The Big 12 and Championship Saturday… How Much Will It Matter?
With conference championships deciding automatic bids to the Dance, will the upsets impact the Big 12’s participation in March Madness?
While this is predominantly a football site, some events transcend that focus. The NCAA’s March Madness is one of those events. Let’s take a look around the conference and see who’s in, and who’s out.
Kansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Baylor, and West Virginia are in, and simply jockeying for position. Oklahoma State and Texas are cutting it a little closer, and won’t feel easy until their name is called on Sunday. According to Joe Lunardi’s latest “bracketology” on ESPN.com, though, they would appear to be comfortably in. Of course that’s barring an avalanche of bubble-bursting upsets on Saturday.
There is the potential the Cowboys and Longhorns could get pushed to the “play in” games (I refuse to call these contests the “first round”), but they won’t likely get bumped out. Lunardi is usually on point with this stuff.
Here’s the Big 12 seeding as it currently stands:
Kansas: 2-seed in the Midwest (Kentucky #1; I think KU is overrated this year, and getting out if this part of the bracket with Michigan State and Notre Dame looming will be tough)
Iowa State: 3-seed in the South (Duke and Gonzaga are 1-2. This could be a good setup for the Cyclones)
Oklahoma: 3-seed in the West (Virginia and Arizona are 1-2; OU has a really good opportunity to get to the Sweet 16)
Baylor: 4-seed in the South (Barring Scott Drew things, they have a good shot at the Sweet 16)
West Virginia: 5-seed in the West (like OU, has a pretty solid setup for making the Sweet 16 if Staten and Brown can play)
Oklahoma State: 10-seed in the East
Texas: 11-seed in the East
The only thing left for the Big 12 will be actually performing once the tournament starts. On many lists as the top basketball conference in the country, members need to advance to uphold that reputation. Ideally, I would like to see at least 3-4 teams advance to the Sweet 16 to solidify the conference’s position as the best in 2014-15, but I’m not confident they will get more than two teams into that round. The draw will be everything in this regard.
For now, let’s sit back and enjoy the madness!
– Cover Photo Credit: NCAA Court Logo | Kim Klement | USA TODAY Sports