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Big 12 Tournament Preview: Seedings, Clinching Scenarios with 3 Games to Go

We take a look at the current seedings and the clinching scenarios available to the Big 12 teams on Saturday

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Championship-Iowa State vs West Virginia Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

I always get towards the end of the year and wonder at what point certain seeds in the Big 12 tournament are assured for various teams. I know I can’t be alone in that, so from now until the tournament, I’m going to update the seeds and clinching scenarios that are available for each team before each of their last 3 games.

The tiebreaker rules for the Big 12 tournament can get a bit complicated, starting out simply enough with head-to-head. After that, it looks at records against each rank, with all tied teams considered in one block before any tiebreakers are applied to that block. There is an exception if there are only two teams tied in that block and one of them swept the other. After that, it gets really wild, looking at the road records of the tied teams. We only get to that point in the clinching scenarios, where if everything fell just right, Kansas would need their superior road record to take the top seed (although it’s not technically a clinching scenario yet).

So as it stands right now, the Big 12 Tournament seeding is this:

  1. Kansas (11-4).
  2. Texas Tech (10-5).
  3. West Virginia (9-6). Wins tiebreaker over Kansas State due to head-to-head record (2-0)
  4. Kansas State (9-6).
  5. TCU (7-8). Wins tiebreaker over Baylor due to head-to-head record (1-0).
  6. Baylor (7-8).
  7. Oklahoma State (6-9). Oklahoma eliminated due to combined head-to-head record (1-4 vs 2-1 for both OSU and UT). Wins tiebreaker over Texas due to head-to-head record (1-0).
  8. Texas (6-9). Wins tiebreaker over Oklahoma due to head-to-head record (2-0).
  9. Oklahoma (6-9).
  10. Iowa State(4-11)

With so many games remaining, there aren’t a lot of clear scenarios. However, a few key notes:

If Kansas wins, they clinch a share of the conference title and also at least the 2nd seed, as Kansas State can’t win any tiebreakers and at least one of West Virginia and Texas Tech wouldn’t be able to reach 12 wins.

Texas Tech can clinch a top 4 seed with either a win or a TCU loss

West Virginia can clinch a top 4 seed with a win AND a TCU loss

Kansas State cannot clinch a top 4 seed, due to tiebreakers that would allow either Baylor or TCU to catch them.

Finally, Iowa State will only be locked into the last position with a loss and an Oklahoma win.

Look for another update on Sunday, after the Saturday slate of games.