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The 2023 Big XII Conference Tournament (men’s college basketball) tips off Wednesday, March 8 the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
This is the most interesting college basketball conference because the last two national champs are Big XII teams. Also, the conference ranks atop KenPom.com’s adjusted net efficiency and Sports Reference’s SRS formula.
Big XII Tourney Bracket
The Big XII’s 1-seed, Kansas Jayhawks (+275 conference tourney odds), are the reigning national champions and conference tourney champions and won the 2023 Big XII regular-season title.
Kansas head coach Bill Self is one of college basketball’s best. The Jayhawks have three players selected to All-Big XII teams including Unanimous [conference] Player of the Year, PF Jalen Wilson.
KU and 2-seed Texas Longhorns (+330) await the 1st-round results before knowing their 2nd-round opponent. Conference tourney seeds 3-6 already have their matchups set.
Conference Tourney Odds (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Best Bet: Kansas State Wildcats (+650)
I’ve read through several betting previews for the Big XII conference tourney and none of them had 3-seed Kansas State as a “contender” or “sleeper”. This is refreshing since a “contrarian mindset” is usually a profitable starting point for sports betting.
It’s also kind of crazy none of the college basketball Twitter gamblers are backing the Wildcats. First-year coach Jerome Tang won Big XII Coach of the Year and Kansas State has two All-Big XII First Team players.
Guard-play is more important in tournament basketball because bigs cannot create their own looks and can get into foul trouble. Kansas State senior PG Markquis Nowell leads the Big XII in PER and Win Shares.
Furthermore, the Wildcats proved during the regular season that they can hang with any team in the conference. KSU split the season series with both Texas and Kansas and were 2-0 vs. the 4-seed Baylor Bears.
Also, I love the way the KSU plays basketball. The Wildcats force opponents to the 2nd-highest rate of long-distance 2-pointers, have the 2nd-most dunks and best defensive 3-point percentage in the Big XII.
Kansas State moves the basketball and knocks down free throws. KSU ranks 7th nationally in assists-to-field goals made rate and are tied with Texas for the best free throw percentage in the Big XII.
The Wildcats are a conference-best 21-10 against the spread (ATS), 12-6 ATS in Big XII games, and 8-1 ATS vs. ranked opponents with a +6.8 spread differential.
BET: Kansas State Wildcats (+650) to win the 2023 Big XII Conference Tournament at DraftKings
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