Kansas Jayhawks favored to win a loaded Big 12 Conference Tournament
The Big 12 has been the best conference in basketball throughout the course of the 2022-23 college basketball season, so all college hoops fans and bettors should be excited for this tournament to begin on March 8. This one will be played in Kansas City, which naturally gives Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks a bit of an edge heading into the tournament. But eight of the top-35 teams in our VSiN Team Power Ratings come from the Big 12, so the Jayhawks will really have to earn it if they’re going to win this tournament in back-to-back years — the team earned a 74-65 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders in last year’s final. Keep reading to find out how we’d suggest betting this tournament.
Big 12 Bracket
How to Watch the Big 12 Conference Tournament
When: March 8-11
Where: T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri
Format: Seeding based on regular season records; top-six seeds get a bye in the opening round
Watch: ESPN, ESPN2; Championship Game on ESPN on Mar. 11 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Big 12 Conference Tournament Seeds, Teams and Odds
1. Kansas Jayhawks (+300)
2. Texas Longhorns (+330)
3. Kansas State Wildcats (+650)
4. Baylor Bears (+475)
5. TCU Horned Frogs (+900)
6. Iowa State Cyclones (+650)
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (+3000)
8. West Virginia Mountaineers (+1500)
9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (+4000)
10. Oklahoma Sooners (+4000)
Favorite To Win Big 12 Conference Tournament
Kansas has won two of the last four of these tournaments, and Bill Self’s team is once again the best in the conference. The team is 25th in the nation in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency, and the team is also ninth in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Jayhawks are just superb on both ends of the floor, and there might not be a better starting five in basketball than this one. It is, however, worth noting that Texas has been magnificent this season, so nobody would be outrageous in believing that the Longhorns are the team to beat in this tournament.
Big 12 Conference Tournament Darkhorse
The Red Raiders are going to be a trendy darkhorse pick to win this tournament, as they’re a lot better than their record and they likely need to make a lengthy run in order to sneak into the NCAA Tournament. But we’re going to avoid going with the obvious selection and suggest backing the Horned Frogs. TCU wouldn’t be considered a darkhorse in any other conference, as Jamie Dixon’s team is ranked 25th in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin. Having a top-25 statistical profile rarely earns you a “darkhorse” tag, but there are six teams in the conference that are higher than the Horned Frogs in KenPom’s rankings. So, we can get away with picking them here. In Mike Miles Jr. and Damion Baugh, the Horned Frogs have a very good backcourt. But they also have a lot of toughness around the basket, and that nastiness should come in handy in tournament play.
Players to Watch in Big 12 Conference Tournament
We just mentioned TCU’s Miles and that’s a great place to start. The junior guard is averaging 17.2 points per game this season, and he’s as fearless as they come as a shotmaker. Miles can sometimes leave you wanting more in the efficiency department, but you need somebody that wants the ball in their hands in the postseason. Miles is exactly that and will never shy away from big moments.
With Kansas, you can pretty much pick your poison. Jalen Wilson, Gradey Dick, Kevin McCullar Jr., K.J. Adams Jr. and Dajuan Harris Jr. are all capable of winning games for the Jayhawks on any given night. So, we’d suggest being prepared for any of them to take over a game throughout the course of this tournament. But Harris Jr. is definitely the heart of the team. He’s a feisty on-ball defender and a great passer at the point guard position.
Some other players that should be on your radar are Kansas State’s Keyontae Johnson, Texas’ Marcus Carr, Kansas State’s Markquis Nowell and Baylor’s Keyonte George. That last player is one you’ll really want to familiarize yourselves with, as he is a special offensive talent and will likely be a lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Betting Pick to Win The Big 12 Conference Conference Tournament
We stayed away from making the easy pick in the darkhorse section, but we won’t be as bold here. The Jayhawks just seem like the right play in this tournament, with them having the best roster in the field and something of a home-court advantage. Kansas earned an eight-point win over Texas in Allen Fieldhouse back in early February, and the Jayhawks should feel right at home playing at the T-Mobile Center, too. It’s also just hard to ignore that Kansas shoots a better percentage from three, while also defending the three-point line better. That math will be hard for Texas to overcome, if these two do end up clashing in the finals. And the Longhorns are really the only team the Jayhawks don’t have a massive edge over.