Believe it or not, the regular season will come to a close tomorrow for the Big 12 and we will have just the Conference Tournament and NCAA Tournament left for 2021-22. The race is as tight as it has been all season between Baylor and Kansas for Big 12 superiority, and the games on Saturday will have heavy implications on the postseason.
Here is what’s at stake for each team in the Big 12 basketball regular season wraps up with just one game left to play for each team on Saturday.
Fighting for Seeding
After Tuesday’s loss to TCU, they are firmly between a one and two seed, and it’s starting to teeter onto the two-line. Avoiding a sweep against Texas would add another quad one win to their resume, while a loss would likely knock them firmly into the discussion as a two seed, and even making them vulnerable to becoming a three seed depending on what happens in Kansas City.
After the 48 hours between tip with Kansas and the final buzzer in Austin, Baylor looks to have planted themselves as a one seed and would clinch it with a win vs Iowa State. Another bonus for the Bears? It would keep the top overall seed firmly in play.
After suffering a huge blow to their Big 12 and two seed hopes on Saturday in Fort Worth, the Red Raiders can likely lock up a three-seed at least with one more win, whether that comes in Stillwater on Saturday or Kansas City next week. However, a win over Oklahoma State would add another quad one win and likely keep them in the hunt for their first 2 seed in program history.
This is a team firmly on the five-line right now, and a win in Lawrence would catapult them up to the four-line while a loss could leave them vulnerable to falling to the six-line by Selection Sunday if they can’t get a win in Kansas City.
Fighting for Momentum
After wins over Texas Tech and Kansas, TCU is heading back to the Big Dance for just the second time since 1998. Now the question is with this brutal stretch of 4 games in 8 days, is it more important to stay hot or get rested? This is a TCU team that has proven they can play with anyone, they’ll be favored in their first-round game, and will be a tough out for anyone in the second round. A perfect scenario is a win where they can spread out the minutes and then get 4 days off before their Big 12 Tournament opener.
For Iowa State at this point it’s about going to Waco and playing a competitive game against a team of a similar caliber they’ll face in the second round of the NCAA Tournament should they get there. After losing to Oklahoma State Wednesday night, they desperately need a win or at least a competitive game to build momentum before what looks like it will be a daunting first weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
The only way for the Sooners to make the NCAA is winning the Big 12 Tournament, so this is all about Big 12 Tournament seeding, and securing a bye. Moser’s men can be considered a lock for the NIT, having already clinched a .500 record.
Ineligible for the postseason, Saturday is all about playing spoiler and finishing the season with a win on senior night. A win over Texas Tech would give them a positive ending from a season many will say was robbed by the NCAA. Much credit has to go to Mike Boynton, and his team for continuing to fight when many would’ve rolled over.
Fighting for the NIT
At a game below .500 they need both a win at home against Oklahoma, and to beat the 2 seed in the Big 12 Tournament to get back to .500 and make the NIT. A loss to Oklahoma means they’d need to beat West Virginia, the 1 seed, and then win their semifinal in Kansas City to make the NIT. With Nijel Pack they can be a problem for anyone in Kansas City in a one off, but winning three straight may be a bridge too far, this is a must win for their NIT hopes.
A loss at home to TCU would eliminate the Mountaineers from the NIT as they could only make it to .500 by winning the Big 12 Tournament which would send them to the NCAA tournament. However, a win would give them some life as they’d then just need to win the 8/9 matchup in KC and pull an upset on the 1 seed Thursday to clinch a .500 record. They gave Texas fits last Saturday, and have been close many times this year, if TCU is worn down from this previous week their NIT door could crack open.
Conference Seeding Scenarios
Kansas (vs Texas)
- No. 1 Seed- Win vs Texas
Baylor loss vs Iowa State -AND- Texas Tech loss @ Oklahoma State
- No. 2 Seed- Lose vs Texas -AND- One of Baylor, and Texas Tech loses
- No. 3 Seed- Lose vs Texas -AND- Baylor beats Iowa State -AND- Texas Tech wins @ Oklahoma State
Baylor (vs Iowa State)
- No. 1 Seed- Win vs Iowa State -AND- Kansas loss vs Texas
- No. 2 Seed- Win vs Iowa State -AND- Kansas win vs Texas
Texas Tech loss @ Oklahoma State
- No. 3 Seed- Loss vs Iowa State -AND- Texas Tech win @ Oklahoma State
Texas Tech ( @ Oklahoma State)
- No. 1 Seed- Win @ Oklahoma State -AND- Baylor loses vs Iowa State -AND- Kansas loses vs Texas
- No. 2 Seed- Win @ Oklahoma State -AND- One of Kansas or Baylor loses
- No. 3 Seed- Lose @ Oklahoma State
Win @ Oklahoma State -AND- Baylor and Kansas both win
Texas (@ Kansas)
- No. 4 Seed- Already locked in
TCU (@ West Virginia)
- No. 5 seed- Win at West Virginia
Iowa State Loss at Baylor
- No. 6 Seed- Lose at West Virginia -AND- Iowa State wins @ Baylor -AND- Baylor finishes ahead of Kansas
Iowa State (@ Baylor)
- No. 5 Seed- Win @ Baylor -AND- TCU loses @ West Virginia -AND- Baylor finished ahead of Kansas
- No. 6 Seed- Lose @ Baylor
TCU wins @ West Virginia
Kansas finished ahead of Baylor
Kansas State (vs Oklahoma)
- No. 7 seed- Win vs Oklahoma
- No. 8 seed- Loss to Oklahoma
Oklahoma (@ Kansas State)
- No. 7 seed- Win at Kansas State
- 8 seed- Loss at Kansas State
West Virginia (vs TCU)
- 9 seed- Already locked in
Oklahoma State (vs Texas Tech)
- Ineligible for the postseason