The First Round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament is in the books, and the Big 12 Conference finished a perfect 6-0.
Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Texas, TCU and Texas Tech all advanced to the Round of 32. The action started on Thursday, when Baylor demolished Norfolk State in a No. 1 vs. No. 16 match up. This was followed by the only other Big 12 game of the day, as fellow No. 1 seed Kansas rolled No. 16 Texas Southern.
On Friday, four Big 12 teams were in action, starting with No. 3 seed Texas Tech, who picked up where the Big 12 left off on Thursday, and crushed No. 14 Montana State. Then, it was No. 6 seed Texas taking down the ACC Tournament Champs in Virginia Tech.
The night capped off with the two Big 12 underdogs in the first round. 11 seed Iowa State got by LSU on the back of Tyrese Hunter who hit seven three-pointers on the night. And the evening capped off with TCU, a No. 9 seed, dominating No. 8 seed Seton Hall.
So with the Big 12 sitting at 6-0, how did the other conferences in the NCAA Tournament fair in the First Round?
Here’s the record for each league (counting play-in games).
Big 12: 6-0
Big Ten: 7-3 (two play-in games)
Big East: 3-3
West Coast: 2-1
Mountain West: 0-5 (two play-in games)
After losing in the Big 12 Tournament last week to Texas Tech, Iowa State head coach T.J. Otzelberger said, “I don’t know who we will play [in the NCAA Tournament] and how that will all go, but I do know that we’re playing in the best league in the country. We play the teams that are the most physical. We play in the league that’s the most physical, so my guess would be whoever we play outside the league, it may not be that same level of defensive intensity that we see night in and night out. At the same time, we’ve got to control, value the basketball and play the aggressor.”
Iowa State certainly did that on Friday night, and so did the rest of the league in their First Round games.
The Big 12 action gets underway in the Second Round on Saturday morning as Baylor takes on North Carolina. That game will be followed by Kansas vs. Creighton. Then on Sunday, four of the eight games will feature Big 12 teams as Texas faces Purdue, Texas Tech takes on Notre Dame, Iowa State vs. Wisconsin/Colgate, and TCU gets a crack at Arizona.
The Big 12 is backing up its moniker as the best college hoops conference in America this season, and that should worry every Big 12 opponent over the next two days.
And for those counting at home, the Big 12 would need all six teams to win on Saturday and Sunday to tie a record for the most teams from one conference to make the Sweet 16. The ACC set the record in 2016 when the league got six teams to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.