Three To Go: What’s At Stake for Big 12 Tournament Seeding

Posted by dnspewak on February 23rd, 2012

After more than two months of wars and 15 games in the books, the Big 12 Tournament scenarios are looking a little clearer. Either Kansas or Missouri will win the conference and earn the top seed. Texas Tech will finish last. And Texas will probably find a way to lose another close game to ruin its RPI. With three games to play, here’s a look at the best-case and worst-case scenarios for each Big 12 team in the final week and a half of regular season play:

1. Kansas (13-2)

  • Schedule: vs. MU, at OSU, vs. Texas
  • Highest possible seed: 1 
  • Lowest possible seed: 2
  • Bottom line: Beat Missouri on Saturday. That’s it. With a victory, the Jayhawks would wrap up another Big 12 title barring a collapse in the final week of the season.

Round Two in Lawrence Could Result in a Big 12 Title For KU (AP/L.G. Patterson)

2. Missouri (12-3)

  • Schedule: at KU, vs. ISU, at TTU
  • Highest possible seed: 1
  • Lowest possible seed: 3
  • Bottom line: Win out. Do that and the Tigers at least have a share of the title in their last season in the conference.

3. Baylor (10-5)

  • Schedule: vs. OU, vs. TTU, at ISU
  • Highest possible seed: 2
  • Lowest possible seed: 5
  • Bottom line: The Bears cannot earn that elusive two-seed unless they A) win out and B) Missouri loses out. That’s not going to happen, so Scott Drew’s team will likely either play a six-seed on Thursday night or occupy one of the #4 vs. #5 slots on Thursday afternoon.
4. Iowa State (10-5)
  • Schedule: at KSU, at MU, vs. BU
  • Highest possible seed: 2
  • Lowest possible seed: 5
  • Bottom line: With a murderer’s row remaining, Iowa State’s final three-game stretch could actually make a major difference in both Big 12 seeding and NCAA Tournament at-large hopes. The Cyclones are close to a lock, but they’ve got to at least win one of these final three games. Drop all three and Fred Hoiberg’s team could be in big trouble.

5. Kansas State (8-7)

  • Schedule: vs. ISU, at A&M, vs. OSU
  • Highest possible seed: 3
  • Lowest possible seed: 7
  • Bottom line: The meat of the schedule is over for Kansas State. After completing a sweep of Missouri earlier this week, the Wildcats simply need to take care of business in three games they’ll be favored to win down the stretch. At this point, it’s safe to call them essentially an NCAA Tournament lock.

6. Texas (7-8)

  • Schedule: at TTU, vs. OU, at KU
  • Highest possible seed: 3
  • Lowest possible seed: 7
  • Bottom line: No team has a more important three-game finale than Texas, which has already blown five opportunities this season to knock off Kansas, Missouri and Baylor. Remarkably, the Longhorns are still in the hunt for an at-large bid, but they’ll need to win out 9– including at Allen Fieldhouse next weekend– to sneak in.

7. Oklahoma State (6-9)

  • Schedule: vs. A&M, vs. Kansas, at Kansas State
  • Highest possible seed: 5
  • Lowest possible seed: 8
  • Bottom line: With a strong finish, Oklahoma State could A) spoil KU’s chances at a Big 12 title and B) avoid the Wednesday play-in game. Plus, who’s to say the Cowboys can’t make a run toward the NIT? At worst, they’re playing for a home game in the CIT (exciting).

8. Oklahoma (4-11)

  • Schedule: at Baylor, at UT, vs. A&M
  • Highest possible seed: 6
  • Lowest possible seed: 9
  • Bottom line: Call us crazy, but this is actually a dangerous underdog team at this point. Yes, the Sooners are the only Big 12 team to lose to Texas Tech this season, and yes, they just won their first game in February one day ago. Still, this is a team that swept Kansas State and put a major scare into Missouri. At the very least, Lon Kruger should have a decent squad next year, and he’ll get a chance to make a little progress late in the 2011-12 season.

9. Texas A&M (4-11)

  • Schedule: at OSU, vs. KSU, at OU
  • Highest possible seed: 7
  • Lowest possible seed: 9
  • Bottom line: At least this nightmare season is almost over for Billy Kennedy. Relegated to the play-in game, A&M could put a damper in Kansas State’s at-large hopes, but that’s about it.

10. Texas Tech (1-14)

  • Schedule: vs. Texas, at Baylor, vs. Missouri
  • Bottom line: Poor Red Raiders. They’re already reeling, and the final three games include 1) the most desperate team in the league 2) a road game at a Top 25 team and 3) a home game against a top-five team. Even if Tech miraculously won out and both Oklahoma and Texas A&M lost out, tiebreakers would still leave them in last place. So it’s all about pride here for Billy Gillispie now.
dnspewak (343 Posts)

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