Kansas 27-4 (15-3)

By: Shane Jackson | @jacksonshane3

Season recap

Kansas ended the regular season as the No. 1 team in the nation and clinched its 12th-straight conference championship. The Jayhawks hit a rough patch in the middle of January, losing three games during a five-game stretch.

But rather than getting buried in the conference race, Kansas won 11 straight games to end the season, winning the toughest conference by two games. Now all eyes turn to the postseason, where the Jayhawks will look to avoid a first weekend exit for the third consecutive year.

Tournament outlook

The Jayhawks are looking at a potential No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament this March. Regardless of what happens this weekend in Kansas City, Kansas will not be bumped off the 1-seed line, and it seems unlikely that it gets bumped off the top seed overall. 

What they can accomplish in March

Given how the team finished the year, the Jayhawks are without a doubt the best team in the Big 12 Tournament and will likely have the feel of a home crowd support. Because of these factors, a first round exit in the Sprint Center would be inexcusable and anything less than a championship appearance would be a disappointment.


West Virginia 24-7 (13-5)

By: Evan Riggs | @EvanRiggsUDK

Season recap

West Virginia finished the season with an impressive 24-7 record and was second in the Big 12 standings behind Kansas with a 13-5 conference record. The Mountaineers went through a February lull where they lost three out of four games, but since then they have won four in a row.

They boast impressive wins over Kansas, Baylor and Iowa State, and outside of Florida, who is a bubble team, every team West Virginia has lost to will be in the NCAA Tournament. 

Tournament outlook

Currently, Joe Lunardi is projecting West Virginia as a No. 3 seed in ESPN Bracketology. If the Mountaineers are able to win a few games in the Big 12 Tournament, there is very good chance they could move up to a two seed.

Last season, The Mountaineers have been consistently ranked in the top 10 for almost two months, and it seems they are one of the more likely Big 12 teams that could make a Sweet 16 or Elite Eight run.  

What they can accomplish in March

In order to be successful in the Big 12 Tournament, West Virginia will have to do what it has done all year: cause turnovers with its pressure. However, West Virginia may run into some problems against Oklahoma in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament because Oklahoma’s guards are too good to be rattled by the pressure.

The Mountaineers are probably the least likely team in the Big 12 to lose early in the NCAA Tournament because their depth and pressure will be too much for inferior foes in the first weekend. But with that said, West Virginia won’t get past the Elite Eight because at that point, the guard play of other teams will be too good and offset their pressure defense.  


Oklahoma 24-6 (12-6)

By: Scott Chasen | @SChasenKU

Season recap
 
For Oklahoma, everything was going well, until it wasn't. The team was ranked No. 1 in the country midway through conference play and had looked to be the class of the Big 12, with just one loss coming at the hands of Kansas in a triple-overtime contest.
 
The team would get to 7-2 in Big 12 play, before losing four out of nine down the stretch. Fortunately for Oklahoma, just about every other team in the top 10 had its struggles, as the team has all but locked up a two-seed heading into March Madness.
 
Tournament outlook
 
Right now, ESPN's Joe Lunardi projects Oklahoma as a two seed in the South region. The team will likely play its first round games in Oklahoma City, which should provide a big boost.
 
For Oklahoma, there really isn't much that can change. A one-seed is probably just out of the team's reach, while a three seed would require a pretty big loss, given the team's first game will be against a ranked Iowa State Cyclones squad in Kansas City. 
 
What they can accomplish in March
 
Perhaps it is possible for Oklahoma to grab a one seed, but that would probably take at least two wins and probably a Big 12 Tournament victory. However, that's not as important as the team getting back on track.
 
At its best, Oklahoma can beat anybody, but that won't happen if Isaiah Cousins continues to struggle from the field and Jordan Woodard continues to be wildly inconsistent, as he's been since the early stages of conference play. 

Texas 20-11 (11-7)

By: Scott Chasen | @SChasenKU

Season recap
 
When the Longhorns are on, they're one of the scarier teams in the Big 12. Isaiah Taylor ended up on the All-Big 12 First Team, while Prince Ibeh was the lone unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 Defensive Team.
 
However, the team can also look really bad, especially at home. The Longhorns were decimated by the Jayhawks and the Baylor Bears down the stretch of Big 12 play and can certainly lose to almost any NCAA Tournament-quality team if they aren't playing well.
 
Tournament outlook
 
The Longhorns have managed to hang around in the top 25 week after week, despite not really having any one stretch where they've dominated, like some of the other teams in the Big 12. However, with wins over North Carolina, West Virginia (twice), Baylor, Iowa State and Oklahoma, there's almost no way the Longhorns end up with something worse than a six or seven seed.
 
What they can accomplish in March
 
Considering Texas' three opponents are all likely to be ranked, the team could probably help itself seed-wide with some wins. However, a second-game showdown against Kansas doesn't exactly bode well for the team. To be successful in the Big 12 Tournament, the team needs Isaiah Taylor to be a constant force.
 
Since Taylor shot 0-of-8 from the field against West Virginia, he's only had a couple of games that were all that strong. In that stretch, he's become rather inefficient from the field and has shot just 4-of-24 from three. The team has lost five games in that time. 

Iowa State 21-10 (10-8)

By: Shane Jackson | @jacksonshane3

Season recap

Iowa State took a step back this season.

Many people expected the Cyclones to compete with the top-tier teams for a Big 12 title, but they fell well behind the pack at season's end. Iowa State finished sixth in the conference after a 10-win campaign, despite being loaded with veterans, including senior forward Georges Niang, who finished on the All-Big 12 first team once again this year.

Tournament outlook

In Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology, he has Iowa State listed as a five seed in the south region with Virginia being the one seed in that particular quadrant. It is very unlikely that the Cyclones move higher than a four seed, meaning a Sweet 16 matchup against a one seed is likely.

But that’s not exactly a bad thing as the Cyclones pose a huge threat in March as the best offense in the Big 12 this season.

What they can accomplish in March

The Cyclones have cut down the nets in the Sprint Center in the last two years, and it would shock no one if they did it a third consecutive time. Outside of Kansas, Iowa State will likely have the best fan support in Kansas City.

In addition, the Cyclones avoid a meeting with the Jayhawks until potentially the championship game on Saturday. Regardless of what happens this weekend it seems unlikely Iowa State will move off that four or five seed line.


Baylor 21-10 (10-8)

By: Evan Riggs | @EvanRiggsUDK

Season recap

Good, but not great is a very accurate description of the Baylor Bears’ season so far. They finished the year 21-10 and in the middle of the pack in the Big 12 at 10-8. The Bears’ were just 4-10 against the RPI top 25, but they are also the only team in college basketball without a loss outside of the RPI top 25.

Baylor beat everybody it was supposed to beat, and even had some good wins over Iowa State and Texas but it was also a combined 1-6 against Oklahoma, West Virginia and Texas. 

Tournament Outlook

Currently, Joe Lunardi is projecting Baylor as a No. 6 seed in ESPN Bracketology. The Bears have a big opportunity to improve their seeding in the Big 12 Tournament. If they can beat the Longhorns and then follow it up with an upset over the Jayhawks, the Bears could vault themselves clear up to a number four seed.

Under Scott Drew, Baylor has been the second most consistent Big 12 team in the NCAA Tournament behind Kansas because its zone is difficult to play against for teams that haven’t seen it before. It certainly isn’t out of the question that Baylor could make a run to the second weekend. 

What they can accomplish in March

In order for Baylor to be successful in the Big 12 Tournament, it will need senior Rico Gathers to return to his early season form. He has been bothered for much of Big 12 play with an illness, which has led to sophomore Jonathan Motley replacing him in the starting lineup.

Baylor should win its first game against Texas on Wednesday, but in order to move on any further, it would have to beat the No. 1 team in the nation, which isn’t likely to happen. It also seems unlikely Baylor will lose in the first round of the NCAA Tournament two years in a row, but with the way the team is playing, it doesn't seem like it'll be hanging around for more than a weekend.


Texas Tech 19-11 (9-9)

By: Scott Chasen | @SChasenKU

Season recap
 
Coming into the season, no one expected the Red Raiders to be as good as they were, and that was evident in voting for both Big 12 and National Coach of the Year.
 
The Big 12 named Tubby Smith coach of the year, while Sporting News gave him the national honors. Texas Tech is No. 25-ranked RPI team in the nation, playing the second most difficult strength of schedule. BPI gives them the third hardest strength of schedule in the nation.
 
Tournament outlook
 
Right now, Texas Tech would certainly be in if the brackets were decided today. Tech has three wins against the RPI top 25 to just one loss outside the top 100.
 
The team is just outside the top 25 in adjusted offensive efficiency, per kenpom.com; that number might seem high, given the relatively low scoring totals of the team. However, that's because it takes into account pace, and the Red Raiders are among the slowest power conference schools in the nation. 
 
What they can accomplish in March
 
Texas Tech will probably make the NCAA Tournament regardless, but a loss to TCU in Game 1 would be far from ideal. Still, Tech is right around that 7-9 seed range and should expect to stay there with a win over TCU and a decent performance against West Virginia.
 

Kansas State 16-15 (5-13)

By: Shane Jackson | @jacksonshane3

Season recap

Kansas State has had a disappointing season for the most part, but that’s largely due to its youth. The Wildcats finished eighth in the Big 12 with just five wins during conference play.

The only two teams Kansas State bested in the standings were Oklahoma State and TCU; neither team accomplished more than 12 wins on the year. Despite all this, junior guard Wesley Iwundu still received All-Big 12 third team honors earlier this week. 

Tournament Outlook

The Big 12 will likely send seven teams to the NCAA Tournament with the eighth-place Wildcats finishing on the outside looking in, impending an unlikely Big 12 Tournament victory. Still, Kansas State’s postseason dreams are still very much alive with a possible NIT berth.

The Wildcats may need to take care of business this weekend as many of brackets have them on the outside looking in at the moment.

What they can accomplish in March

Kansas State will begin its quest for an NIT this weekend in Kansas City with an opening round matchup against Oklahoma State. The Wildcats should take care of business against the Cowboys and would have a tough matchup against the Jayhawks in the next round.

If Kansas State were able to knock off Kansas an NIT appearance would be a near-lock which would be beneficial to such a young team to get some postseason experience.


Oklahoma State 12-19 (3-15)

By: Shane Jackson | @jacksonshane3

Season recap

It has been an abysmal season for Oklahoma State to say the least. Depleted with injuries, the Cowboys roster is now very thin and as a result finished ninth in the conference this season.

In just a couple years, Oklahoma State went from a Big 12 contender to the conference cellar. Because of this, it would shock no one if the program goes through some vast changes this offseason.

Tournament outlook

Needless to say the Cowboys’ postseason hopes are near dead, outside of an unlikely run through the Big 12 Tournament. An NCAA Tournament is only plausible if Oklahoma State earns an automatic bid with a championship run this weekend.

An NIT is an even further long shot. If Kansas State is on the outside looking in at the moment, then Oklahoma State is practically in another country looking in for a potential NIT berth.

What they can accomplish in March

Oklahoma State will play Kansas State on Wednesday in the first round in a somewhat-winnable matchup. Even if the Cowboys were able to pull off a win, they would be rewarded with a matchup against the top team in the country, the Jayhawks.

All that being said, Oklahoma State could benefit by playing as many games as possible this weekend, even if it is just two. Going out with at least one win in the Big 12 tournament could give the program a moral victory going into the offseason.


TCU 11-20 (2-16)

By: Evan Riggs | @EvanRiggsUDK

Season recap

In December, it looked like TCU could be a dangerous team when it gave SMU a run for its money in a 75-70 loss. But as many predicted before the season, the 2015-16 season was a rough one for the TCU Horned Frogs.

They finished the season just 11-20 and in last place in the Big 12 at 2-16. TCU’s only quality win was a 58-57 win over Texas in January. Outside of that, the Horned Frogs were 1-18 against the RPI top 100.  

Tournament outlook

At 11-20, the only way the Horned Frogs are sniffing the NCAA Tournament is if they win the Big 12 Tournament and receive the automatic bid. However, no team in the history of the Big 12 Tournament has ever gone 4-0, and TCU isn’t exactly an ideal candidate to break that streak since it only won two Big 12 games in two months.  

What they can accomplish in March

In order for the Horned Frogs to be successful in the Big 12 Tournament, they will have to force other teams to play a very slow pace, which is a pretty classic formula to pulling upsets in college basketball. The fewer possessions there are, the less opportunities there are for the superior team to impose its will.

However, TCU has a very tough first round matchup with Texas Tech, who is bound for the NCAA Tournament. The Horned Frogs will lose the first game of the tournament and miss out on the NCAA Tournament, NIT and maybe even the CBI. 

— Edited by Samantha Harms and Garrett Long