Monday, May 21, 2012

Big 12 Tournament: What's at stake

Big 12 Tournament match-ups (Details and complete bracket schedule at

Wednesday, May 23rd

  • Game 1, 9:00 AM - #4 OU vs. #5 OSU
  • Game 2, 12:30 PM - #1 BU vs. #8 KSU KU
  • Game 3, 4:00 PM - #2 A&M vs. #7 KU
  • Game 4, 7:30 PM - #3 UT vs. #6 MU

In a year when the Big 12 is down, every team has a motive to take the conference tournament seriously.  Eech team has something to win and something to lose.

Baylor (42-12; 20-4) is the #1 seed in the tournament, having gone through the conference schedule like a buzz saw (except for losing 2 of 3 to Oklahoma).  Baylor is guaranteed to host a Regional and most likely a Super Regional.  By winning the Big 12 Tournament the Bears can lock up a national seed and first shot at a Super Regional hosting. If they don't win the tournament, they may get all of that anyway.

Texas A&M (41-14; 16-8) is the #2 seed.  They are a certainty to get an at-large bid Some of the experts and bloggers have the Aggies listed as a Regional host and others do not.  Winning the Big 12 Tournament would likely put them solidly as a #1 seed in their own Regional.

Texas (30-20; 14-10) is the #3 seed.  The Longhorns have been on the bubble for awhile in terms of earning at at-large bid.    How they do in the Big 12 Tournament could move them OUT of consideration for an at-large bid (if they go 2-and-out), or it could move them into a stronger position for an at-large bid (if they go deep into the Big 12 Tournament).

Oklahoma (35-21; 13-10) is the #4 seed.  At one point in the season the Sooners were looking iffy for an at-large bid to the Regionals.  They've come on strong the past few weeks and now are looking pretty good.  They're unlikely to get to host a Regional, even if they win the Big 12 Tournament. Winning the tournament could mean the difference between being a 2-seed and a 3-seed in a Regional.

Oklahoma State (33-22; 13-11) is the #5 seed.  The Cowboys are on several experts' OUT list for the Regionals.  It's a sign of how mediocre the Big 12 as a whole has been in 2012 that most people "in the know" think it unlikely the conference will get more than 4 teams into the NCAA tournament.  Some are saying only three will make the cut.  That leaves OSU in a situation where they are highly motivated to win the Big 12 Tourney and make sure they're one of the 3 or 4.  A poor showing in Oklahoma City this week would probably spell doom for them.

Missouri (28-26; 10-14) is the #6 seed this week.  For Mizzou and all the teams lower in the seedings, the Big 12 Tournament is the last shot at making it to the NCAA Regionals.  With the conference viewed as weak this season, anything short of winning the Big 12 puts them on the outside looking in.  The Tigers have been up and down like a heart monitor in 2012, and there's no telling whether they'll make it to the top.

Kansas (22-32; 7-16) is the 7th seed this week.  They're in the same bracket as the Tigers, which means MU and KU could actually meet again for a final showdown in the Big 12.  Like the Tigers, the Jayhawks need to win the tournament to move on into the post-season.

Kansas State (26-29; 7-17) barely snuck into the Big 12 Tournament field as the 8th seed by winning their final series against Texas Tech.   In reality, they'll be fortunate to not go 2-and-out.  In their dreams, they hope to surprise everyone and win it all.

Texas Tech (29-26; 7-17) finished 9th in the Big 12.  Their season is over and done.

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