Historically, the Big 12 has been a dominant football conference. But ever since West Virginia joined, the basketball level has increased immensely.
Now, partially because of the WVU basketball team, the Big 12 is the toughest conference in all of college basketball. It’s very likely that eight teams will make the NCAA Tournament from the Big 12.
It’s even a possibility that nine teams will get in. As the teams head to Kansas City for the annual conference tournament, collectively, there is not a lot to play for. Well, the WVU basketball team and Texas Tech will be looking to knock off Kansas and Iowa State will be looking to regain the crown.
Right now, that’s exactly what ISU has to do if it wants to make the NCAA Tournament. Another team really fighting for its postseason life is Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have 18 total wins, just like Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma. The other teams have been pretty much cemented in the big dance for most of the year.
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OSU was likely out of it in the first part of the conference slate, but the Cowboys have now won five of their last seven games of the regular season. The also beat Kansas twice in convincing fashion. The resume is certainly impressive now, but there is a lot to consider with the strict selection committee. OSU can really help is cause with a few wins in the conference tournament.
West Virginia can win this whole thing because it has proven to be able to contend with any team in the conference. But that’s what makes the Big 12 so strong, because any team can beat any opponent on any given night. Iowa State is the only team with an overall losing record, but the Cyclones were solid in the out-of-conference slate.
Some of the most respected coaches in the league, like Bob Huggins and Bill Self, have recently said that this year’s group is the strongest ever fielded by the Big 12. It also seems like those are statements read each year around this time.
It doesn’t seem like the momentum is slowing down in the Big 12. It will probably be even more competitive next season.