The final day of the regular season for Big 12 basketball is upon us. There is plenty to keep an eye on, from where teams will be seeded in the conference tournament to what players will end up on the all-conference team.
Here is what to watch from both standpoints:
Tournament Seedings: We know where and when several teams will start playing in the Big 12 Tournament next week, but there are still a few spots up for grabs.
Baylor and Iowa State will meet today to decide who gets the No. 3 seed. Their battle, which will take place at Hilton Coliseum, should be the game of the day. The Bears beat the Cyclones in Waco and are a game up on them in the conference standings, but Iowa State has been tough all year at home. If Iowa State beats Baylor today, it will claim the No. 3 seed via a tie-breaking victory over Kansas. If Baylor wins, it will claim third place all alone.
Texas will try to earn the No. 5 seed by beating Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse. The Longhorns haven’t been great on the road, and it’s unlikely they will upset the Jayhawks. But if they do, they will own the tie-breaker over K-State and move into the No. 5 spot. If they lose, they will drop to the No. 6 spot regardless of what happens between K-State and Oklahoma State today. It may seem strange, because the Wildcats and Longhorns are tied in the standings, but K-State has zero control over its Big 12 Tournament seeding. It all depends on Texas.
Also, Texas A&M and Oklahoma will meet today to decide who gets the No. 8 seed. Not that it matters all that much, because both teams will play in the first round of the conference tournament no matter who wins, but the winner will get to wear home whites in that game.
All-Conference Team: I see four locks for the first team right now. They are Thomas Robinson (Kansas), Marcus Denmon (Missouri), Royce White (Iowa State) and Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas). No matter what happens today, they will be on the ballot I send into the Associated Press on Sunday morning. But the fifth spot is totally up for grabs.
J’Covan Brown leads the conference in scoring and has done a lot for the Longhorns, but Rodney McGruder is coming on strong and so is Keiton Page. If any of those three score 35 points today they could be considered for the final spot along with one of the several talented players at Missouri and Baylor.
I will post my final all-conference ballot here on Sunday. But I’ve got some games to watch, and decisions to make, before I do.