Big 12 Bracket Breakdown

For my money, the Big 12 has been the most fun league to watch this season and if this league tournament holds to the regular-season form, the tournament will be exciting to watch. This year Baylor took the league title by going 13-1 in league play, with their lone loss coming at Kansas, a week after it had to come back from a Covid-19 pause. Kansas didn’t have a typical Kansas season, but they still finished second in the league going 12-6 in league play. Unlike usual years where they are defense-first, West Virginia is a fun team that is an elite offensive team led by Miles “McBuckets” McBride and Derek Culver. The fifth seed in the league tournament is the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who are led by Cade Cunningham, the Big 12 Player of the year, and the future number one pick in the NBA Draft. Seven teams will be dancing from this league and the race for the Big 12 title looks to be a fun race, here is the Bracket Breakdown.

First Round

8.TCU vs. 9.Kansas State

This is a game between two teams that have the potential to be much better in the Big 12 next year. TCU will look to return their three-headed monster of RJ Nembhard, Mike Miles, and Kevin Samuel, which will make for a good team next year. Their issue is that they just were beaten down, playing in a league with seven Top-25 teams. Kansas State on the other hand has been a much more interesting team to watch, and one that might have a bright future. Nijel Pack looks to be a star in the future, while the majority of their players look to develop, they are a team that has gotten better throughout the season and could be dangerous next year. For this game, I will go with the Wildcats to win in a close upset, they just seem to be playing with the right energy right now.

Prediction: Kansas State 69 TCU 67

7.Oklahoma vs. 10.Iowa State

One team had to finish in seventh place in the Big 12 this year and it wound up being the Oklahoma Sooners. Austin Reaves, Brady Manek, and De’Vion Harmon are a great three-man trio, while transfers Umoja Gibson and Elijah Harkless have been great additions. Iowa State finished 0-18 in league play, yes they’ve had Covid issues and injuries throughout the season but they definitely aren’t a good team either way. The pick is clearly Oklahoma here, although I think Iowa State keeps it somewhat close.

Prediction: Oklahoma 74 Iowa State 65

Second Round

1.Baylor vs. 9.Kansas State

Baylor finished the season 13-1 in league play this season and had a historically great regular season. Jared Butler was arguably the Big 12 Player of the year, although he didn’t win it. Davion Mitchell is the defensive player of the year in the Big 12 and he’s an elite shooter as well. MaCio Teague went 10-12 from three in a game against Texas Tech, yet 6th on his team in three-point shooting he’s behind LJ Cryer, Matthew Mayer, Adam Flagler, and the previously mentioned Mitchell and Butler. While Mark Vital is the best glue guy in College Basketball. Kansas State has a bright future and will give a good effort but it won’t be enough.

Prediction: Baylor 93 Kansas State 69

4.West Virginia vs. 5.Oklahoma State

West Virginia is typically an elite defensive team that is gritty and tough, that’s not the exact case this year, they are an elite shooting trio with Miles McBride, Sean McNeil, and Taz Sherman, while Derek Culver is an elite scorer inside. Cade Cunningham is the best NBA prospect in College Basketball, he’s an elite scorer, passer, defender, and is a winner but his team is solid. Avery Anderson just led Oklahoma State to a win at West Virginia, Kalib Boone is an elite interior scorer, and Isaac Likekele is a potential NBA prospect. This game will almost certainly be close as both these teams are going to score at a high-level. I’ll take West Virginia to get somewhat of revenge for last Saturday’s game but it is going to be very close and high scoring.

Prediction: West Virginia 87 Oklahoma State 83

3.Texas vs. 6.Texas Tech

Texas has had a wild ride, they’ve won at Allen Fieldhouse, been on the one line in many Bracketology’s, faded hard, hard an in-game fight, and all that leads to them being the three seed in the Big 12 Tournament. Texas has a good three-guard trio of Matt Coleman, Courtney Ramey, and Andrew Jones, a good big in Jericho Sims, as well as first-round picks in Greg Brown and Kai Jones. Mac McClung is the most notable player in this game, he’s a really good scorer, while Terrence Shannon and Kevin McCullar are solid players as well. The matchup between these two teams leans towards the Red Raiders as they will muck this game up and play to their style.

Prediction: Texas Tech 67 Texas 61

2.Kansas vs. 7.Oklahoma

Kansas is not the same team as they always are, yet they still finished second in the league. David McCormack really took a big step forward inside, especially as the season went along. Marcus Garrett isn’t an elite point guard but he was solid running the show, while Ochai Agbaji, Jalen Wilson, and Christian Braun are nice playmakers on the wing. Oklahoma will match up solid with this team as they won’t be overwhelmed size-wise, which plays to their benefit. These two teams split their matchups earlier this year but I think Kansas is a better team now than they were in those game, give me Kansas in a single-digit result.

Prediction: Kansas 69 Oklahoma 61


1.Baylor vs. 4.West Virginia

These two teams played maybe the game of the regular season as Baylor beat the Mountaineers in overtime. West Virginia is a high-scoring team that can light it up offensively with the best of them. That said, Baylor is the most complete team in the league. Baylor has three really good scorers in Butler, Mitchell, and Teague that will fill it up, while Baylor should be able to take care of Culver inside with “Everyday Jon” and Flo Thamba. Give me Baylor in a game that will be close in score, but also a result that won’t be in doubt.

Prediction: Baylor 89 West Virginia 80

2.Kansas vs. 6.Texas Tech

These two teams have played twice and in both results, Kansas won a close defensive matchup. David McCormack has been really the X-Factor in this matchup because of his major size advantage. Both these teams will look to keep this game relatively low-scoring which will make this close late but I think in the end Kansas edges out the Red Raiders in this game.

Prediction: Kansas 65 Texas Tech 61

1.Baylor vs. 2.Kansas

Kansas notably won the most recent matchup and handed the Bears their only loss of the season. The Jayhawks will probably try to force someone other than Jared Butler to beat them as they will put Marcus Garrett on him the entire game. That said, Baylor has the guards to win the game even without Butler needing to score. Davion Mitchell and MaCio Teague can both put up 20, while the team should have an adjustment for McCormack inside. Give me the Bears in this game that will probably be somewhat low-scoring, while Davion Mitchell will win Tournament MVP.

Prediction: Baylor 77 Kansas 68

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