top of page

Bracket Banter: Big 12 Review


Kansas: Their wins are crazy good. 13-5 in Q1/2 is one seed material. We love to get caught up in the now, but the committee does not. Monday night’s contest between Kansas and Texas is for a one-seed right now. I believe it’s Kansas’s spot to lose, but losses are starting to compile for the Jayhawks. They’re 5th in my overall seed list tonight, and Texas is 6. Only 1 of Kansas’s losses is outside Q1a, and that’s a loss to NET #17 TCU at home, which is very close to Q1a. Predictive metrics are a little lower than the 1 line for Kansas, but result metrics are right on pace for a one-seed. A lot will be found out about this team in the coming month, 7 Q1 games and 1 Q2 game remain, including two games with Texas. The final game of the season at the Moody Center in Austin could be a de-facto one-seed battle if those two keep their resumes as good as they are. The Jayhawks floor is likely a three-seed, but only if they lost out (won’t happen); I believe they end up in the #4-#6 overall range.

Texas: The Longhorns are fighting for a one seed tonight. A NET of 8 and 10-4 in Q1/2 leaves a massive opportunity for the remainder of the season. Winning out’s not likely, as they are in Lawrence tonight and still have battles at Baylor and at TCU toward the end of the year. They have seven Q1s, and one Q2 left, leaving them the opportunities they need to try and get to the one seed line. In the final game of the year, the Longhorns host Kansas in what could be a battle for the last one seed on Selection Sunday. From a metrics standpoint, Texas looks like a strong two-seed, which is where I believe they end up. Their floor is probably on the four-line, but a lot would have to happen for them to fall that much. The perseverance this Longhorn team has shown is inspiring, and I believe they’ll use it to help them with the adversity the NCAA tournament will bring.

K-State: The Butler loss likely holds the Wildcats off of the one-seed line conversation, and that could end up being a Q3 loss. Regardless of nitpicking about their resume, this is an excellent team who will be a danger to make it to Houston. This year has been a WILD success, and Tang should be the national coach of the year. Like Kansas, seven Q1 games left and only one Q2 game on the schedule. The ceiling for this team is the two-line, and I believe they end up on the low three-line. Their metrics aren’t bad, but their predictive metrics average 30.67; something will have to come back to the mean, whether that’s the predictive metrics or the result metrics/record is yet to be determined. The five-line is probably the floor if they lose out, and it likely takes 7-1 to get a two-seed, 5-6 wins to get them a three, and 2-4 wins to get them a four-seed.

Iowa State: The Cyclones are another team without a loss in Q’s 2-4. They have a potentially easier schedule for the remainder of the year because they get only 6 Q1 games and 2 Q2 games to finish the season (no, it’s not easy; the Big 12 is a gauntlet that takes everything out of you, but it should bring some solid tournament performances). If somehow, ISU goes 8-0 in their remaining games, I could see a two-seed for them. Most likely, this is a lower three-seed or four-seed team that will be primed to make a deep run; However, they need to prove that they can win away from Ames because that’s been a struggle for them, and the NCAA tournament, unfortunately, doesn’t get to be played at home. Predictive/Result/NET metrics are all on the 3-4 border, which is where I believe they end up. Their floor is the six-line if they don’t win another game.

Baylor: The Bears are yet another likely protected seed come March. The Big 12 is so deep and talented; I’m curious to see how the Bears do. I currently have them on my three line, which is where they end up if I had to guess. Their ceiling is a two-seed, but it would take a very improbable run for them to end up there. Seven Q1 games remain, with only one Q1 game left. If they can find a way to go 7-1, the two-seed is in play; anything less than that, and a three-seed is where they end up. They’re 10-6 in Q1/2, and that # could end up at 17-7 if they would go 7-1. If they went 4-4 in their remaining games, that would be good for a three-seed if they beat Oklahoma on Wednesday. Their floor, like most of the Big 12 ahead of them, is a five-seed.

Should be in:

TCU: The next win that TCU gets locks them into the bracket. If they didn’t have a Q4 loss early in the year, I believe we’d be talking about TCU in the upper segment of the bracket, still projecting as a protected seed; their ceiling is limited by the Q4 loss. Other than that, they’re 9-5 in Q1/2 and have seven Q1 games left, balanced by one Q2 game. If they go 5-3 in these games, I’d think they end up on the three-line. 7-8 wins would push toward a two-seed or at least the top three seed. If they fall apart, their floor is likely a six seed, but that would require a monumental shift and losing 5-6 games out of 8. TCU’s most likely going dancing this year, and they should end up along the protected seed line.


WVU: I’m slightly higher personally on the Mountaineers than most. Their metrics are good, and all of their losses are in Q1. Right now, 14-9 with their metrics and four wins over tournament teams should be enough to get them in and stay out of Dayton. Upcoming are 3 Q1 games, 2 Q2 games then close the year with three more Q1 games. In these next eight games, I want to see WVU get three wins to get in and four to be comfortably in. The ceiling for this team is still relatively high because of the lack of bad losses and chances in front of them. If they win out, I could see a 6/7 seed being in play, I highly doubt they do that, but anything’s possible. Likely, the Mountaineers will be an 8-10 seed and will be very dangerous to whomever they get matched up with. If Stevenson can keep it rolling, a deeper run in March isn’t out of the question.

Oklahoma State: The two Oklahoma schools are much more challenging to seed and evaluate than the remainder of the Big 12. The Cowboys took the sweep over Oklahoma, so they’re in over the Sooners right now. From a metrics standpoint, NET of 35, results are 47, and Predictive = 30. Those metrics all look tournament worthy to me. I know a Big 12 team or two will be left out, but I don’t think it should be the Cowboys. Non-conference Strength of Schedule isn’t that bad compared to the bubble. The Q3 loss is a blemish they wish they didn’t have, and they could help overcome these barriers by winning 3-4 more of their 8 Q1/2 games on their schedule. Circle 2/20, when OKST goes to WVU, a Very bubbly matchup in Morgantown.

Oklahoma: The Sooners win/loss resume is held up by their excellent win over Alabama. That result shows how good this team can be when they click on all cylinders. The problem for them, however, is that they have lost 5 Big 12 games in a row, including back-to-back bubble games vs. Oklahoma State and at WVU. This week gets more challenging because they have to travel to Baylor and then host Kansas. This 5-game Big 12 losing streak could turn nine before Oklahoma hosts Texas Tech on 2/21. There’s a TON of work to do for the Sooners, whose metrics look rough (61 NET, 55 results, 55.33 predictive); all of those are fringe teams who I don’t believe should get in. while 3 Q2 losses aren’t terrible as a stat, two of those teams are not making the tournament, and another is a bubble team. Unfortunately, with a losing Q1/2 record of 6-11, the Sooners likely need to upset some teams that are way ahead of them in the Big 12. It’s a tough road for the Sooners NCAAT hopes.

2 views0 comments
bottom of page