2019 Big 12 Tournament Preview, Predictions: Will Texas Tech Emerge As A Title Contender?
Jason Owens
Posted: 2019-03-11

The 2019 Big 12 tournament tips off Wednesday, March 13 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Below is an in-depth look at the tournament, including a complete bracket, TV schedule, analysis and predictions.

2019 Big 12 tournament bracket, seeds


Who is the favorite?

Not Kansas. With apologies to Texas Tech and Kansas State, the big news here is that the Jayhawks are not the No. 1 seed and not the favorite to win the Big 12 tournament for the first time since 2004. It marks the end of one of the longest runs of conference dominance college basketball has seen.

As for the team that is the favorite? Make that the Red Raiders with a slight edge over the Wildcats. Texas Tech has been a defensive powerhouse this season. The Red Raiders boast the nation s top-ranked defensive efficiency and second-ranked scoring defense that has them not only thinking Big 12 title, but Final Four.

Who else can win?

With Kansas State fielding a strong squad and Kansas capable of winning the tournament from deeper in the field, it truly is a wide open event in Kansas City. Consider Iowa State another team that can pull off some upsets in a balanced conference that could see eight of its 10 members make the NCAA tournament.

Bubble implications

TCU (19-12, 7-11, KenPom 48, NET 48): While eight teams can make the NCAA tournament out of the Big 12, TCU s bid is most in peril. The Horned Frogs conference record might end up being too much for the selection committee to overlook. A season sweep of Iowa State is the best thing TCU has going for it. But don t look for the Horned Frogs in the field if they don t pull off multiple wins in Kansas City.

Oklahoma (19-12, 7-11, KenPom 36, NET 40): Oklahoma also has conference record issues, but has a substantially stronger case than TCU thanks to better advanced metrics and a 4-2 stretch to close conference play that included a dominant 81-68 win over Kansas. A win in tournament play will help, but the Sooners don t necessarily need one.

Players to watch

  1. Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech: Culver is the best player on Texas Tech and perhaps the best NBA prospect in the conference. The sophomore shooting guard believed to be anywhere between 6-5 and 6-8 plays closer to the latter on defense where his shutdown prowess has him projected as a lottery pick. He gets it done on both sides of the court, averaging 17.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 48.1 percent from the field.

  2. Barry Brown, G, Kansas State: The senior guard doesn t have the NBA pedigree that Culver does, but he is a Big 12 Player of the Year candidate leading a team that surprisingly finished at the top of the conference. Like Culver he s an excellent defender who averages 15.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2 steals per game.

  3. Jaxson Hayes, C Texas: Hayes was a late bloomer who grew from 6-foot to 6-10 between his freshman and senior years in high school and is still figuring things out. But the Longhorns freshman is a superb athlete who could leave for the NBA after just one year at Texas as a prospect oozing with upside. He can make an impact in Kansas City.

One big storyline

Will Texas Tech emerge as a national championship contender? The Red Raiders have largely flown under the radar because, well, they re the Red Raiders. But as casual fans start tuning into conference tournaments, they re going to discover a dominant defensive team led by a lottery pick in Jarrett. A strong showing in Kansas City could have Texas Tech thinking bigger picture.


2019 Big 12 tournament TV schedule

All times Eastern

Wednesday, March 13 | First round

No. 8 TCU vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State 7 p.m., ESPNU

No. 7 Oklahoma vs. No. 10 West Virginia 9:30 p.m., ESPNU

Thursday, March 14 | Quarterfinals

No. 4 Baylor vs. No. 5 Iowa State 12:30 p.m., ESPN2

No. 1 Kansas State vs. No. 8 TCU/No. 9 Oklahoma State 3 p.m., ESPN2

No. 2 Texas Tech vs. No. 7 Oklahoma/No. 10 West Virginia 7 p.m., ESPN2

No. 3 Kansas vs. No. 6 Texas 9:30 p.m., ESPN2

Friday, March 15 | Semifinals

Winners of quarterfinals 1 and 2 7 p.m., ESPN2

Winners of quarterfinals 3 and 4 9:30 p.m., ESPN2

Saturday, March 16 | Final

Semifinal winners 6 p.m., ESPN

2019 Big 12 tournament predictions

First round

No. 8 TCU over No. 9 Oklahoma State

No. 7 Oklahoma over No. 10 West Virginia

Quarterfinals

No. 5 Iowa State over No. 4 Baylor

No. 1 Kansas State over No. 8 TCU

No. 2 Texas Tech over No. 7 Oklahoma

No. 3 Kansas over No. 6 Texas

Semifinals

No. 5 Iowa State over No. 1 Kansas State

No. 2 Texas Tech over No. 3 Kansas

Final

No. 2 Texas Tech over No. 5 Iowa State



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