Update 3/13: All of the college basketball postseason’s remaining conference tournaments and the 2020 NCAA Tournament have been cancelled due to the spreading coronavirus. Please accept the content below as a “fantasy sports” preview of a while new sort. Hearts have broken across the nation, but there will be plenty of healing in 2021.
Those who grow tired of reading long, advice-laden introductions to sports previews on WagerBop are in luck. We’ll need to leave plenty of room for updates on this CBB page and its sister pages on the Pac-12 and Ivy League tournaments for now. The flow of scores and news from college basketball is about to get insane!
“March Madness” is synonymous with the NCAA Tournament to the point where people advertise touts on a “March Madness champion” or the “March Madness quarterfinals.” But perhaps March is considered a month of madness in NCAAB for reasons other than just the ultimate 68-team tournament. In late winter, as conference tourneys tip-off, there are hundreds of Sweet Sixteen hopefuls still vying for a bid or a better seed in the big dance.
We’ll separate our conference-tourney touts into categories – starting with the dates, the top seeds, and the style of tourney.
Big 12 Basketball Tournament Dates, Seeds, and Bracket
The Big 12 runs what must be counted among the fairer postseason tournaments, allowing #7 through #10 seeds to qualify 1-0 for the quarterfinals on 3/11. The March 12th quarterfinals will include top seeded Kansas, #2 seed Baylor, and the #3 seed Oklahoma Sooners in action.
A #7 seed Cinderella bid such as TCU in 2020 faces the daunting task of winning 4 games in 4 days, concluding with the championship tilt on March 14th.
You can visit and snag a PDF of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament bracket at NCAA.com.
Current Betting Odds on Big 12 Tournament Favorites
Kansas should be considered a weak futures-odds favorite ((-120) odds-to-win the Big 12 tourney championship) for 2 reasons. First, KU’s level of competition in the Big 12 is stiffer than some other likely #1 NCAA Tournament seeds will face in their conference postseasons. Gonzaga eked-out a 4-point win over #5 WCC seed San Francisco on Monday night. Perhaps a team like #5 Big 12 seed Texas Tech (+850) wouldn’t have given up 81 points to the Bulldogs in a similar scenario. Not to mention Kansas will be asked to win 3 games in 3 days to claim the hardware.
Another reason to doubt KU’s chances of justifying a prohibitive favorite’s betting line in the Big 12 tourney is that the Jayhawks, much like Gonzaga (and Baylor) do not need to romp through the remainder of a league calendar to earn a sweet seed from the NCAA. Just under a month from now will come the championship Bill Self and the Kansas cagers are focused on.
Baylor (+290) theoretically has a little more to play for. KU could lose to a top-4 seed in the semifinals by a jump shot and not expect to be significantly downgraded by the NCAA on Selection Sunday. But the Bears could use a postseason conference title for 2 reasons – revenge on the Jayhawks for the regular-season chase and an all-but-assured #1 seed in the big dance.
West Virginia (+750) and Oklahoma (+1000) are somewhat-popular futures markets to win a Big 12 trophy. But you’d be unwise not to consider a wager on either TCU (+10000) or Oklahoma State (+5000) as the 7th and 8th seeds respectively. Strangely enough, if the #1 and #2 seeds are the only 2 Big 12 schools already assured of an advantageous slot in the NCAA tourney, the #8 seed could have the easiest path through the quarterfinals and potentially the semifinals.
As a comparison, you wouldn’t want to be 6th-seeded WVU headed into a Q-final with #3 Oklahoma. Not only have the Sooners beaten the Mountaineers twice since early February, OU will have every reason to sacrifice bodies on the court in a desperate bid to get noticed by winning a conference crown. How else not to be overshadowed by Kansas and Baylor in 2020? Oklahoma surely doesn’t want to go 0-1 in the Big 12 tournament, but West Virginia might after what should be a physical #3 vs #6 game.
Fortunately for everyone involved, Kansas State at #10 is far-removed from a potential meeting with KU. There’s every reason to avoid bad blood at a time of year when another suspension could cripple a contender.
Big 12 Basketball Tournament Scores, Updated Lines, and Picks ATS
In this section we’ll follow the narratives of various teams (and the gambling odds on each) as the Big 12 postseason tourney moves ahead and as lines are available at offshore sportsbooks.
For the tiny blurbs on our Conference Tournament and March Madness Odds Tracker page, we often put updates below the previous story to create a “diary” effect and build a case from which to handicap the championship bout when it occurs. But for the conference tournament previews, updates will be atop the old copy, in place to keep readers updated at a moment’s glance.
Stay tuned for more on the Big 12 quarterfinals at Spirit Center in Kansas City.
Kurt has authored close to 1000 stories covering football, soccer, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, prize-fighting and the Olympic Games. Kurt posted a 61% win rate on 200+ college and NFL gridiron picks last season. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.