The Big 12 is headed to Kansas City for the conference tournament. The Big 12 tournament tips off on Wednesday, March 7, and runs through the championship night on Saturday, March 10.
Kansas won their 14th straight regular season Big 12 title, and are the favorites to add a conference tournament to their 2017-18 resume. A big reason for Kansas’ success has been the play of Devonte’ Graham, who has had an uptick in production in every major statistical category. Most notably, Graham’s assists have almost doubled from last season as he is averaging 7.2 assists per game compared to 4.1 assists per game in 2016. Graham is also averaging 17.6 points and four rebounds per game. The Jayhawks do enter the conference tourney on a bit of a down note after losing to Oklahoma State by 18 points to conclude the regular season.
Kansas coach Bill Self spoke to The Kansas City Star about his optimism on the Big 12 being well represented in the NCAA tournament.
You could make a strong case everybody is going to get in. The reality of it is everybody else is not. Those [four sixth-place] teams will try to separate themselves from the other teams. I can’t imagine us getting less than seven or eight [in the NCAA tournament] nine may be a reach. It could happen, though, if everybody plays well.
In my opinion OU is in. I think Oklahoma State should be in. They may feel they need to win another game to solidify it. Certainly the team we played in Stillwater and the team we played here in Oklahoma State, they controlled both games start to finish. I can’t imagine them not getting their ticket punched.
West Virginia is another team to watch, and the Mountaineers are second in the Vegas odds to win the Big 12 tournament. After their recent loss to Texas, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins is concerned with where his team stands.
“I have backed off this team practice-wise maybe more than any team I’ve coached,” Huggins told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “It’s probably a terrible mistake. You hear so much about teams having to have legs. Hell, we can’t shoot anyway, so if they don’t have legs what difference does it make?”
Kansas State and Texas Tech are the other two favorites to perform well in Kansas City.
Here’s a look at the Big 12 conference tournament schedule courtesy of the Big 12.
Big 12 Tournament Schedule 2018
Wednesday, March 7
No. 8 Oklahoma State vs. No. 9 Oklahoma 7 p.m. Eastern ESPN2
No. 7 Texas vs. No. 10 Iowa State 9 p.m. Eastern ESPN2
Thursday, March 8
No. 4 Kansas State vs. No. 5 TCU 12:30 p.m. Eastern ESPN2
No. 1 Kansas vs. OK. State/Oklahoma 2:30 p.m. Eastern ESPN2
No. 2 Texas Tech vs. Texas/Iowa State 7 p.m. Eastern ESPN2
No. 3 West Virginia vs. No. 6 Baylor 9 p.m. Eastern ESPN2
Friday, March 9
Kansas State/TCU vs. Kansas/OSU/Oklahoma 7 p.m. ESPN2
Texas Tech/Texas/Iowa State vs. West Virginia/Baylor 9 p.m. ESPN2
Saturday, March 10
Big 12 Championship 6 p.m. Eastern
Big 12 Tournament Championship Odds 2018
Here’s a look at the opening Big 12 tournament championship odds courtesy of OddsShark.
West Virginia +300
Texas Tech +450
Kansas State +700
Oklahoma State +2000
Iowa State +2500
Source: Heavy Sports