The Big XII has been heralded as the deepest conference in the nation. Backing the statement up with an entertaining conference tournament, the focus now turns toward the bigger picture, the NCAA Tournament. With eight legitimate teams, the unfortunately reality is that one of those will likely be left on the outside looking in. The program currently occupying that situation is none other than the West Virginia Mountaineers although they finished sixth in the league.
Where do the remaining seven teams stand? Here is a quick look at the predictions for each program in the Big XII.
Baylor Bears -After a stong finish to the season, the Bears made an appearance in the conference championship. Although there are mixed feeling toward Scott Drew currently, there is no denying that Baylor is the most atheltic team in the conference. Credit this team for putting it together when it mattered most. However, my prediction is that BU meets an early exit in the Big Dance.
Bracketology: ESPN 7 Seed in the East | CBS 7 Seed in the East
Iowa St. Cyclones - Throughout the season, the Cyclones have remained fairly consistent. With a three headed monster, it is difficult to match-up with this squad as evidence by their first conference title since 2000. Being the nightmare they have become, Iowa St. looks to make a deep run into late March. I've got them as a Final Four team this season.
Bracketology: ESPN 3 Seed in the South | CBS 2 Seed in the West
Kansas Jayhawks - Each and every year, the expectation for KU is another conference title including a legitimate shot at the the national title. Constantly reloading, Bill Self continues to produce at a high level. Although the Jayhawks are without Joel Embiid for the time being and exited the conference tournament earlier than some anticipated, their record speaks for itself. Regardless, Kansas is not an elite team in my opinion. I feel as though they can make the Sweet Sixteen with no problem before the road ends.
Bracketology: ESPN 2 Seed in the Midwest | CBS 3 Seed in the Midwest
Kansas St. Wildcats - Bruce Weber and his squad finished exactly where the program was predicted to finish in the preseason. Nothing more, nothing less. While I root for the Big XII to have a good showing the post season, it's tough for me to predict the Wildcats moving out of the first round.
Bracketology: ESPN 9 Seed in the West | CBS 9 Seed in the South
Oklahoma Sooners - The stars of this team live in the backcourt and behind the three point line. Putting together an impressive resume, Lon Kruger made his case for the Big XII Coach of the Year, an award given to him by the Associated Press. However, the glaring issue here is that the Sooners have yet to win a post seasong game under the direction of Kruger. Can they break the spell? This year, I like the Sooners' chance of making it into the second round before being ousted.
Bracketology: ESPN 5 Seed in the East | CBS 5 Seed in the East
Oklahoma St. Cowboys - Talk about an up and down season. Utilizing a talented group of players, the Cowboys finished the regular season strong before taking the conference favorite, Kansas, to overtime in the tournament. Having seen this team play, it's a program that can run with the best of them. Yet, the biggest question continues to be Marcus Smart. Without a competent coach, it becomes impossible to predict which OSU you will get. I'm going to make a bold prediction and say O-State makes it to the Sweet Sixteen.
Bracketology: ESPN 9 Seed in the Midwest | CBS 9 Seed in the West
Texas Longhorns - Unlike their rival, the Longhorns rely on the play of the frontcourt. While the guards like Isaiah Taylor are coming along, tournament experience is lacking. What that spells is trouble for Texas as it has become common knowledge among college basketball fans that guard play dominates March. In all likelyhood, UT wins their first match-up before meeting their end.
Bracketology: ESPN 7 Seed in the South | CBS 7 Seed in the South
For those with ties to Oklahoma, have pride knowing Tulsa has locked up a bid while Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. Look to be in as well. There you have it ladies and gentlemen! Feel free to leave updates, thoughts, as well as general comments as the Tournament Selections are announced.