The 2019 Big 12 men’s basketball tournament is set to get underway from the Sprint Center in Kansas City on Wednesday. The defending champions, the Kansas Jayhawks, are the third-seeded team in the conference after finishing the season with a 23-8 record. Their rivals, the Kansas State Wildcats, finished with one more win and hold the top spot in the seeding.
That in itself is big news. The Jayhawks had won at least a share of the regular season Big 12 title in 14 consecutive seasons. Notably, Texas Tech features one of the best defenses in all of college basketball, and they’re thinking about far bigger things than the Big 12 tournament.
All of the Big 12 tournament games will be broadcast by the ESPN family of networks, including ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU (live streaming via WatchESPN and ESPN+).
Up to eight teams from the Big 12 can make the NCAA tournament, and things are very interesting this year, with Texas seemingly phoning it in against TCU in the season finale, putting the Horned Frogs on the cusp of making it. The top teams in the conference should make it, but those in the bottom half are still scratching their way in, with all eyes on TCU. Is one or two wins in the tournament enough to push them through?
The top two seeds — Kansas State and Texas Tech — get first-round byes and have to wait for their opponents, while all of the bottom four teams will play on opening day. Spots three through six also get first-round byes, but they know who they will be playing. The finals are set for the following Saturday to determine the Big 12 champion.
1. Kansas State Wildcats (24-7)
2. Texas Tech Red Raiders (26-5)
3. Kansas Jayhawks (23-8)
4. Baylor Bears (19-12)
5. Iowa State Cyclones (20-11)
6. Texas Longhorns (16-15)
7. Oklahoma Sooners (19-12)
8. TCU Horned Frogs (19-12)
9. Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-19)
10. West Virginia Mountaineers (12-19)
The tournament, featuring 10 teams, will be contested over the course of four days, beginning on Wednesday, March 13. The second and third rounds are on Thursday and Friday, with the final game played on Saturday.
Bracket photo courtesy of the NCAA. Here is the schedule, with all times ET.
Wednesday, March 13
Game 1: No. 8 TCU 73, No. 9 Oklahoma State 70
Game 2: No. 10 West Virginia 72, No. 7 Oklahoma 71
Thursday, March 14
Game 3: No. 4 Baylor vs. No. 5 Iowa State, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN/2)
Game 4: No. 1 Kansas State vs. No. 8 TCU, 1:30 p.m. (ESPN/2)
Game 5: No. 2 Texas Tech vs. No. 10 West Virginia, 6 p.m. (ESPN/2)
Game 6: No. 3 Kansas vs. No. 6 Texas, 8 p.m. (ESPN/2)
Friday, March 15
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 6 p.m. (ESPN/2)
Game 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN/2)
Saturday, March 16
Championship Game: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 5 p.m. (ESPN)