The 2017-2018 Big 12 basketball season is a gauntlet. Not one game on any team’s schedule is a guaranteed win. The conference is stacked top to bottom, and although Kansas has won 13 straight Big 12 titles, if the streak were ever to be in jeopardy, this would be the year. Here are 3 reasons why the Big 12 is the best conference in college basketball this season.
1. The Big 12 has several quality non-conference wins
Establishing conference credibility starts in the non-conference, and the Big 12 delivered winning many big games. Here’s a look at some of the best out of conference wins for the Big 12:
Nov. 15- Kansas def. 7 UK 65-61
Nov. 19- Iowa State def. Boise State 75-64
Nov. 21- Baylor def. Creighton 65-59
Dec. 5- Texas Tech def. 22 Nevada 82-76
Dec. 5- West Virginia def. 15 Virginia 68-61
Dec. 9- TCU def. 22 Nevada 84-80
Dec. 16- Oklahoma def. 3 Wichita State 91-83
Dec. 16- Oklahoma State def. 19 Florida State 71-70
Dec. 19- Texas def. Alabama 66-50
Almost every team had at least one quality non-conference victory, boosting the conference’s resume come March.
2. The Big 12 contains many of the top players in the nation
Trae Young, Jevon Carter, Keenan Evans, Devonte’ Graham… the list goes on and on. The talent in the Big 12 is the main reason why this conference is having such a successful year. Although the Big 12 usually gets a couple blue-chip recruits each year, the amount of underrecruited players turning into stars like Jevon Carter and Keenan Evans is making the Big 12 even more of a gauntlet. Trae Young the highly touted freshman for Oklahoma is currently leading the nation in points per game (29.5) and assists per game (9.8). Although Young may very well win conference player of the year unanimously, guys like Jevon Carter and Keenan Evans are capable of taking over in March and leading their teams to deep runs.
3. Currently, half of the Big 12 teams are ranked
#4 Oklahoma, #6 West Virginia, #8 Texas Tech, #10 Kansas, #24 TCU, all sit ranked in the top 25 of the AP poll.
The Big 12 is currently tied for the most teams ranked with the ACC at 5. But, with #25 Miami losing earlier this week, it looks like the Big 12 will take the lead in the near future. Teams like Kansas State and Texas also have top 25 potential, but due to the depth of the conference, their records may not indicate it just yet.
The depth of the Big 12 this year makes watching games even more enjoyable, and come conference tournament time, don’t count any team out from raising the trophy in Kansas City.