Kansas Basketball: Big 12 basketball predictions 2019-20

(Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images) /

The Big 12 basketball season is about to begin. Here are my predictions for the final 2020 conference standings. 

Finally, the Big 12 basketball season is back!

You guys clicked on this article for the rankings, not to read a trite multi-paragraph lead about how incredibly difficult the conference is. But I will say this, the top five teams in the league are all going to be really, really good by the time March rolls around. With that being said, the next three months are going to be fun.

Surely, none of these predictions will turn out to be horribly wrong.

Baylor has played exceptionally well thus far, but this is still Kansas’ conference to lose. The Jayhawks are undoubtedly the most talented team, best-coached team, and have the best home-court advantage in the conference. If they go undefeated at home — which history would suggest is very possible — they should win at least a share of the conference crown.

. (10-1). . Bears . 2. team. 460

If there were ever a year for head coach Scott Drew and the Baylor Bears to win their first-ever Big 12 basketball title, 2020 would be it. The bears have all the tools necessary to win a championship: they are deep, great defensively, and they have an experienced backcourt that knows how to win games. If they are able to find consistency on the offensive end, they could be a top 5 team in the country by March. I would not be surprised to see them snag at least a share of the conference title.

. (11-1). . Mountaineers . 3. team. 469

As the great Jon Rothstein would say, West Virginia basketball is, “tougher than a long weekend at your in-laws.” After a rebuilding season a year ago, the Mountaineers will return as one of the best Big 12 teams in 2020. Their length and intensity on defense are almost impossible to prepare for in less than three days. I don’t think they’re talented enough offensively to win the league this season, but they can compete with any team in the country.

467. . (10-2). . Longhorns . 4. team

This probably isn’t the Texas school that you expected to see at no. 4. Well, that’s because… TEXAS IS BACK. In all seriousness, Shaka Smart has a really talented squad this year. The Longhorns have a solid trio in the backcourt in Matt Coleman, Andrew Jones, and Courtney Ramey. They aren’t elite scorers, but they’re great defensively and they’re experienced. In addition to the backcourt, their big man, Jericho Sims, is going tally close to a double-double every single night. Considering they start their season with a road game at Baylor, we will quickly discover if the Longhorns are contenders or pretenders. P.S. I’m officially putting Baylor on upset watch. You heard it here first.

. Red Raiders . 5. team. 468. . (9-3)

I didn’t understand the hype surrounding Texas Tech at the beginning of the season, and I especially don’t understand it now. They have a great win against Louisville, but besides that, they really haven’t been that impressive. I’m not trying to write off the Red Raiders for this season. They have plenty of talent and are obviously well-coached. But they aren’t great at anything in particular, they’re extremely young, and their best player is a freshman who’s only played in eight games. Seven of which came against AWFUL teams. But again, with Chris Beard at the helm, they are more than capable of making at a run towards the end of the year.

(9-3). . Cowboys . 6. team. 465.

I don’t care which Big 12 basketball team you root for; if I were you, I would be very nervous about your team traveling to Stillwater. When Lindy Waters and Thomas Dziagwa start to heat up from the outside, they can put nine points on you in the blink of an eye. Senior forward Cameron McGriff also has the ability to put up big numbers. They aren’t a consistent team, to say the least, but they have the ability to beat anybody in this conference.

. Cyclones . 7. team. 461. . (7-5)

Iowa State has been awful so far this season. So awful, that they got blown at home against their rival, and they also lost a HOME GAME to a team that plays in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. What happened?! Are they saving all of that Hilton Magic for when Kansas comes to town? But in all honesty, I strongly believe the Cyclones have been underachieving so far. Their young guys will continue to improve as the season goes on and they will win some games.

(7-5). . Wildcats . 8. team. 463.

Kansas State is going to be the popular pick to finish last in the Big 12, but I’m a little more optimistic about them than most. The Wildcats are bad this year because Bruce Weber is asking role players to play like stars. Guys such as Xavier Sneed and Cartier Diarra are really talented guys, but they aren’t good enough to lead the Wildcats to the top half of the conference. However, Kansas State is once again awesome on the defensive end. That defense SHOULD keep them out of 10th place. EMAW.

Sooners . 9. team. 464. . (9-3).

Oklahoma’s performance in the non-conference was very surprising to me. I thought their young guys would take a big step in the right direction after a decent season in 2019. But the biggest issue with the Sooners is their defense. They have given up an average of 70 points per game against a very weak non-conference schedule. Unless Brady Manek goes berserk, I wouldn’t expect much from Oklahoma.

10. team. 466. . (9-3). . Horned Frogs

Senior guard Desmond Bane is a really good all-around player. His teammates are not. That’s basically all you need to know about TCU.

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