The Big 12 Tournament begins Wednesday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO. (Basically, the Jayhawks get at least one more game in front of a “home” crowd.) Six top-ranked teams will compete for the Big 12 Tournament title and a chance to better their seed in the NCAA Tournament. (So, you’ll want to be sure to clear your schedules, or perhaps, set the DVR.)
Here’s a look at the schedule (per Big12sports.com):
Wednesday, March 9
Game 1: No. 8 Kansas State vs No. 9 Oklahoma State @ 6 p.m., ESPNU
Game 2: No. 7 Texas Tech vs No. 10 TCU @ 8 p.m., ESPNU
Thursday, March 10
Game 3: No. 4 Texas vs No. 5 Baylor @ 11:30 p.m., ESPN2
Game 4: No. 1 Kansas vs Game 1 winner @ 1:30 p.m., ESPN2
Game 5: No. 2 West Virginia vs Game 2 winner @ 6 p.m., ESPNU
Game 6: No. 3 Oklahoma vs No. 6 Iowa State @ 8 p.m., ESPNU
Friday, March 11
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs Game 4 winner @ 6 p.m., ESPN2
Game 8: Game 5 winner vs Game 6 winner @ 8 p.m., ESPN2
Saturday, March 12
Game 9: Game 7 winner vs Game 8 winner @ 5 p.m., ESPN
Winning the tournament would be an extra accomplishment for Kansas to add to their resume, but I don’t think it should be their top priority. The Jayhawks are projected to be a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament, so there’s no real incentive for them to win the Big 12 Tournament. It’d be more beneficial to focus on advancing further than the third round (Kansas’ second game) in the Big Dance.
The previous years, Kansas’ leaders (and top-scorers) have disappeared in the NCAA tournament. This year, Perry Ellis, Frank Mason III and Wayne Selden, Jr. — the team’s current top-scorers — lead with experience. And it’s not a stretch to say they’re hungry for a trophy…
The Big 12 tournament, at the very least, will give the Jayhawks a chance to face fierce competition before heading into the tournament.
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