With college basketball getting set to start in less than a week, I need to pick up the pace on my predictions. Today we will talk about the Big 12 conference. This conference has a chance to have make some noise as one of the best conferences in the country this season. We have some contenders and we have some pretenders from this conference. I am going to give you my winner for the Big 12, what team I believe has the best value heading into the year to win the Big 12, and a team to watch out for this year in the Big 12. With that being said let’s look at the odds.
West Virginia +525
Texas Tech +600
Iowa State +8000
Kansas State +30000
Before I get into anything else that has to deal with this conference, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are banned from the post season this season due to infractions so that is why they don’t have odds.
The Baylor Bears are poised to finish what they started a season ago in their quest of a National Championship for the first time in school history. Baylor had an incredible year a season ago, and it was a shame that we didn’t get to see how that team did in the tournament. This year though they are bringing back almost all of their key pieces from a season ago besides Freddie Gillespie. The Bears are bringing in two transfers one from UNLV and one from Presbyterian. They are also bringing in Dain Dainja (ranked #52 in ESPN’s Top 100) and L.J. Cryer (ranked 66th in ESPN’s Top 100) as two freshman pieces to help contribute off the bench.
The starting five for Baylor in my mind has to be up there as one of if not the best starting five in the country. Baylor has Davion Mitchell, Jared Butler, and MaCio Teague starting in their backcourt. To go along with Mark Vital and Tristan Clark in their front court. Scott Drew has a deep team that will look to win not only a lot of games this year, but look to go very far in the tournament as well. Baylor is my winner of the Big 12 and I love them to go at least to the Final Four this year.
Texas Tech +600
This Texas Tech team is one of my teams to watch out for in the NCAA this season. I understand they are losing key contributors in Jahmi’us Ramsey, Chris Clarke, and Davide Moretti. They are bringing in some serious talent though including Nimari Burnett (ranked 22nd in ESPN’s Top 100), Micah Peavy (ranked 36th in ESPN’s Top 100) to go along with VCU transfer Marcus Santos-Silva and UNLV transfer Joel Ntambwe. They are also waiting on the waiver to go through for Georgetown transfer Mac McClung as well.
Texas Tech’s starting five should look something like this. In the backcourt Nimari Burnett, Kyler Edwards and Terrance Shannon Jr. to go along with Joel Ntambwe and Marcus Santos-Silva in the front court. I love Texas Tech this season as I think they can easily break out and head back into the Final Four conversation. Look out for the Red Raiders this season as Nimari Burnett is going to put the Big 12 on notice.
Team To Watch Out For:
This is the year that Shaka Smart’s Texas Longhorns finally make an impact. This team doesn’t lose anybody from a season ago and then they add in Greg Brown (ranked 9th in ESPN’s Top 100) to go along with it smells a recipe for success to me. Barring any serious injuries this team has some serious potential to put Texas Longhorn basketball back on the map this season.
The starting five should look like Matt Coleman, Courtney Ramey, and Andrew Jones starting in the backcourt. To go along with them in the frontcourt is Greg Brown and Jericho Sims. This team also has some talent on the bench that should help contribute such as Jase Febres, Kamaka Hepa, Kai Jones, and Gerald Liddell. If the Longhorns are able to be as deep as their team looks on paper, they are going to be a nightmare in the Big 12. Watch out for Texas because their basketball team just might be back.
2.) Texas Tech
5.) West Virginia
8.) Iowa State
9.) Kansas State
Oklahoma State finishes behind West Virginia and ahead of Oklahoma in the regular season standings.
-Chris Jones (@cjoneswho1212)
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