Big 12 Conference Tournament College Basketball Betting Preview (2022)

Mar 7, 2022 - 11:53 AM

The Big 12 this year was an absolute slug-fest, coming in as the only conference with every team ranked in the top-100 (via KenPom). The three-headed monster that was Baylor, Kansas, and Texas Tech all year was supplemented with another title contender in Texas. TCU has made a name of itself of late, Iowa State’s potential is through the roof if they can repeat early season play, and even West Virginia has tallied wins over the likes of UConn and Iowa State this season, despite ranking dead last in the conference. 

The Big 12 Tournament will take place over four days, from Wednesday, March 9-Saturday, March 12. All games can be seen on either ESPN or ESPN2 from the opening round up through the championship game.

Let’s get to the preview, highlighting the favorite, best value, and darkhorse to win it all. Make sure to keep an eye out for more conference tournament previews along with extensive March Madness coverage once the bracket is revealed. As always, make sure to shop around for the best odds as some may change based on injury news.

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Big 12 Conference Tournament

Dates: March 9-12
Venue: T-Mobile Center — Kansas City, MO
Top Seed: Kansas
Previous Winners:

  • 2021 — Texas
  • 2020 — N/A
  • 2019 — Iowa State
  • 2018 — Kansas
  • 2017 — Iowa State
  • 2016 — Kansas

Favorite to Watch

Kansas (+200 at DraftKings)

After a thrilling overtime victory over Texas this weekend, Kansas clinched another Big 12 regular-season title. This Jayhawk squad is led by Big 12 Player of the Year frontrunner, Ochai Agbaji. The KU guard has really rounded into form this year and upped his game, making him a threat anywhere on the court. 

Despite ranking first in the conference, Kansas is limping into postseason play. Bill Self’s squad finished the regular season 2-2, ranked 46th in efficiency during that timeline per Bart Torvik. Obviously, that is a small sample size, but recent play can speak volumes. Despite their success, Agbaji has yet to transcend “takeover” status, and we’ve seen him panic late, such as their most recent game against Texas where he had to call timeout because the Longhorns defense locked him down to force OT.   

We’ve witnessed Kansas completely crumble in some games, like against Kentucky, and be upset on neutral courts, like against Dayton. What it will come down to is if Kansas can win the board battle in any given game. In their losses to TCU and Dayton, the Jayhawks surrendered a plethora of offensive boards, and I am not confident they can stop that from happening again. Despite being a favorite to win this tournament, Kansas is a fade for me, wait until March Madness to place any bets on this team. 

Best Value

Texas Tech (+340 at DraftKings)

While the Red Raiders are also limping into postseason play after dropping two out of their last three, this is a team that swept Baylor and went blow-for-blow with Kansas in each of their matchups this year. Mark Adams has done a phenomenal job during his first season in Lubbock, leading this Texas Tech squad to a number-one ranked defense in the nation.

While this team isn’t the most offensive savvy group, we have witnessed their physicality on the offensive glass – capitalizing on second chance looks while getting to the charity stripe at a high clip as well. Their pack-line defense allows minimal open looks down low, forcing turnovers and low-percentage shots.

For a squad that I see on the same tier as Kansas and Baylor, snagging them at +340  is optimal. Kevin McCullar has been dealing with an injury, a reason the Red Raiders may have faltered late, but with the extra days off I can see him returning for tournament play, giving this team a well-rounded boost to make a run. With Baylor banged up, and Kansas as-is, I see Texas Tech as the clear value play.

Best Longshot Play

TCU (+2500 at BetRivers)

If you told me a team besides Kansas, Baylor, or Texas Tech won the tournament, TCU would be my easy choice to take down the crown. In the same timeframe that Kansas is ranked 46th, TCU is ranked 32nd in the nation. So despite a 2-3 record during that time, they are still playing some of their best ball – especially considering those two wins were over Kansas and Texas Tech.

Considering TCU is one of the few Big 12 teams that play well on the road, these neutral court games will benefit them the most. Texas has struggled mightily away from home this season, and the Horn Frogs have already shown they can keep up with the Jayhawks, their presumable semifinal opponent if they won. There is a path to cutting down the nets for Jaimie Dixon and Co. and in my mind, it’s worth it to sprinkle some dough on TCU winning the Big 12 tourney.

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