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Three Thoughts on Big 12 Bracketology for Jan. 10

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Oklahoma

For the seventh straight week, nine Big 12 men’s basketball teams made the cut in ESPN’s Bracketology for the Men’s NCAA Tournament next March.

With a full week of Big 12 basketball ahead to help influence the seeding, let’s dig in with three takeaways.


Oklahoma and Oklahoma State

Both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are in the field of 68 right now. Incredibly, they’re not only on the bubble, but they’re the last two teams in the tournament. Oklahoma is the last team in.

For the Cowboys, their win over West Virginia last Monday certainly helped, as did its close loss to Texas at home. As for Oklahoma, the Sooners stopped a two-game skid to start league play with a road win at Texas Tech, which represents a Quad 1 win for OU.

Because the conference is so tough, and because most of the teams are in the Top 75 in NCAA NET, a road win really helps a team like Oklahoma. But wins period would help both of these teams. They could remain on the bubble at least another week if they split for the week. The strength of the conference is the biggest factor in keeping them in the field.


West Virginia in Free Fall

At the start of Big 12 play West Virginia was a No. 4 seed. I thought that was a bit inflated, but I also thought it would equalize after a few games. I figured the Mountaineers would win at least one of their first three games.

The Mountaineers are 0-3 and they’re now a No. 9 seed. WVU has dropped five seed lines in two weeks.

As with OU and OSU, the strength of the conference is going to help the Mountaineers. But they need to start winning games this week. To do that they’ll have to overcome either Baylor or Oklahoma and hope the Erik Stevenson issues are behind them.

Last year the Mountaineers got off to a great start only to go 4-14 in league action. They still have room to maneuver, but it’s time to take the wheel.


Could it be Two New Big 12 Teams?

Obviously, Houston is a lock for the Field of 68. The nation’s No. 1 team is not the No. 1 overall seed here (that happens to be Kansas). But they are a No. 1 seed in a region.

UCF has actually improved its standing from a week ago, which gives some hope that the Big 12 could have two incoming teams in the event. The Knights went from the Next Four Out to the First Four Out. If the tournament started today they would be the fourth team out.

It’s possible that UCF could crash the field at some point, especially if they can fit a few more Quad 1 or Quad 2 wins on their ledger. UCF hosts Memphis on Wednesday. That’s the Knights’ chance to make another impression.


Big 12 Teams in Projected Field

The nine Big 12 teams in the current projected field are:

Kansas, No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region (Kansas City) vs. Southern/Fairleigh Dickinson winner in Des Moines, Iowa

Texas, No. 3 seed in the West Region (Las Vegas) vs. Colgate in Denver, Colo.

Iowa State, No. 4 seed in the East Region (New York) vs. UC Irvine in Orlando, Fla. (Iowa State moved from a No. 5 seed last week)

Kansas State, No. 4 seed in the South Region (Louisville) vs. Southern Miss in Greensboro, N.C. (moved up from a No. 7 seed last week)

Baylor, No. 5 seed in the West Region (Las Vegas) vs. Oral Roberts in Orlando, Fla. (Baylor dropped from a No. 4 seed last week)

TCU, No. 6 seed in the East Region (New York) vs. Nevada in Denver, Colo.

West Virginia, No. 9 seed in the East Region (New York City) vs. Michigan State in Birmingham, Ala. (WVU dropped from a No. 6 seed last week)

Oklahoma, No. 11 seed in the Midwest Region (Kansas City) vs. Memphis in a First Four Game in Dayton, Ohio (entered field this week)

Oklahoma State, No. 11 seed in the South Region (Louisville) vs. Mississippi State in a First Four Game in Dayton, Ohio (no seed change)

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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