Kansas enters the Big 12 Tournament primed to be the no. 1 overall seed and to do so they might need to win this tournament. The impact that Udoka Azubuike has had on both ends has been terrific and he is a dominant force inside offensively. In addition, they have a dynamic point guard in Devon Dotson that is very quick with the ability to attack the basket consistently. Along with having Dotson, the perimeter is very good with Isaiah Moss, Ochai Agbaji and Marcus Garrett. The x-factor for Kansas is David McCormick who could play a huge role if Udoka Azubuike gets in foul trouble at any point. Kansas can use the Big 12 Tournament to build towards winning a National Championship.
Scott Drew has this team in a great position to earn a no. 1 seed in the South Region. Therefore, they must get to the semifinals or championship game to secure that in the NCAA tournament. Jared Butler must continue to be the lead guard and play consistently throughout this tournament, as well as having his perimeter counterparts with Davion Mitchell and MaCio Teague delivering consistently. A key factor will be Freddie Gillespie with his ability to protect the basket and maintain some success offensively. Further, the x-factor for Baylor is Mark Vital with his versatility to contribute in any way. If Baylor is going to reach their potential level they must stay consistent on the offensive end. Scott Drew has a team ready to compete for the Big 12 Tournament title and go for a National Championship.
Lon Kruger has this team securely in the NCAA tournament yet again. Now, the scoring ability of Austin Reeves has been very important to the success of this team and will need to keep shooting extremely well. Kristian Doolittle is an extremely athletic scorer with his ability to get to the basket consistently. Brady Manek can extend the defense consistently with his shooting ability. The x-factor for Oklahoma will be Aldones Williams with his potential scoring and perimeter defense. In order for Oklahoma to advance in the Big 12 Tournament, it will come down their defense.
Shaka Smart’s job could very well depend on how they do in the Big 12 Tournament with a crucial matchup against Texas Tech. If they are going to win they will need a great performance from Matt Coleman. They need continued strong play from Andrew Jones with his scoring ability from the perimeter shooting and at the basket. In addition, the interior will be key with Kai Jones and Royce Hamm having big games. The x-factor for Texas is Brock Cunningham off the bench who does everything. In addition, if Texas is going to advance past Texas Tech they will need consistency from the bigs throughout.
5. Texas Tech
Chris Beard has a very dangerous team, however, they will likely need to beat Texas to make the NCAA tournament. Therefore, they must have the backcourt play to their capabilities with Davide Morretti and Jahmi’us Ramsey playing extremely well together. Also, a key factor will be Chris Clarke who is very versatile and can initiate the offense at any point in the half-court and transition. The x-factor for Texas Tech will be Kyler Edwards whose shooting could be crucial in this Big 12 Tournament. Texas Tech could make a run in this tournament, but they must take care of Texas first for their NCAA tournament chances.
6. West Virginia
This West Virginia team has played very inconsistently for the latter part of the season. The interior of this team must be their strength with Oscar Tshiebwe and Derek Culver producing inside offensively and protecting the basket defensively. Miles McBride is very key with his ability to score the basketball from the mid-range consistently. Emmitt Williams is key to success with his versatility and ability to defend very well. The x-factor for West Virginia is Jermaine Haley who can make a major impact on both ends. Bob Huggins must use this tournament as momentum to make some noise in the NCAA tournament.
Jamie Dixon is having a retooling season with TCU, however, he has a star with Desmond Bane who can take over a game at any moment. In addition, Kevin Samuel needs to be a major factor for TCU inside throughout. RJ Nembhard has the potential to break out as a great player in the Big 12 and can help TCU greatly in this tournament. Next, the x-factor for TCU is PJ Fuller who can provide a good source of scoring off the bench. If TCU is going to make a tournament run it will be because Bane is playing a very high level.
8. Oklahoma State
Mike Boynton is looking to build off the rest of the season for a high stake 20-21 season for Oklahoma State. To start, Issac Likekele is a dynamic guard who has the ability to take over games with his finishing ability. Next, the front line with Cameron McGriff and Yor Anei will be very key for Oklahoma State’s chances against Kansas potentially. Also, the shooting capabilities of Lindy Waters could be very important for any success for Oklahoma State. The x-factor for Oklahoma State will be Thomas Dziagwa who can really score it off the bench. Mike Boynton’s momentum towards 20-21 starts with the Big 12 Tournament.
9. Iowa State
The loss of Tyrese Haliburton for Iowa State limited this team. If they are going to win a game in this tournament it will start with the front line in Michael Jacobson and Solomon Young being very productive. In addition, Prentiss Nixon needs to score the basketball consistently for Iowa State to get a win over Oklahoma State. The x-factor for Iowa State is Terrance Lewis who can give additional scoring with his athleticism and strength. Iowa State will have a tall task to make an impact on the Big 12 Tournament.
10. Kansas State
Bruce Weber has had a down year at Kansas State and will look to potentially win a game in the Big 12 Tournament. The ability of Xavier Sneed will be on display with his scoring and defensive ability. Also, Cartier Diarra will be crucial with his ability to push the pace in transition and attack the basket. In addition, they will need Mike McGuirl to contribute a lot on the perimeter for Kansas State. Next, the x-factor for Kansas State is Levi Stockard who can provide an interior presence for Kansas State. Kansas State will need its best to win a game in this tournament.
Team to Watch- Texas Tech
Player to Watch- Austin Reeves
Prediction- Baylor over Kansas
Images Courtesy of, Bleacher Report, Dallas Morning News, Sports Illustrated
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