Big 12 Basketball Tournament Seeding Scenarios For March 1
The Big 12 men’s basketball tournament is a little more than a week away. With seven games remaining, here’s how seeding and scenarios shape up.
Note: Scenarios were updated after Tuesday’s game and will be updated again after Wednesday’s games. Tiebreaker rules are set forth by the Big 12.
No. 1 Seed: Kansas
Kansas, led by forward Jalen Wilson, controls its own destiny after beating Texas Tech on Tuesday. If the Jayhawks beat Texas on Saturday, the Jayhawks are the No. 1 seed. If Texas loses to TCU on Wednesday night, then Kansas is the No. 1 seed.
We’ll save the ‘what happens if Kansas and Texas tie for first’ scenarios after we see what Texas does against TCU.
No. 2 Seed: Texas
To keep pace with Kansas, the Longhorns have to beat TCU on Wednesday. If the Longhorns lose, the No. 1 seed is out of play and Texas falls back into a tie with Baylor and, quite possibly, Kansas State for second place with one game left.
As noted on Monday, Texas split with both Baylor and Kansas State in the regular season. So we’ll dive into those tiebreakers after Wednesday’s games because it involves Kansas.
Nos 3-4 Seeds: Baylor and Kansas State
Baylor won on Monday and hosts slumping Iowa State on Saturday. The Bears have a seed range now. Baylor could reach as high as No. 2 and fall as low as No. 4.
Kansas State has a wider seed range right now, only because the Wildcats have to face Oklahoma on Wednesday. If the Wildcats beat Oklahoma, their seed range will be the same as Baylor’s. If they lose on Wednesday they would fall into the No. 4 seed for the moment. But, if TCU loses on Wednesday, Kansas State would be no worse than No. 4 in Kansas City.
No. 5 Seed: TCU
TCU enters Wednesday’s contest with Texas a game ahead of Iowa State and two games ahead of Oklahoma State. With the Cowboys’ loss on Monday, all TCU has to do is win one of its two remaining games to finish with no worse than the No. 6 seed. TCU COULD end up in a tie with Kansas State, but not Baylor, as the Bears have just one game remaining. But, K-State would have to lose its last two and TCU would have to win its last two. For reference, TCU and K-State split their season series.
No. 6 Seed: Iowa State
The scenarios are cloudy until we know who wins Wednesday’s TCU-Texas game. Since ISU swept TCU, the Cyclones are hoping for a Horned Frogs loss, which would force a fifth-place tie and give the Cyclones the No. 5 seed if they can beat Baylor on Saturday.
The Cyclones want no part of a head-to-head tiebreaker with Oklahoma State, since the Cowboys swept their season series. As noted on Monday, the best seed Iowa State can get is No. 5 and the worst is No. 7.
No. 7 Seed: Oklahoma State
The Cowboys play Texas Tech on Saturday. As noted, OSU has the head-to-head on ISU in the event of a two-way tie. A win on Saturday keeps the Cowboys in no worse than the No. 7 seed and sets up a potential third Bedlam game with Oklahoma in Kansas City.
No. 8 Seed: West Virginia
West Virginia is guaranteed to play Wednesday night in Kansas City. The Mountaineers get Kansas State in Morgantown on Saturday. WVU can move up to No. 7, if the Mountaineers win and OSU loses on Saturday. That’s as upwardly mobile as the Mountaineers can get.
If Oklahoma loses on Wednesday, the Mountaineers would be guaranteed not to drop to the No. 10 seed.
No. 9 Seed: Texas Tech
The Red Raiders, led by De’Vion Harmon, can’t move any higher than the No. 8 seed with their loss to Kansas. A Tech win on Saturday, coupled with a Mountaineer loss, would put the pair in a tie.
In that case, the only reason to break the tie would be to determine which jerseys each team wears.
Even if Oklahoma loses on Wednesday, there is a chance the Sooners and Red Raiders could tie, assuming the Sooners win and the Red Raiders lose on Saturday. At that point the tie-breaker is important because the pair split their season series and the winner of the tie-breaker is No. 9.
To break that tie, you’d have to look at the Red Raiders’ and Sooners’ records against the top team in the league. Right now that’s Kansas, and both were swept by the Jayhawks. No. 2 is Texas. In that case, the Red Raiders would get the No. 9 seed by virtue of their one win over Texas a couple of weeks ago. Texas swept the Sooners.
No. 10 Seed: Oklahoma
The Sooners go into Wednesday’s game at Kansas State needing a win to tie Texas Tech for ninth place. There’s a chance the Sooners can play their way into the No. 9 seed. OU would need to win its two remaining games and Texas Tech would need to lose its final game.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard