Monday, March 5, 2018

Big 12 conference tournament

This is part 20 of a 32-part series.

Kansas 13-5
Texas Tech 11-7
West Virginia 11-7
Kansas St 10-8
TCU 9-9
Oklahoma 8-10
Texas 8-10
Oklahoma St 8-10
Baylor 8-10
Iowa St 4-14

Standard format, March 7-10.  Kansas City hosts again.

1) Kansas vs. 8/9) Oklahoma St/Oklahoma
4) Kansas St vs. 5) TCU
3) West Virginia vs. 6) Baylor
2) Texas Tech vs. 7/10) Texas/Iowa St

The stakes:
Stuff going on everywhere around here.  Let's take these in groups.

Kansas is playing to keep their spot on the 1 line.  3 wins and I think they hold.  Lose and the door is open to the SEC winner or the ACC winner.  Pretty simple.

WVU and Texas Tech and TCU are playing for seeding.  Let's skip over them; their situations are very self-evident.  Win and move up, lose and stay static.

Now we have teams in various states of bubble.  K-State has a legitimate SoS problem.  326 non-con!  326!!!!!!!!!!!!!  History is rife with teams who got left out with this kind of SoS.  This ALWAYS happens!  Red flags everywhere!  What metrics are in their favor?  3-7 vs. Group 1, 6-5 road record....both are okay, both usually make it more often than not, but are in range of getting left out.  Their best wins are TCU at home, swept Texas....they just 2x to Kansas, WVU, and TTU.  THIS TEAM HAS WORK TO DO!!!!!!  If there's one single takeaway from all these previews, it's that this team has every friggin warning sign of a team that gets shunned, and everyone is leaning safety for them.  This is a public service announcement.  Don't fall in the trap!  They must beat TCU, and they may need Kansas as a scalp too.

Compare K-State with the 4 teams at 8-10 in conference play.  First, Oklahoma.  6 Group 1 wins is going to make it, even if they lose to OSU.  That road record of 2-9 is alarming, but you don't play true road games in the NCAA tournament (I always like to say that to counter people who say teams don't play home games in the tournament just to be a jerk).  Texas is closer to the bubble, but might be home free.  5 Group 1 wins, they probably just barely won enough of their 15 chances (literally, 15 Group 1 games) to get in.  It's a case of opportunity trumping worthiness, but I think they're fine - if they beat ISU.  They can't get hurt by losing to Tech.

Baylor is dicey.  Bad road record just like OU, 4 wins in 14 Group 1 chances is almost in line with Texas.  Basically, their resume is about 90% as good as the two teams I mentioned above.  This is a true bubble situation, and I would recommend getting WVU to be sure they're in.  Otherwise they're a lock to be listed on Sunday morning as one of the last 2 teams in or out.

OSU is probably out, but 5 Group 1 wins and a sweep of Kansas means we will pay attention if they beat Kansas a third time.  Their non-con SoS is in 280 territory though, so beating Kansas is the minimum required at the moment.

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