• http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2562176-ranking-college-basketball-conferences-by-projected-2016-ncaa-tournament-bids

    Could ISU, OU, Baylor or West Virginia be in the Final Four this year? Recently, I was comparing our team and it’s make up to other teams in our Conference and was belittled for “Being satisfied” for being able to beat the likes of those in the Big 12. Going on the road in this conference, to me, is one of the toughest parts of our schedule. Going into Lloyd Noble or Hilton against some damn good teams that could beat anyone in the country on any given night is scary. Losing hurts, and we do lose. For the last 11 years though, we have lost less than the others. I love all three portions of a College season, Pre-Season, Conference and the Dance. Somehow, when coaching a team like Kansas with the Savviest, dedicated fan base, 82% is just not enough. Each year that we don’t win it all, we are left with the pain of losing the “Last One.” I have been called a “Homer” on this site and listen to those who go to Vegas and put money on the games. When we lose the last game, an inner anger seems to boil in some of us rather than remembering the highlights of 11 going on 12 straight championships. Finally, like at the beginning of every other season, I have great optimism. Late Night is 5 Fridays away and I can’t wait to see what we have. The WUG has left me with high hopes. Our Conference is great and we will argue over that and we will argue whether or not it is too tough and leaves the winner too bloodied and beaten up for any run at a title. I think if we are not snake bitten by bad luck injury’s or stupid suspension that this is the year.!!!


  • @wrwlumpy Agreed. Baylor isnt a final four team, neither is WVU or OU.

    We need Diallo. We could be a Final Four team without him but it would be a lot easier to do with him on the court.

  • Our league has really not done much nationally outside of us. Hopefully the cream will rise to the top and KU will have some fierce competition. The league has been good, but not great for quite a few years now.

    On the other hand I could care less if we were in a SEC type league, having 3 teams qualify, and we were competing for national championships every year.

    Just win baby and all this talk will take care of itself.

  • @Lulufulu Kansas, Iowa St., and Oklahoma are all consensus top 10 teams right now and OU absolutely has one of the best back courts in the country with Hield, Woodard and Cousins. Throw in Ryan Spangler and OU is definitely a legit Final Four contender this year.

  • OU is definitely a contender as long as they fill the spot Thomas left & develop some depth. I hear the Jr College big guy is good & Buford was a top 100 kid who sat last year & I hear is athletic. They have little guard depth besides freshman.

    Iowa St is going to be a small team, McKay becomes their most important player to keep on the floor with the lack of size they will have. They will still be good but its hard to imagine they will be the same with a new coach…There’s a reason Hoiberg is in the NBA & Prohm was at Murray St.

  • I read through lumpy’s article carefully, keeping an eye open for expectations regarding Cal and Alabama, two Division 1 programs who have recently drawn interest and commitments from top tier recruits. What is drawing those kids to these two schools? Fair weather environments?

  • The last time a Big 12 team not named Kansas went to the Final 4 was in 2004, right? I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • @wrwlumpy

    A final four perimeter with a .700 front court unless Bragg and Diallo come along way in a short time.

  • @REHawk

    With Cal it has to be location… Martin is a good coach and he’s recruited well wherever he has been. Getting Rabb was big but he was always staying out west. Getting Brown was that out of left field decision. Still don’t view them as a contender as its hard for me to believe 2 players will all of a sudden make a mediocre at best team a F4 contender. They have a few returning guards who are good but what else?

    Alabama hired an ex NBA coach and has apparently got strong ties in the AAU scene already. He lured Ferguson & and is now doing the same with Bolden. We all know their B-ball program will always be a blip on the map with Football.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Offensively? Yeah, OU can hang with the best. But their defense last season wasnt nearly up to Final Four par. With basically the same team back, that may or may not improve. Sub par defense = early out. I guess it remains to be seen though.

    I am sure Iowa St will be good this year too. The big question there is can Coach Prohm do what Hoiberg did last season? Im not so sure about that.

  • I’m with @joeloveshawks here. It’s been over a decade since another Big 12 team sniffed the Final Four, and only two (KU in 2008 and 2012) have gotten there in that span.

    Our conference is weak, has been weak, and will always be weak until proven otherwise.

    If folks want to believe a conference is good because of stuff that occurs in November and December, then that’s missing the boat. Teams usually don’t figure out rotations, minutes, and all of that definitively, until the later. But that still pales in comparison, in my mind, to winning on the biggest stage.

    Again, this all goes back to how much folks value the NCAA tourney. If you choose to discount the NCAA tourney, then I guess OU beating Illinois on December 4 or Texas Tech beating Clemson in November is what should guide you in your assessment of conferences.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    For whatever reason, in pre-March B12 teams seem to play non-conf opponents tough. Then comes the big stage and B12 teams (sometimes Kansas) collapses into failure.

    This needs to be studied. Why is this trend existing?

    My theory… we are a football conference. A similar comparison can probably be made with the SEC, another football conference. Their Kentucky is our Kansas. Florida’s b2b wins and 2014 FF appearance seem more like an anomaly. Let’s see what they do moving forward with new coach Michael White. I expect them to disappear. Maybe I’m wrong. LSU can help break this comparison. They made it to the FF in 2006 and look like a contender this year.

    I just don’t think the fan frenzy is there for basketball in these football conferences. The exceptions are at Kansas and Kentucky… where the fan bases are supercharged.

    I’ve got to hand it to ISU fans for bringing on big enthusiasm in Ames and also in the Sprint Center in KC, where they now seem to bring more fans than Kansas. If looking just at fan support it seems that ISU is the next in line to advance in March. Obviously, there is more to the game than fan support, but it does make a huge difference.

    Compare ISU to UT. If UT is about to play in the Elite 8 you would expect their fans to go nuts in hopes they make a FF appearance. Not so much. The focus is still football and basketball enthusiasm still falls behind their football, even if they are playing for a FF spot.

  • The problem with the Big 12 is that, other than KU, there hasn’t been a consistently great team in the conference.

    Oklahoma with Blake Griffin was the last truly great non-KU team. They were a 2 seed and went to the Elite Eight.

    To get teams into the Final Four, you can’t just have good teams. The Big 12 produces average to good teams in droves. That is why the Big 12 consistently puts 5-7 teams in the tournament. There are not many bad teams in the Big 12. You could argue that the Big 12 only has 3 below average teams this coming year (KSU, TTU and TCU). Even TCU could trickle towards average.

    But who, other than KU, is potentially going to be great? ISU and OU will both be very good, but I would argue that both were better last year than they are likely to be this season. Texas and West Virginia are a step or so below that, and Baylor is probably a half step off Texas. Oklahoma State is halfway between Baylor and TCU.

    If ISU or OU gets hot they could get to the Final Four. I doubt anybody else has the guns, though. I see a FF candidate (Kansas), a couple potential Sweet 16 teams (ISU, OU) and a bunch of likely tournament teams that probably don’t get through the first weekend.

    Top to bottom, the Big 12 is better than anybody. But come tournament time, only the top matters, and the top of the Big 12 is not elite beyond Kansas.

  • @justanotherfan well said!

  • @justanotherfan I might say that there really even hasn’t been a consistently good team. Meaning one that makes runs here and there, and is reliably at the top of the conference. Each team, other than Kansas, seems to wax and wane.

    Personally, I can’t explain our lack of tourney success. I mean ISU and OU seemed like legit FF contenders last season. It makes no sense to me.

    I think @drgnslayr’s point about the football priority really explains the lack of consistently good programs and teams.

  • The big 12 proves year in and year out it is a tough conference in November and December and in all the Independent ranking algorithms by season’s end.

    What happens in post season is seeding and referee bias operating against a conference with an insignificant EST FOOTPRINT.


  • @jaybate-1.0 said:

    seeding and referee bias operating against a conference with an insignificant EST FOOTPRINT.

    UConn really believe that, mon?

  • @ParisHawk

    Can’t say about UConn, since I don’t much care about UConn, because of their Jim Calhoun-screw-the-rules-I’m-at-the-end -of-my-career legacy titles that really shouldn’t be counted as UConn titles at all. Hell, Self could have won ten in a row easily had he done what Calhoun reputedly did.

    Note: it amazes me that Calhoun and Calipari are held in high esteem about their winning, when perhaps any second rate coach in the USA could have equalled what Calipari has done with his anomalous talent stream, and any first rate coach would likely have exceeded what Calhoun did with his reputed “approach to the rules” his last 10 years. Imagine how many titles Bob Knight could have won at UConn “educating” and “recruiting” the players the way Calhoun did, eh? Coach K would STILL be chasing Knight’s all time W number.

    But about seeding bias and refereeing bias in the NCAA tournament working against the Big 12, the apparent seeding and apparent refereeing of the last couple seasons, plus the comments of coaches about the seeding process, IMHO puts the onus of producing evidence to the contrary on anyone that wants to argue that the Big 12 is competing on a level playing field in post season.


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