Big 12 Baseball

2024 Big 12 Baseball Tournament Preview: Four Things to Watch

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Notre Dame vs Oklahoma

The regular season is over, and we now turn our attention to the Big 12 baseball tournament in Arlington.

While a champion has already been crowned, there is still plenty to play for as teams look to make their final impression before Selection Monday.

Here are my four things to watch for the Big 12 baseball tournament and you can find the full Big 12 tournament schedule right here.


Who Will Win?

Obviously, we have some great teams in this conference, and truly, anyone could win. However, some teams are playing better than others at the moment. Right now, Texas is playing some really good baseball. They just completed a sweep over Kansas and have won six straight series in conference play.

They have the offense to compete with anyone in the country as they have hit a whopping 57 home runs in Big 12 play due to guys like Jalin Flores, Max Belyeu, Jared Thomas, and Will Gasparino who have combined for 60 home runs this season.

While the pitching staff doesn’t have as much depth as in previous years, Max Grubbs has been a big surprise for this team, posting a 3.42 ERA in Big 12 action. Plus, Gage Boehm has been lights out in the bullpen as well. The offense will put up runs but the biggest question is if this team has enough arms to go the distance.


Who Will Be Cinderella?

In years past, we have seen that sometimes a team can catch fire at the right time. Two years ago, Oklahoma got on a roll and won the Big 12 tournament and eventually made it to the finals. Last season, TCU was that team, and they made it all the way to Omaha.

So, who will be the team that comes out of nowhere this season? Give me the West Virginia Mountaineers. While they may be near the top of the conference standings, I feel like they get lost in the shuffle a bit because everyone wants to talk about Oklahoma, Texas, or Oklahoma State. Well, this West Virginia team is for real.

They are very balanced on both sides of the plate. Offensively, they have some serious firepower between Reed Chumley, Kyle West, Grant Hussey, and Sam White. Plus, the reigning Big 12 player of the year JJ Wetherholt has been on a tear ever since his return from injury. And when you have a guy like Derek Clark on the mound, it really helps keep those arms fresh in the bullpen. Do not sleep on this team.

Who Wants to Host a Regional?

Due to RPI, there are only two teams in the Big 12 who are serious candidates to host a regional. Obviously, the Oklahoma Sooners are one of those teams due to the fact they won the Big 12 regular season title with an absurd 23-7 record. No matter what happens, they will host a regional in Norman.

The other team in consideration is Oklahoma State. They finished second in the conference with a 19-9 record and an RPI inside the top 20 (17). If they can win a game or two in the Big 12 tournament, then I believe they would be a lock to host a regional in Stillwater.


Who is on the Bubble?

There are quite a few teams on the bubble, and I will just quickly go through what each team needs to do to make the postseason.

Cincinnati: The RPI isn’t there for the Bearcats (55) and but their 17-13 record in conference play helps. If they can win two games in this tournament then I really like their chances of getting in.

Kansas State: The Wildcats are the opposite of the Bearcats. They have the RPI (42) but the conference record is average sitting at 15-15. One would probably sneak them in, but I would feel a lot more confident if they could win at least two games in Arlington.

Kansas: I am going to be completely honest here, getting swept by Texas was a total back breaker for this team and their chances of making a regional. Their RPI is in the 70’s and their 15-15 conference record isn’t doing them any favors. Unless this team reaches the semifinals or the finals, they aren’t getting in.

UCF: One win may be enough for the Knights, but I would say two would probably do the trick here. Their RPI is in the low 40’s which is fine, but they have to win at least a game or two for me to feel comfortable.

TCU: TCU’s turnaround has been fantastic, but they really needed that series against West Virginia this past weekend. I don’t think one win is enough to get in, so I would say it will take at least two or possibly three wins for them to get in.

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