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Handicapping the Big 12 Tournament

The Big 12 men's basketball tournament tips off Thursday morning in Oklahoma City and while it seems like there may be some clear cut favorites to win the championship you never really know what is going to happen. That's why we call is March Madness!

Here’s the field.

Thoroughbreds

Kansas Jayhawks – Kansas is the clear cut favorite to win the tournament. There isn’t a team in the conference playing better than the 27-4 Jayhawks. Odds 1-1

Texas A&M Aggies – A late season loss to the Texas Longhorns tumbled the Aggies from the top of the conference standings. They’ll be looking for retribution in Oklahoma City. Odds 2-1

Texas Longhorns – I don’t want to jump on the, "Texas is only going as far as Kevin Durant carries them" bandwagon but Texas is only going to go as far as Kevin Durant carries them. They are good enough where they can breeze through their Friday game and maybe Saturday without the nation’s best player even being in the lineup but if they want to win on Sunday then they will have to jump on Durant’s back. Odds 3-1

Dark Horses

Kansas State Wildcats – Personally I think the Wildcats are in the Big Dance but a great showing in Oklahoma City will only boost their seeding. Odds 4-1

Texas Tech Red Raiders – With great guard play the Red Raiders have a chance to win every time they take the floor. Expect them to still be playing on Saturday. Odds 5-1

Contenders

Oklahoma Sooners – Playing in Oklahoma City practically gives the Sooners home court advantage for the tournament which means they could pull off an upset or two. Unfortunately OU just doesn’t have the players needed to make in deep into the weekend despite the court advantage. Odds 6-1

Oklahoma State Cowboys – OSU is in the same boat as the Sooners except it appears that they may have already quit on the season. Odds 7-1

Missouri Tigers – The Tigers are sitting at 18-11. If they make a run through the tournament they might be able to put on the glass slippers. Odds 8-1

Nebraska Cornhuskers – The Huskers get a rematch with Oklahoma State in the first round on Thursday. Nebraska dominated the Cowboys Monday night and could possibly do the same Thursday putting them in the second round where anything can happen. Odds 9-1

Appearing in the Race

Iowa State Cyclones – Finishing .500 on the season is better than most expected for Iowa State and a win over the Sooners Thursday morning would almost guarantee the Cyclones a spot in the NIT. Odds 10-1

Baylor Bears – Just a game under .500 the Bears could get an NIT invite if they could somehow survive until Saturday. Odds 11-1

Colorado Buffaloes – Can anyone tell me anything Colorado has left to play for? You almost get the feeling that they can’t wait to lose just to end what has been a miserable season. Odds 12-1

Big 12 Tournament Schedule
Thursday, March 8
No. 8 Iowa State vs. No. 9 Oklahoma, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN Plus & ESPNU)
No. 5 Texas Tech vs. No. 12 Colorado, 2 p.m. (ESPN Plus & ESPNU)
No. 7 Oklahoma State vs. No. 10 Nebraska, 6 p.m. (ESPN Plus)
No. 6 Missouri vs. No. 11 Baylor, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Friday, March 9
No. 1 Kansas vs. ISU/OU winner, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN Plus & ESPNU)
No. 4 Kansas State vs. TTU/CU winner, 2 p.m. (ESPN Plus & ESPNU)
No. 2 Texas A&M vs. OSU/NU winner, 6 p.m. (ESPN Plus)
No. 3 Texas vs. MU/BU winner, 8:20 p.m. (ESPN Plus)

Saturday, March 10
Friday Afternoon Winners, 1 p.m. (ESPN Plus and ESPN2**)
Friday Evening Winners, 3:20 p.m. (ESPN Plus and ESPN2**)

Sunday, March 11
Semifinal Winners, 2 p.m. (ESPN)