The Big 12 NCAA basketball conference gets underway today but we won't see the favorites in action just yet. Take a look at the main contenders and who the likely winner is going to be.
As we enter March Madness, here is a look at some of the teams in the Big 12 Conference which takes place from March 9th - March 12th. Betting odds aren't currently available but Kansas and Texas will clearly be the top two favorites.
(1) Kansas Jayhawks (29-2, 14-2)
The Jayhawks are led by Big 12 Player of the Year Marcus Morris averaging 17.3 points and 7 rebounds on 60% shooting from the field. Along with Markieff Morris (13.5 points and 8.3 rebounds) they form a formidable duo in leading the Jayhawks to a number 2 ranking in the nation. The Jayhawks are 1st in the nation in FG% (51.8),AST (18.2),and 5th in PTS (82.7)
Key Wins: Arizona, Memphis, Missouri (twice), Texas A&M
The obvious favorite to win the tournament. The Jayhawks should win but anything can happen as teams play above their heads in conference tournaments.
(2) Texas Longhorns (25-6, 13-3)
The Longhorns are currently ranked 7th in the country. Jordan Hamilton leads Texas with 18.5 points and 7,6 rebounds. Hamilton has been consistent on the offensive end all season. He's scored in double digits in every game except for a 9 point performance earlier in the season against North Florida. Forward Tristan Thompson is second on the team at 13.5 points and leads the team in rebounds with 7.7. Thompson. Thompson shoots 49% from the line and that can possibly hurt at crucial moments The Longhorns are 5th in the country in rebounding.
Key Wins: North Carolina, Kansas, Texas A&M (twice), Missouri
The Longhorns have beaten Kansas before and their only blemish is a 91-89 loss to Colorado. This makes them a major threat with a slight edge to Kansas
(4) Kansas State Wildcats (22-9, 10-6)
Guard Jacob Pullen is an offensive force at 19.6 points and 3.6 assists per game. Guard Rodney McGruder is second on the team in points and rebounds at 11.4 and 6.2. McGruder is also a 3 point threat, averaging 41.5% from 3 point range.
Key Wins: Kansas, Texas
Having victories over the top two teams in the conference make Kansas State a legitimate contender in this tournament
(6) Colorado Buffaloes (19-12, 8-8)
Colorado ranks 15th in the nation in points (79.3) and have four players that average in double figures. They're led by Alec Burks who averages 19.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Burks came up with a 33 point, 10 rebound performance in a victory on February 26th against Texas.
Key Wins : Missouri, Kansas State (twice), Texas
Colorado is my darkhorse pick to make it far into this tournament.
(5) Missouri Tigers (22-9, 8-8)
Missouri ranks 22nd in the country and ranks number 8 in scoring (81.5) and 14 in assists (16.6). They're a well rounded team with 5 players scoring in double figures led by Marcus Denmon (16.8) and Laurence Bowers is 2nd on the team in scoring at 11.8 points and leads the team in rebounding with 6.1 rebounds per game.
Key Wins : Vanderbilt, Kansas State
They're a legitimate contender but haven't beaten the top 3 teams in the conference.
(3) Texas A&M Aggies (23-7, 10-6)
Forward Khris Middleton who averages 14.4 and 5.2 rebounds per game leads the team. Second on the team is David Loubeau averaging 11.6 points and 4.9 rebounds. B.J. Holmes is the Aggies 3 point specialist at 40.7% from beyond the arc.
Key Wins: Missouri
Considering the record and ranking, I'm expecting the Aggies to underperform in this tournament.
The Kansas Jayhawks are clearly the class of this conference. Look for them to possibly get revenge on a Texas Longhorns team that beat them in their only meeting this season.