WVU basketball: Big 12 could get 9 teams in tournament

Oklahoma State guards Jeffrey Carroll and Kendall Smith rebounds against Oklahoma guard Trae Young during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in first round of the Big 12 men's tournament in Kansas City Mo. Wednesday Ma

The Cowboys are still trying to prove they deserve a spot, despite sweeping Kansas - the victor of the Big 12 for the 14th consecutive year - this season.

True March Madness starts a week early for Big 12 teams.

Both first round games - Texas vs. Iowa State and Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma - are NCAA Tournament elimination games.

Friday, March 9 Kansas State/TCU vs. Kansas/OSU/Oklahoma 7 p.m. ESPN2 Texas Tech/Texas/Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State is one of Lunardi's last four out. Eight of the league's 10 teams are ranked top 44 by KenPom. The Oklahoma Sooners are -1 over the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Wednesday. The part that troubles me is that is more indicative of the way Oklahoma is playing now and not the Sooners' in-state Bedlam rivals. The Cowboys aren't much more consistent but they've proven that they can hang with the best of the best and not only compete, but win. Seven of the league's 10 teams made the Big Dance, good for 70 percent.

I'm not sure on which one, but my money would be on either the Wildcats or Jayhawks to take home the Big 12 Title. Oklahoma State's effective field goal percentage was its largest strength over Oklahoma. Iowa State brings a strong contingent to Kansas City every year; never count out the Cyclones. Almost all of them are desperate to increase their tournament standing. Also in the mix is Baylor (18-13), which earned a bye into the quarterfinal thanks to tiebreakers and will face third-seeded West Virginia on Thursday night. TCU and Kansas State split theirs. The also beat Kansas twice in convincing fashion. The tournament offers more than basketball games. Those [four sixth-place] teams will try to separate themselves from the other teams.

Baylor, Kansas State, Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State can cement a spot in the NCAA Tournament with a conference tourney win.

The Big 12 has landed seven NCAA Tournament bids three of the last four seasons, and had six teams in the field a year ago.

Kansas State and Texas Tech are the other two favorites to perform well in Kansas City.

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