The Big 12 Conference is arguably the best in the country, and that will be the case once again during the 2020-21 season. This conference is loaded with Final Four contenders at the top, and there are enough teams in the middle to provide some competition.
Most experts will focus on the Baylor Bears and Kansas Jayhawks, but there are other teams in this league that should not be overlooked. The Big 12 could be looking at eight NCAA Tournament teams this season, and the conference is loaded with talent.
Without further ado here is the Big 12 Basketball preview for the upcoming season.
Projected Order of Finish
- Baylor Bears
- Kansas Jayhawks
- Texas Tech Red Raiders
- West Virginia Mountaineers
- Oklahoma State Cowboys
- Texas Longhorns
- Iowa State Cyclones
- Oklahoma Sooners
- TCU Horned Frogs
- Kansas State Wildcats
Kansas has traditionally dominated the Big 12 Conference, and it’s never easy picking against them. The problem for Kansas is that it lost some of its top talent from a season ago, while Baylor brings their top-three scorers back.
Baylor spent a majority of the 2019-20 season as the top-ranked team in the country, and it will likely be there again this season. The Baylor Bears can also defend, and there just aren’t any holes on this roster.
Even though it seems pretty clear that Baylor and Kansas are the top-two teams in the league, there are some other teams that will challenge the leaders. Texas Tech and West Virginia both bring back a ton of talent, and each team has added some nice pieces.
Don’t expect any team to run away with the league title, and four of five losses might still be good enough to win the Big 12 Conference this season.
The one thing that does seem pretty certain is that Kansas State will be the worst team in the Big 12 this season, and it won’t be close. The Wildcats were dead last a season ago, and enter this season without many returning players.
NCAA Tournament Level Teams
The Big 12 Conference will have the potential to land eight teams in the NCAA Tournament this season depending on how teams fare during the non-conference portion of the season. The Big 12 Conference is rough, and it hurts the resume for some of the bubble teams.
These four teams will be absolute locks to make the NCAA Tournament this season unless something crazy happens:
- Texas Tech
- West Virginia
The NCAA selection committee always tends to give Big 12 teams the benefit of the doubt in terms of their resumes, and there could be up to four other at-large bids up for grabs. These teams below could get into the Big Dance, but they will need to play well to get there.
- Oklahoma State
- Iowa State
Final Four Contenders
Baylor and Kansas are the two obvious choices to be Final Four contenders this season, but you can’t count out Texas Tech or West Virginia either. Life in the Big 12 Conference prepares teams for March and any one of the four teams could go on a deep run.
If you had to pick one of these four teams to be a Final Four contender though, Baylor would have to be the pick.
Big 12 Conference Player of the Year Candidates
Jared Butler (Baylor)
This feels like it is Jared Butler’s race to win or lose as the Baylor star has returned to campus after testing the NBA Draft waters. Butler is the top returning scorer in the Big 12 and will likely win this award if the Bears end up on top.
Marcus Garrett (Kansas)
Garrett is now the star in Kansas after Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike left for the NBA. Garrett is capable of carrying the Jayhawks on offense, and he will be the key to Kansas defending its title crown.
Mac McClung (Texas Tech)
The former Georgetown star has been cleared to play right away at Texas Tech, and he could take the Big 12 Conference by storm. McClung never really seemed to fit the Georgetown style, but he could flourish with the Red Raiders.