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Big 12 Tournament Picks – Baylor Will Surprise In Big 12 Tournament

Posted by Washington Tucker on 3/10/2010 3:18:25 PM

The realm of sports betting always carries a certain degree of risk, but rarely more so than during college basketball’s conference tournaments. The favorites for the Final Four don’t have as much to play for in these events. The decent seeds that are comfortably in the NCAA Tournament might have some incentive to play well, but not always. It’s the underdogs and inferior teams who possess a maximum of motivation, and that’s why these tournaments can become so screwy. Will the Big 12 Tournament create a lot of surprises? It’s very possible that it could.

Big 12 Tournament Picks: Kansas Is Favored To Win Big 12 Tournament
-Kansas State has lost its last two games
-Kansas has won three of the last four Big 12 Tournament championships
-Baylor hasn’t lost since Feb. 20 at Oklahoma State

Big 12 Tournament Picks – The Favorites

Kansas is the clear favorite for this event. The Jayhawks are regarded as one of the two best teams in the country alongside a Syracuse squad that has received a similar degree of buzz. KU is deep (with the Morris brothers), long (with Xavier Henry), powerful (with Cole Aldrich), balanced (with Brady Morningstar), and strong at the point (with Sherron Collins). There are few weaknesses on coach Bill Self’s roster, which has been the class of the Big 12 all year. On paper, there’s only one team in the conference that can win the national title, and it’s Kansas.

If there’s a second choice in this tournament, it’s definitely Baylor. Baylor's blend of athleticism and length, with guard Tweety Carter and big man Ekpe Udoh leading the way, thoroughly bothered Big 12 opponents this season. The Bears gave Kansas a good run on the road in Lawrence, and coach Scott Drew's Baylor bunch is increasingly being viewed as the kind of team that could make a darkhorse run to the Elite Eight.

Big 12 Tournament Picks –The Mid-Tier

NCAA basketball betting involves more than identifying high seeds. Kansas State might be the No. 2 seed in the Big 12’s hoops festival, but the Wildcats – who fell into a second-place tie at the end of the regular season – appear to be buckling under the strain of being a hunted team. Coach Frank Martin’s club might be seeded like a favorite, but it’s playing like a middle-tier team. Baylor should finish off KSU in Friday’s semifinals… if seventh-seeded Oklahoma State doesn’t bounce the Cats out of Kansas City in Thursday’s quarterfinals.

The other truly dangerous team at this tournament is fourth-seeded Texas A&M. Coach Mark Turgeon’s Aggies, by virtue of being the No. 4 seed, gained a first-round bye and a reasonable chance of winning three games in three days. It’s very hard to win four games in four days at a conference tournament, but three games can be managed. A&M is a threat because the Aggies can hang with Kansas on the defensive glass and can go toe-to-toe with the Jayhawks in a physical and grinding kind of game. The Aggies are limited in terms of their firepower, but if they can play a slowdown game in the low 60s or high 50s, they’ll have a legitimate shot at a tournament title.

Big 12 Tournament Picks – The Longshots

The sportsbook odds don’t favor any team that will take the court at the Sprint Center in Wednesday’s opening round. Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma State, Colorado, and Texas Tech – the fifth through ninth seeds at this tournament – simply have to do too much work and plow through too many competitive opponents in order to win this event. Of those five teams, Missouri can catch fire for one week and knock off opponents with its pressure defense, but the cold hard logic of reality suggests that this is a tournament that will be won by the four teams with first-round byes.

In addition to the fifth through ninth seeds, the bottom three teams in the conference – 10th-seeded Oklahoma, 11th-seeded Iowa State, and 12th-seeded Nebraska – have absolutely no shot at winning the whole tournament.

Big 12 Tournament Picks – The Prediction

Baylor will reach the final from the bottom half of the bracket, while Kansas and Texas A&M should stage a semifinal war in the top half of the bracket. Kansas doesn’t need this tournament the way other teams do, but the Jayhawks are tough to pick against. In the end, KU will beat A&M to make the final, but Baylor will rise up and claim the Big 12 Tournament championship. The Bears are confident enough to withstand KU’s runs, and they’re potent enough to keep pace in a track meet.

Pick: Baylor

For more sports online betting tips and articles, check out the Betting Edge daily.



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