2023 Big 12 Tournament Predictions with Betting Odds
At one point this season, there was talk about whether or not all 10 teams in the Big 12 would make the NCAA Tournament. Things didn’t shake out that way. Six teams should feel secure about their prospects for The Big Dance, and maybe one or two more could play their way in with some magic in this week’s league tournament.
Regardless of how many teams do secure NCAA bids, the Big 12 has been the best and most competitive league in college basketball this year. So, it stands to reason that they should provide us with one of the best conference tournaments.
The 2023 Big 12 Tournament begins on Wednesday, March 8 and will be held at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, MO. Here is Doc’s Sports Big 12 Tournament preview and predictions:
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The Favorite: Kansas (+275)
Despite its absolute vise-grip on the Big 12 regular season title, something the Jayhawks have claimed 14 times in the past 18 years, Kansas has been beatable in the conference tournament. The Jayhawks have ‘only’ won the league title four times in the past decade, with their most recent tourney title coming last year during their March run to the national title. This isn’t one of Bill Self’s best teams. But they won 25 games and topped the best league in the nation. Jalen Wilson is an All-American, and Gradey Dick is one of the best freshmen in the country. This team’s clear weakness is its bench. Only five teams in the nation used its bench less than the Jayhawks, and that could be a major problem as they try to win three games in three days.
The Contender: Texas (+330)
After what seemed like at least a decade of underachieving, Texas finally surpassed expectations this season! The Longhorns overcame the dismissal of head coach Chris Beard, and interim head man Rodney Terry guided this team to second place and a secure spot in the NCAA field. Terry leaned on super seniors Marcus Carr, Timmy Allen and Sir’Jabari Rice, as the Longhorns field one of the most experienced teams in the nation. The Longhorns aren’t a great shooting team, and they lack interior size. They are also just 4-4 in their last eight games, though they did just blast Kansas in Austin last Saturday to close the regular season.
The Sleeper: TCU (+750)
Injuries have hampered the Horned Frogs all season long. Only two of their starting five appeared in all 31 games. And the midseason injury to star point guard Mike Miles almost derailed their campaign entirely. Miles is back and at full strength, leading the team to critical one-possession wins over Texas Tech and Texas late in the season. The Horned Frogs are just 3-6 in their last nine games, and key big man Eddie Lampkin is still questionable. But when this team is healthy and right, they have Top 15 talent and are more than capable of getting hot and running the table in this tourney.
The Spoiler: Iowa State (+650)
Your guess is as good as mine as to which Iowa State team is going to show up in this tournament. They could get bounced in their opener against Baylor. They could storm to the finals. Who knows? This team was a massive overachiever early in the season en route to a 15-4 start and a 6-2 open to conference play. Then they came back to earth and lost eight of their next 10 games – all before going on the road and destroying Baylor in the season finale. Like Texas, this is one of the most experienced teams in the country. And I don’t imagine that their seniors will go quietly.
Early Round Matchup To Watch:
No. 3 Kansas State (-1) vs. No. 6 TCU (8 p.m., Thursday, March 11)
Kansas State has been one of the biggest surprises in the country, with transfers Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson making up one of the best one-two punches in the league. The winner of this game has a realistic chance of knocking off Texas and going to the finals. Considering that they have both beaten Kansas, that means that whoever survives this game could end up cutting down the nets. What makes this matchup even more interesting is that they split their regular season matchups – and both games were blowouts. This one shouldn’t be.
2023 Big 12 Conference Tournament Predictions: Texas isn’t going to cut down the nets. That much I’m sure about. I’m also not expecting some miracle run from one of the bottom four squads. That leaves Kansas, Baylor, Kansas State, Iowa State and TCU. And four of those five teams play each other in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
I like the K-State-TCU winner to advance to the finals. And I’ll take the winner of the other semifinal (Kansas versus the Baylor-Iowa State victor) to cut down the nets.
Robert Ferringo is a member of the Basketball Writer's Association of America and a professional sports handicapper for Doc's Sports. He is considered one of the best college basketball handicappers in the country and has posted 12 of 15 winning seasons. He is looking for a monster March run and you can sign up for his college basketball picks and get more information here.
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