NCAA Tournament Betting: Big 12 Powerhouses Complete Analysis

Jay Pryce

Monday, March 7, 2016 3:05 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 7, 2016 3:05 PM UTC

Get your NCAA basketball odds, schedule, betting tips, and our prediction for the 2016 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship here. Don't miss all the sharp info inside.

The Big 12 is the big conference in college basketball this season. Headed into championship weekend, it boasts six teams in the AP top 25. The 2016 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship tips off at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri on Wednesday, March 10. Below, you'll find the schedule, NCAA basketball odds, betting tips and predictions for one of the nation's most coveted crowns.


**See Our Update On The Big East Conference Tournament**


Below is a schedule of the Big 12 tournament which runs through Saturday, March 12th: No. 8 Kansas State and No. 9 Oklahoma State get the festivities started the early game (7 p.m. ET) on Wednesday, while No. 7 Texas Tech and No. 10 TCU tussle in the late (9 p.m. ET). 




Wednesday, March 9


No. 8 Kansas State vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State

7:00 p.m. ET

No. 7 Texas Tech vs. No. 10 TCU

9:00 p.m. ET



Thursday, March 10


No. 4 Texas vs. No. 5 Baylor 

12:30 p.m. ET

No. 1 Kansas vs. K-State/OSU winner 

2:30 p.m. ET

No. 2 West Virginia vs. TTU/TCU winner 

 7:00 p.m. ET

No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 6 Iowa State

9:00 p.m. ET



Friday, March 11


Thursday Afternoon Winners

7:00 p.m. ET

Thursday Evening Winners

9:00 p.m. ET



Saturday, March 12


Semifinal Winners

6:00 p.m. ET


Kansas, which won (or shared) its 12th regular-season crown in a row this year with a record of 15-3, heads into K.C. As the No. 1 seed and are the oddsmakers favorite to win at +125. Coach Bob Huggins' West Virginia Mountaineers, finishing with 13 wins in-conference (program best), is in the No. 2 spot and listed as the second favorite at +275. The Oklahoma Sooners, who stumbled a little down the stretch, rounds out the top three at +450. Odds for the Big 12 Conference Champion are posted below, currently at 5Dimes:


Big 12 Conference Champion




West Virginia




Iowa State






Texas Tech


Kansas State


Oklahoma State





Betting Tips & Predictions
First off, don't gamble on any wild underdog champion. Since the tournament's inception in 1997, only one No. 4 seed, the lowest ever, has trimmed the net, Iowa State in 2014. Otherwise, the champ has come from the third seed or higher every year: eight No. 1's, five No. 2's, and five No. 3's.

We looked back over the last 10 years at each winner of the tournament to see if we could uncover some trends or stats to help us cash a futures ticket. Here's some key factors we found:

  1. Each champion shot 45 percent or better from the field in Big 12 play entering the tourney.

  2. Each champion owned a 2.5 percent or better shooting percentage margin (for vs. allowed) in Big 12 play entering the tourney.

  3. All but one champ (Missouri 2010-11) held Big 12 foes to 43.6 percent shooting or less entering the tourney.

  4. All but one winner (Iowa State 2012-13) owned a 4.5 point margin of victory or higher in conference play entering the tourney.

Using the above-mentioned trends as a benchmark, only one team hits them all: the Kansas Jayhawks.

Four teams enter the 2016 tourney with a positive shooting percentage margin: No. 1 Kansas (+8.7), No. 2 West Virginia (+0.3), No. 3 Oklahoma (+1.1) and No. 6 Iowa State (+5.7). Out of these, only two hit above the 45 percent or better mark on offense in conference play: Kansas (47.9) and Iowa State (50.2). In fact, Baylor (46.7) is the only other Big 12 team headed to K.C. to do so. The Sooners were shooting well above the mark until falling flat from the field in mid February. Including their 76-72 loss in Norman to the Jayhawks, coach Lon Kruger's men closed out the year hitting 40.7 percent from the floor in their final seven games.

The Jayhawks also own the lowest shooting percentage allowed to Big 12 foes at 39.2 percent. West Virginia and its aggressive press-defense yields the second lowest at 42.9, but can they score enough points to hang with the better offenses in conference? This has been the question all season. Huggins men were 3-3 SU against Big 12 foes (Kansas, Oklahoma, and Iowa State) scoring more points than them per game versus a 10-2 record posting fewer.

Iowa State, as the No. 6 seed, may be your best Cinderella candidate. The Cyclones are gonna push the pace and force opposing offenses to outscore them. They surpass the key shooting percentage benchmarks, but fall a little short on defense (44.5 opponent field goal percentage) and average scoring margin (3.11). Nonetheless, these are two of the categories where bettors have seen an exception to the rules.

Kansas, though, is where my NCAA basketball pick is going. A lot of times the dynamics of the bracket help determine a winner, yet the cream usually rises to the top. The Jayhawks are not only head and shoulders the best team in the Big 12, but it has quite an easy schedule to reach the final game. In the first round, they'll play either Kansas State or Oklahoma State, followed up by the winner of Texas and Baylor if they advanced. Kansas is 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS against these four foes this season, outscoring them by a margin of 13.5 points (80.0 to 66.5).

The lone blemish occurred in Stillwater when it fell as a 9-point favorite 86-67 to Oklahoma State. Overall, the Jayhawks own a 38-10 overall record in the tourney, and is 9-2 when it reaches the championship game. The team has a shot to be crowned college basketball's best in a couple of weeks, and +125 to win the Big 12 is fair value.  

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