2018 Big 12 Tournament: Let’s Predict It! – Quarterfinals

It’s time for the busiest day of the Big 12 Tournament — the Quarterfinals round. As a reminder, here were my picks for the tourney before the whole thing started.

First Round:
  9 Oklahoma over 8 Oklahoma State
  7 Texas over 10 Iowa State

Quarterfinals:
  1 Kansas over 9 Oklahoma
  5 TCU over 4 Kansas State
  3 West Virginia over 6 Baylor
  2 Texas Tech over 7 Texas

Semifinals:
  1 Kansas over 5 TCU
  3 West Virginia over 2 Texas Texas

Finals:
  3 West Virginia over 1 Kansas

I’m taking the Mountaineers to capture their first Big 12 Tournament title. You could make an argument West Virginia has been the best team in the Big 12 this season. They have the best point differential in Big 12 play. They finished two games back of Kansas, but they blew both of their matchups vs. Kansas. They also lost close games at Texas Tech, vs. Oklahoma State, and at Texas. This conference title could have very easily have been West Virginia’s to claim this season. Instead, the tournament title will have to do.

West Virginia has been the runner-up in each of the last two Big 12 tournaments, losing to Kansas two seasons ago and to Iowa State last season. I think the third time will be the charm for the Mountaineers. They’ll have to overcome the Kansas City crowd which will be primarily the shade of Kansas blue, but I think they can do it. Add another career achievement to Bob Huggins’ resume.

Let’s get to today’s games. Continue reading

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2018 Big 12 Tournament: Let’s Predict It!

Starting tonight, the Big 12 Tournament tips off in Kansas City for the 9th straight season. There’s been some recent debate/complaints about the Big 12 Tournament being in Kansas City, considering the clear distance advantage for Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State. I’ve been in the camp that Kansas City is a great spot for the tournament, despite the advantage for those three schools. It’s resulted in a great atmospheres in games involving any one of those three schools, especially when they play each other. The way Iowa State fans have traveled to Kansas City in the last four seasons has been ridiculously fun.

With Iowa State struggling this season to a 10th place conference finish, I’m curious if I’ll view the Kansas City location the same this season. There are already reports of the Sprint Center having difficulty selling tickets — it looks like Iowa State fans have wisely chosen to take a break from the Power & Light District this season.

I’m curious how well the southern fanbases like Texas Tech and TCU will travel. Those two schools are having their most successful seasons in a long time — will they make the trek to Kansas City? If not, we could have a muted atmosphere or one in which Kansas has a significant crowd advantage all weekend. If the final consists of TCU facing Texas Tech in a half-empty arena, we might start to see more clamoring for the tournament to move to a more central location like Oklahoma City. We’ll see.

The season-ending tournament is still set to be in Kansas City through 2020, so no rash decisions will be made. That’s a good thing — the Big 12 shouldn’t overreact if attendance is slightly down just due to Iowa State having a down year. The Sprint Center has been a great atmosphere the last nine seasons.


Let’s get to my predictions now. Here’s this year’s bracket. Continue reading

December 15th, 2017: Game Predictions (Let’s Gamble!)

You can tell that college football is basically over and that college basketball dominating ESPN programming is upon us with the Saturday slate in college basketball today. It’s a great schedule throughout all of college basketball, but there’s some especially good matchups in the Big 12 today:
      •  Oklahoma at Wichita State
      •  Oklahoma State vs. Florida State
      •  Northern Iowa vs. Iowa State
      •  Kansas at Nebraska

Those are some fun non-conference December games, which are not always guaranteed, especially in this odd time period with finals weeks ending, the holidays upcoming, and conference play less than two weeks away. Enjoy today, it’s a fun lineup.

Before I dive into my picks for today, let’s review how I’m currently doing with my picks. Here were my picks from last night (click image to expand in new tab). Continue reading

December 5th, 2017: Game Predictions (Let’s Gamble!)

What a great night in the Big 12. I tweeted this out earlier today.

Yesterday, I wrote about how December can be an odd time for college basketball. There’s random games on random nights, often against low-quality competition. That is not the case tonight. We’ve got four GREAT games tonight. I’m going to dive into all four in greater detail below, but first, let’s take a look at how I did against the spread last night.

Rough. A real rough night. I went 1-5 on the night and 0-2 in the Big 12. I’m now at .500 for Big 12 picks ATS and under .500 for the season overall. I gotta say, the late three by Northern Illinois against Iowa State to cut it from 17 to 14 in garbage time is why no one should gamble ever (click image to open in new tab). Continue reading

December 4th, 2017: Game Predictions (Let’s Gamble!)

We’re officially in December, which is an odd time for college basketball. We will have the occasional good non-conference matchup, like we did this past Saturday with Wichita State/Baylor and Syracuse/Kansas. On Tuesday night, we’ll get to see Virginia travel to West Virginia. But it also feels like the schedule slows down following the Thanksgiving/Feast Week craziness. There’s about to be more time in between games due to finals and Christmas breaks, and we’ll see a lot of home game tune-ups against lesser opponents before conference play starts. Even though the Big Ten’s reason for playing games in December this season is incredibly stupid (their conference tournament is being played a week earlier so it can be played in New York City), it is fun to see some intense conference matchups early in the season. I wouldn’t be surprised if other conferences did a week of conference games in December within the next five years. It did give the Big Ten some attention and notoriety this past weekend. It’s unfortunate that December feels like a valley in the college basketball calendar, but we’ll make due with what we have.

Tonight, we’ve got three Big 12 games. None are great; they all would classify as those home game tune-ups that I described above. The most competitive game will be Iowa State hosting Northern Illinois; the Cyclones are favored by 15 points.

Before we dive into tonight further, here are my picks from yesterday. I’m currently hovering around .500 still on the season (click image to open in new tab). Continue reading