes new beginnings in everyone’s lives
- Wealth management companies drill their tax-season advertisements so deeply into your soul you start dreaming about W-2s
- Twenty-somethings post Spring Break pictures from five years ago on their Instagrams with the caption, “ya girl ready for summer ☀️”
- Kansas clinches its bazillionth consecutive Big 12 regular-season title
But in 2019, something is happening that can disturb the equilibrium of late February forever.
The Kansas Jayhawks are in third place in the Big 12 Conference.
That fact alone is enough to make any Red Raider fan excited, but when you throw in the fact Texas Tech is one of the teams in front of Kansas, well, that takes things to a whole different level of elation.
But there are still a few games left on the schedule and if we know anything about Big 12 basketball, it’s not to count Kansas out of the conference race. There are dozens of scenarios where the Jayhawks walk out of 2019 with the same hardware they’ve been hording over the last decade and a half, and we’re all left to do nothing but curl up in the fetal position and lament our existence.
Fortunately, there are considerably more scenarios where that doesn’t happen, and several of them involve Texas Tech cutting down the nets for the first time in program history. Here they are:
1. Texas Tech wins out, Kansas State loses two games
This is decidedly the best possible outcome for Red Raider fans. See, we really don’t have to care about what Kansas does in the grand scheme of things. As long as Tech wins out, Kansas can not pass the Red Raiders in the conference rankings.
Kansas State is the problem here. At 11-3, the Wildcats are 100 percent in control of their own destiny. But if tech wins out and Kansas State loses tonight to Kansas (it’s pretty crazy that we’re cheering for Kansas to win so that we can dethrone them) and then drops one more game to either Baylor, TCU or Oklahoma, then Tech have won sole possession of the conference trophy.
2. Texas Tech wins out, Kansas State loses one game
While not as satisfying as option No. 1, no human in Lubbock would turn down a chance to be crowned co-champions of the Big 12 Conference. This also happens to be, in my opinion, the most likely scenario. Kansas State gets stomped by an angry Kansas squad in a rivalry game at home, distraught after getting pounded by Texas Tech. K-State recovers against Baylor and wins out against inferior competition and Tech takes care of business. The Wildcats and Red Raiders are named co-champions and each school pretends they won it outright. Fine by me, but again, not my first choice.
3. All these other ways
It’s pretty simple. For Tech to clinch a share of the conference title, all it has to do is win one more game than K-State does and at least the same amount of games Kansas does. For any school other than Kansas to win it, you just need K-State to go 3-1, regardless of how Kansas finishes. Or, as previously state, if Tech wins out, Kansas cannot possibly clinch a share of the title.
I won’t bother talking about Baylor, which has the same record as Kansas, because the Bears have to play AT Kansas and AT Kansas State, and I don’t think they’re going to finish the season 4-0 with that schedule.
There you have it, folks. Make sure to watch Kansas play Kansas State tonight. If you’re a Tech fan, cheer for the Jayhawks - they have the best shot of beating the Wildcats and giving the Red Raiders a chance at a Big 12 championship. After that, it’s open season on any team from Kansas.
Who will win the 2019 Big 12 Championship?
This poll is closed