They weren’t as dominant as in seasons past, but the Kansas Jayhawks won a 14th straight Big 12 title and remain the team to beat in the conference tournament according to the NCAA basketball futures.
Let’s see, 14 consecutive regular season titles, seven more Big 12 tournament crowns in that span and playing this year’s tourney less than an hour from their campus. Yeah, I’d say it is easy to understand why the Kansas Jayhawks are the favorites on the NCAA basketball futures to add another banner to their collection when this year’s event gets underway Wednesday at Kansas City’s Sprint Center.
Perhaps a better question than can Kansas win it, is can the Jayhawks stake claim to a No. 1 seed at the Big Dance without winning it? A follow-up topic might be whether the Sprint Center gives them a home-court edge. The lone appearance in Kansas City earlier this season resulted in a shocking upset at the hands of Washington, and even Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence didn’t carry its usual weight with the Jayhawks losing three times there.
Big 12 Tournament Odds
- Kansas +225
- West Virginia +400
- Texas Tech +450
- Kansas State +700
- TCU +1000
- Baylor +1200
- Oklahoma +2000
- Oklahoma St. +2000
- Texas +2000
- Iowa State +2500
Bill Self’s squad is +225 chalk to cut down the nets Saturday, and the biggest test to completing the job might come in the opener against either Oklahoma or Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals. The Sooners split with the Jayhawks during the regular season, while the Cowboys pulled off a rare sweep of Kansas with last weekend’s 82-64 whipping in Stillwater. Should Kansas put it all together, winning the tourney would most assuredly get the Jayhawks on the top line of a regional bracket come Selection Sunday.
The odds say West Virginia, at +400, has the best chance of upsetting Kansas’ plans. The No. 3 seed after an 11-7 Big 12 mark, the Mountaineers put a 1-5 stretch in late-January behind them by winning six of their final nine, though the Mountaineers fell to the Jayhawks twice. Bob Huggins’ crew will meet No. 6 seed Baylor in the quarters and beat the Bears twice.
Horned Frogs Finish 4-1 SU, 4-0-1 ATS
Texas Tech was by far the biggest surprise in the Big 12, knotting West Virginia with an 11-7 record and claiming the No. 2 seed in KC. Chris Beard’s crew checks in at +450 after stumbling down the stretch with four losses over the final five games. Three of those did come on the road, but the Red Raiders were one of three teams to beat the Jayhawks in Lawrence this year, doing so as 7½-point underdogs on the NCAA basketball odds.
Next up on the tote board are the Nos. 4/5 seeds who will square off in the opener of Thursday’s quarterfinals, Kansas State and TCU. Bruce Weber’s Wildcats went 0-6 against the top three seeds of the tournament and split with Jamie Dixon’s Horned Frogs during the regular season. By this time next year, Texas Christian should be Kansas’ biggest threat in the conference as Dixon continues to build a national power in Fort Worth.
Check back beginning Wednesday for analysis and free NCAA basketball picks as the Big 12 Tournament gives us an appetizer for the March Madness to come.Check Out SBR's March Madness Betting Page