Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament Preview

Story posted March 10, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Emma Holtz

The Big 12 Tournament tips off on Wednesday, March 10 in Kansas City, Missouri from the T-Mobile Center. March Madness is heating up with many teams from the Big 12 Conference predicted to make it to the Big Dance.

The most notable Big 12 team projected to be a tournament favorite are the Baylor Bears. In the latest AP Poll, the Bears rank No. 2 just behind No. 1 Gonzaga, who is sitting pretty in the West Coast Conference on a 25-game win streak.

Baylor secured its No. 2 ranking with a victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers, which gives the Bears an edge going into the Big 12 Tournament. Baylor has seen success off the court with point-guard Jared Butler and guard Davion Mitchell named on the 2020-21 Men’s Basketball All-Big 12 First Team.

Butler leads Baylor as the top scorer with an average of 17.1 points per game and a field goal percentage of .493. He will be a major part of Baylor’s game plan and a name to look out for on the road to Selection Sunday. Baylor is currently 13-1 in the Big 12 and 21-1 overall.

A team worth watching heading into the tournament is the West Virginia Mountaineers, who are 11-6 in the Big 12 and 18-8 overall. An upset loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who rank No. 12 in the most recent AP Poll, forced the Mountaineers to fall from a potential No. 2 seed to No. 4 behind Kansas and Texas going into the Big 12 Tournament.

The Mountaineers could be considered sleepers going into the tournament with a strong force in sophomore guard Miles McBride, who is averaging 15.3 points per game this season.

His versatility on the court gives the Mountaineers a confidence boost going into the Big 12 Tournament.

Kansas is looking for its next title following its victory in 2018. Seeded second, the Jayhawks are entering T-Mobile Center with a storied history of 11 postseason titles since the Big 12’s founding in 1996-97.

Unfortunately, Kansas is experiencing the wrath of COVID-19 protocols with junior center David McCormack and sophomore forward Tristan Enaruna both out for the duration of the tournament. This is a substantial hit to the Jayhawks lineup as McCormick was averaging 56.9% from the field in his last 12 games.

Catch the first game of the first round of the Big 12 Tournament tomorrow on ESPNU when No. 8 TCU takes on No. 9 Kansas State at 6:30 p.m.

 

Emma Holtz is a freshman majoring in public relations. To contact her, email exh5337@psu.edu.