Predicting how many Big 12 teams will make the NCAA Tournament

March is quickly approaching which means it is almost tournament time. Which Big 12 teams will make it into the big dance this year?

Jan 24, 2024; Ames, Iowa, USA; Kansas State Wildcats guard Tylor Perry (2) beats Iowa State Cyclones player Keshon Gilbert (10) driving to the basket.
Jan 24, 2024; Ames, Iowa, USA; Kansas State Wildcats guard Tylor Perry (2) beats Iowa State Cyclones player Keshon Gilbert (10) driving to the basket. / Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
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Bubble teams

There are so many good teams in the Big 12 and part of me wants to put half of the conference in, but realistically, I don't know if that is possible. Yes, I think the Big 12 is the best conference in college basketball and deserves as many teams as possible in the NCAA Tournament, but look at remaining schedules and how teams have played in conference play, just have to make a "bubble teams" list.

Oklahoma Sooners

Some people might get mad about this. Oklahoma is currently ranked No. 11 in the top 25 rankings, but looking at their remaining schedule and what their Big 12 record is now, I can't in good faith say they are a lock for the tournament. The Sooners are 15-4 and 3-3 in the Big 12. Their losses in the Big 12 are what concern me as they lost to a struggling TCU and Texas team.

Looking at the rest of the season, the Sooners have to play Texas Tech, BYU, Baylor, Kansas, Iowa State, and Houston. All of those teams are currently ranked and have a stronger ability to make the Tournament than Oklahoma does. There are also a couple of other bubble teams they have on their schedule that will also be fighting for their life to get into the tournament. So, Oklahoma may have a chance to make it, but I can't say they are a lock.

BYU Cougars

BYU is an interesting team and I went back and forth a lot on whether I would say they were a lock for the tournament. The Cougars have a great offense, the top offense in the Big 12, but they are 2-4 in the conference and their two wins are over UCF, who only has one more win in the Big 12, and Iowa State.

Even with their great offense, BYU struggles in either keeping the lead or building a lead. They barely beat UCF in Orlando and they beat Iowa State when they weren't at home. With their record in the Big 12 right now and looking at their schedule ahead, they are going to have to string together a few convincing wins to make it into the NCAA Tournament.

Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State is an interesting team. They play scrappy basketball but don't look like your typical NCAA Tournament team. Jerome Tang is putting together a great program from nothing at Kansas State and continues to find ways to win games. However, can he sustain this for the rest of Big 12 play?

The Wildcats have a tough schedule ahead of them but have had quality wins. They are happy with only two losses in the Big 12 right now, but they still have two games against Kansas, two games against BYU, a game against Houston, and one more game against Iowa State. The Wildcats have a tough road ahead and I really can't say they will fair well or not, so I will settle with making them a bubble team.

Texas Longhorns

I am going to be honest, I even debated making Texas a bubble team. The Longhorns haven't impressed me in their Big 12 games. They blew a 15-point lead in the last 10 minutes of their game against UCF. They lost to West Virginia which is worse than UCF. However, they beat Oklahoma and Baylor, both ranked teams.

So does Texas want to be good, or do they just not know exactly how to be good? Do I think Texas will make the tournament? Probably, but it is going to be tough and they still could be left out. They have two games against Houston, a game against Iowa State and Kansas, and have to take on Baylor and, Oklahoma and Texas Tech again. If they don't play well against the teams they should beat, how are going to beat these teams? They will have to settle with being a bubble team for now.

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