In a college basketball season filled with upsets and top contenders falling, many conference titles are still a toss-up.
With two weeks left till the Big 12 tournament, the regular-season title remains up for grabs. The top contenders to grab this title are some of the usual suspects in the West Virginia Mountaineers and Kansas Jayhawks. The dark horse of the group who has a great opportunity to steal the title this season is the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
The Red Raiders in preseason polls were ranked to finish in the bottom half of the Big 12. Star guard Keenan Evans greatly impacted just how talented the Red Raiders could be. Evans averages almost 18 points a game and is using his senior energy to bring the fight to the court.
Texas Tech has one of the more interesting rosters in college basketball. Most of the players on their team are either freshman or seniors. Many contribute this to the fact that Texas Tech changed coaches in 2016 from Tubby Smith to current coach Chris Beard. Evans senior talent can be seen on the court as he coaches the freshman and hopes to lead this team to a Big 12 regular season conference for the first time since joining the Big 12 in 1997.
Texas Tech has a must win game on Saturday against Kansas. If they wish to secure a share of the Big 12 title they must beat Kansas, since their loose on Wednesday to Oklahoma State.
The Mountaineers currently have the toughest chance of winning the title, a lot of things have to go right for them. Mathematically the Mountaineers could not win the title outright or share a piece but the Mountaineers are still a team with a lot under the hood.
This season was the Mountaineers best chance to take down their rival Kansas and win the Big 12 regular season conference title. Coach Bob Huggins is not only know for his tracksuits and wooden stool but also his ability to coach. Huggins does not have much to prove he is a talented coach, except the fact he seems to be the only coach who can beat the Jayhawks at home or on the road. This season not even their reliability against Kansas could bring them up to the major spotlight. West Virginia lost both their games this season to Kansas, and yes the last time these two teams met Kansas went 35-of-37 from the free throw line. Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, all that shows up is a notch in the loss column.
Currently the Mountaineers are two games behind the Big 12 leader Kansas, while they may not have an opportunity to win the regular season title they are a big competitor come postseason tournament time. Joe Lunardi currently has the Mountaineers as a four seed in the South.
If you don’t know what the Jayhawks have been doing in the Big 12 then you have been living under a rock. The Jayhawks have complied 13-straight Big 12 regular season titles and are going for their 14th on Saturday night against Texas Tech. If the Jayhawks win their 14th straight title that would be the new record.
The Jayhawks currently sit alone atop the Big 12, which is a scenario they are used to, but the season did not start that way. Having the most at home losses ever in a season, coach Bill Self had to rally the troops and reconvene after looking like they could slip out of regular season title contention.
The Jayhawks are almost guaranteed at least a share of the Big 12 title, their fate lies in the hands of the Red Raiders to whether or not they will share the title.
For all the promise and depth the Big 12 showed throughout the season it still comes down to a dark horse and a Jayhawk.