The Kansas Jayhawks are the favorite to win the Big 12 Conference, according to a preseason vote by the league’s coaches in advance of Big 12 Media Day next week.
The Jayhawks collected eight first-place votes and finished with a total of 80 points.
The Jayhawks are coming off a run to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. They return four starters, including All-Big 12 preseason selections David McCormack and Ochai Agbaji. A third Jayhawk, newcomer and transfer Remy Martin, was selected the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year on Wednesday.
In 26 seasons, Kansas has been picked outright or tied for first in 19 preseason polls and won or shared the conference championship in 19 years.
But, last season, Baylor was the preseason No. 1 pick and went on to win both the Big 12 regular-season title and the national championship.
Texas, under new head coach Chris Beard, received the other two first-place votes and finished second with 70 points. Transfer guard Marcus Carr was named the Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year on Wednesday. Two other Longhorns, veteran guard Andrew Jones and transfer forward Tre Mitchell, were selected Big 12 Preseason Honorable Mention.
Baylor was third with 67 points. The Bears lost their quartet of starting guards, three of which are now in the NBA. But, they return forward Matthew Mayer, a Big 12 Preseason First-Team pick, along with guard Adam Flagler. Transfer James Akinjo was named Big 12 Preseason Honorable Mention.
Following Baylor was No. 4 Texas Tech, No. 5 (tie) Oklahoma State and West Virginia, No. 7 Oklahoma, No. 8 TCU, No. 9 Kansas State and No. 10 Iowa State.
The regular season is scheduled to begin on Nov. 9, with Big 12 play opening on New Year’s Day. The Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tipoff will be in Kansas City on Oct. 20. Interviews from the event will air on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ from 8:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT.
Heartland College Sports Big 12 Basketball Preview
Top 25 Returning Players: No. 25 Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua| No. 24 Christian Braun | No. 23 Rondel Walker | No. 22 Umoja Gibson | No. 21 Matthew Alexander-Moncrieffe | No. 20 Nijel Pack | No. 19: Marcus Santos-Silva | No. 18 Mike McGuirl| No. 17 Jalen Bridges | No. 16 Kalib Boone | No. 15 Kevin McCullar
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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2021-22 Big 12 Preseason Poll
First-place votes in parenthesis
1. Kansas (8): 80
2. Texas (2): 70
3. Baylor: 67
4. Texas Tech: 51
5. Oklahoma State: 49
West Virginia: 49
7. Oklahoma: 29
8. TCU: 24
9. Kansas State: 22
10. Iowa State: 9