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Big 12 Tournament Seeding Primer

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You want to buy tickets to the right game(s) in Kansas City. WRNL is here to help.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports



Texas Tech at Baylor, 8:00 CST on ESPN2


Oklahoma State at West Virginia, 1:00 CST on ESPN2

Kansas State at Texas, 2:00 CST on ESPN2

Kansas at Oklahoma, 3:00 CST on ESPN

Iowa State at TCU, 7:30 CST on ESPNews



Conference Record

Last 5


Final Game

Kansas (9)





Oklahoma (15)





Iowa State (17)





West Virginia (20)





Baylor (14)





Kansas State





Oklahoma State















Texas Tech






Seedings for the Big 12 Tourney are assigned by the following criteria:

1) Conference Record

2) Head to Head Record among tied teams

2a) If more than two teams are tied, total head-to-head record against all of the tied teams.

3) Head to Head Record against the #1 team

3a) If multiple teams are tied atop the standings, total head-to-head record against all of the tied teams

4) Record against the #2 team

5) Record against the #3 team (and so on until the tie is broken.) we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know.

Donald Rumsfeld Bob Bowlsby, Probably


#10 - Texas Tech (3-14)
#9   -  TCU (4-13)

These two seeds are already set, regardless of what happens. TCU swept Texas Tech in the regular season, so even TCU loses to ISU and Texas Tech pulls the upset against Baylor, Taco Tech's 4-12 will still only be good for the 10-seed in the conference tournament.

On the other side of the bracket, even if they won out, the purple frogs would finish at best a game behind 8th place Texas (7-10), so they're locked into the 9th seed and a Wednesday matchup with an as of yet unknown team.

#1 -  Kansas (13-4)

With KU's bullshit bailout by the refs tenacious overtime victory Tuesday night over West Virginia, it's official - nobody can catch the Jayhawks, and they'll play the winner of the 8/9 matchup.


Texas (7-10)
Oklahoma State (8-9)
Kansas State (8-9)

Both Kansas State and Oklahoma State have a chance to grab the 6-seed and earn a bye in the Big 12 tournament, while the other two teams in this group will end up playing on Wednesday. Earlier this season, Oklahoma State swept Texas, Kansas State split with the Cowboys, and Texas beat Kansas State in Manhattan.

Of this group, Kansas State controls their destiny the most - a win in Austin, and they'll clinch the #6 seed over Oklahoma State, even if the Cowboys win. (The two teams would be tied at 9-9, and they split their regular season series. Both teams stole a game from KU, but OSU was swept by both Iowa State and Oklahoma, meaning that  they would lose the tiebreaker to KSU no matter how the top half shakes out.) OSU would play Texas Tech Wednesday in the 7/10 matchup, and Texas would take on TCU in the 8/9 game.

If Texas beats Kansas State, Oklahoma State would be the big winner from this group, regardless of their game against West Virginia. Should Okie State win, the Cowboys (9-9) would sneak into stand alone in the #6 spot, and Texas' sweep of Kansas State would put the Longhorns in the 7/10 matchup with Taco Tech. If Okie State loses, all three teams would finish with an 8-10 record. Oklahoma State would have a 3-1 record against the other two teams with their record, which would give them the tiebreaker for the 6-seed. Texas would be #7 (2-2 against the other teams) and KSU would drop to #8 (1-3 against the other teams).

Or, in far fewer words:


Oklahoma (11-6)
Iowa State (11-6)
West Virginia (10-7)
Baylor (10-7)

Finally, we come to the logjam at the top of the standings. Iowa State can finish as high as 2nd or as low as 4th depending on Saturday's results. From a Cyclone perspective, we're rooting for the following things to happen (in order of importance)

Iowa State beating TCU

Kansas beating Oklahoma

West Virginia beating Oklahoma State

Texas Tech beating Baylor

As long as ISU wins, they'll fall no lower than the #3 seed. If Iowa State and Kansas both win Saturday, ISU would claim the #2 seed outright.

If Iowa State wins and Oklahoma beats KU, the Cyclones' could still claim the #2 seed ifWest Virginia wins and Baylor loses. If Baylor wins, or West Virginia lost, ISU would fall to the 3rd seed.

Iowa State and Oklahoma split their regular season series, and both went 1-1 against top seed Kansas. If West Virginia finishes alone in 4th place, Iowa State's sweep of the 'eers would give them edge over OU, who was 1-1 against WV during the regular season. However, if WV and Baylor finish tied for 4th, OU's collective record against both teams (3-1) would be better than ours (2-2) and OU would get the #2 seed.

In any case, if West Virginia is part of the tiebreaking method, it works out well for Iowa State. If Baylor is part of the tiebreaking method, it does not work out well for Iowa State.

Should ISU win against TCU, they would play KSU, Texas, or Oklahoma State depending on the result of the Texas/KU game earlier in the day. The following scenarios would determine how the rest of the seed shake out:

Should Iowa State lose on Saturday, things get a lot more complicated. There's still an outside chance at the Cyclones snagging the 2-seed, but it would require KU beating Oklahoma, West Virginia to beat Okie State, and Texas Tech to pull off a major upset at Baylor. Should OU and Baylor both win, ISU would end up with a 3-seed. The various tiebreaker iterations start to get a bit crazy at this point, so here's a handy chart to determine the seeds for each outcome:


According to both the Kenpom and Sagarin predictive models, the following teams are favored to win heading into this weekend:

Baylor over Texas Tech (96% Kenpom, 97% Sagarin)

Texas over Kansas State (84% Kenpom, 87% Sagarin)

West Virginia over Oklahoma State (71% Kenpom, 70% Sagarin)

Oklahoma over Kansas (66% Kenpom, 66% Sagarin)

Iowa State over TCU (54% Kenpom, 60% Sagarin)

If all five of these games happen as predicted, the final seedings and matchups for the tournament would be:

7) Texas vs. 10) Texas Tech
8) Kansas State vs. 9) TCU

1) Kansas vs. 8/9) KSU/TCU Winner
4) Baylor vs. 5) West Virginia

3) Oklahoma vs. 6) Oklahoma State
2) Iowa State vs. 7/10) Texas/TTU Winner

Should Iowa State lose, and the other games go as predicted, the final seedings and matchups for the tournament would be:

1) Kansas vs. 8/9) KSU/TCU Winner
4) Iowa State vs. 5) West Virginia

3) Baylor vs. 6) Oklahoma State
2) Oklahoma vs. 7/10) Texas/TTU Winner

Should TCU pull and KU both pull off upsets, the bracket would look like:

1) Kansas vs. 8/9) KSU/TCU Winner
4) Oklahoma vs. 5) West Virginia

3) Iowa State vs. 6) Oklahoma State
2) Baylor vs. 7/10) Texas/TTU Winner

As a reminder, the Big 12 tournament uses session passes. If Iowa State gets a 2 or 3 seed, they'll play in the later session on Thursday (Game 5 or 6, Session 3). If they fall to a 4-seed, they'll play in the early session against West Virginia (Game 3, Session 2). Just something to think about if you're still looking to buy tickets.