Big 12 Basketball
(Darron Cummings/Associated Press)

Big 12 Basketball Will Be Must-Watch This Season

Last season, the Big Ten received a ton of hype as the best conference in college hoops. Then they proceeded to get absolutely bodied in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. The title was eventually won by the Big 12’s own Baylor Bears. I’m here to tell you it wasn’t a fluke that the champion came out of the Big 12. This year, they have a case to be named the best conference in college basketball. Big 12 Basketball will be must-watch this season. Let’s look at what the conference has to offer.

Big 12 Basketball Has Top Tier Programs

The top of the Big 12 is probably better than the best in any conference you’ll find. Right off the bat, I have to acknowledge the defending champs. Scott Drew’s Baylor Bears will lose Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell to the NBA, they still return a ton of talent. Alex Cervantes slotted the Bears in at No. 6 in his WTE Top 25. Baylor will still be a contender in 2021-22.

Kansas is my early pick to raise the trophy at the end of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks return four of their five starters from last season and added impact transfers in Remy Martin and Joseph Yusefu. Bill Self’s squad will have it all from defense to shooting. They will be a force to be reckoned with if they can put it all together. Kansas came in at No. 3 in Cervantes’ WTE Top 25.

The third top tier program in the Big 12 is the Texas Longhorns. Chris Beard crushed it in the transfer portal, most recently landing Minnesota transfer Marcus Carr. After a disappointing exit from the 2021 NCAA Tournament, Texas will have an experienced and deep roster to make another run at the Final Four this season. Before the Carr transfer, they were No. 9 in Cervantes’ WTE Top 25.

The Rest of the Big 12 Isn’t Too Shabby Either

Outside of that top tier of teams, the Big 12 features a number of quality programs. Oklahoma State lost prospective 2021 No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham, but Mike Boynton used the transfer portal to completely reload with talent. The Cowboys will be a threat to play spoiler and break up the party at the top of the conference. West Virginia always makes things interesting with Bob Huggins at the helm – they will not be an easy team to beat. Texas Tech will be really good after landing Last Chance U star KJ Allen as a JUCO transfer and Oral Roberts forward Kevin Obanor. Porter Moser’s Oklahoma squad should also find themselves in the mix.

That leaves three more teams. Kansas State won’t be good but can always be counted on for one big win a year. Iowa State will likely still be terrible after posting an 0-18 conference record last season. TCU was just placed on three-year probation by the NCAA after violations by an old assistant coach, so they won’t really be a factor either. Even with those three bottom-tier programs, 70% of Big 12 Basketball will be extremely competitive. The Big 12 has a case for the best conference in college basketball – look for them to prove it this season.

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