The Big 12 season is about to end, and the conference tournament will start next week. Speculation on who will and won’t make the NCAA tournament has been going on for months, but we finally have a really good idea of who is going to make it, and who won’t. Below is a status update on all 12 teams.
In no matter what: Kansas, Texas, Texas A&M, Kansas State
The first three are obvious, despite the fact that the Longhorns have been awful recently. Kansas is probably going to be a one seed, though the Big 12 tourney could affect that. UT and TAM will both get high seeds as well.
K-State played their way off the bubble the past two weeks, and can’t get back on it in my mind. They’ve got a number of quality wins, are white-hot, and probably will steal some more wins next week.
Probably in: Missouri
Despite their best efforts, Missouri doesn’t seem to be on the bubble. The Tigers’ issues on the road have been crippling, and they are going to finish .500 in conference, but mediocrity reigns this season. Missouri can probably win the first game in KC next week, and perhaps a second, which would erase any questions.
Should Missouri drop their first round game next week, I think it is very possible that the Tigers have to sweat it out on selection Sunday.
Riding the bubble: Baylor, Colorado
Despite an up and down season, Baylor looks like they are going to sneak in. The Bears are very talented, and could secure their position with a win against Texas on Saturday, but they have played very poorly quite often this season. In a normal season, Baylor would have to win the Big 12 tourney to make the NCAAs, but this season they might just have to make the second round.
Colorado blew it, plain and simple. Their loss to Iowa State probably knocked them out of the NCAA field. If they manage to make a run to the Big 12 finals, perhaps they can steal Baylor’s spot, but even then, it might not be enough. It’s a shame too, because the Buffaloes are a very entertaining team, one capable of playing with anybody, and they happen to have the best player in the conference.
Need to get the automatic big: Everyone else.
Nebraska and Oklahoma State might technically be on the bubble still, but they really aren’t. They need to win the Big 12 tournament, otherwise they are going to the NIT.
I’ll be sure to update this as the Big 12 tournament goes on. Missouri, Baylor, and Colorado have the most to gain/lose next week. I’d still bet on Kansas though, especially since there is a one seed on the line.