The end of conference season is just a week away. The top team, Kansas, has all but locked up an outright title, but there is lots of drama still left. Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri have sewn up the top three spots, in some order, and first round byes in the Big XII tourney as well. However, the race for the fourth spot is still a good one.
What is likely is a tie for fourth place. It could be a two-way, three-way, or even four-way tie for fourth place. The conference’s tiebreaking procedures can be found here. They are pretty complicated and probably not worth exploring until after the midweek games, at the earliest. The tiebreakers are very dependent on whether teams are from the same division or from different division. Texas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M are all still alive for fourth place.
While fourth place in the conference is a legitimate goal, the real goal for these mid-level teams is a berth in the NCAA tournament. The Big XII is well positioned for five bids and could land a sixth depending on how other bubble teams close.
Below is my listing of bubble teams by conference. Losses by these teams could help the Big XII land a sixth team in the NCAA tournament.
Big East: Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Providence
ACC: Boston College, Miami, Maryland
Big Ten: Penn State, Michigan
SEC: Florida, Kentucky
Pac 10: Arizona, USC
Atlantic 10: Dayton, St. Joe’s, Rhode Island
Mtn West: UNLV, New Mexico
Here are my ‘educated’ guesses at the top 16 teams in the NCAA tournament.
These are if the season ended today. They are listed by strength within each seed as well.
No. 1: Connecticut, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma
No. 2: Memphis, Michigan State, Duke, Louisville
No. 3: Kansas, Wake Forest, Washington, Villanova
No. 4: Xavier, UCLA, Clemson, Missouri
Next Four: Purdue, Arizona State, Marquette, LSU
Big 12 Bids (5)
Lock: Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri
Bubble: Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Kansas State