2011 Big 12 Basketball Tournament Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

2011 Big 12 Tournament Predictions

Jayhawks breeze to Big 12 title

By Ryan Fowler - Whatifsports.com
March 8, 2011

For the first time, Whatifsports.com is providing simulation predictions for the Big East, Big 12 and Big Ten conference basketball tournaments. We hope to expand and include other conference tournament predictions next season. Let us know what you think of our latest prediction venture and if you would like to see more conferences added in 2012. Contact information can be found at the bottom of each article. Thank you.

Big 12 Tournament Bracket
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Until about three weeks ago, you could make the case that Kansas and Texas were both viable candidates to make deep runs in the NCAA tournament. The Longhorns were in the midst of an 11-game win streak (and 17 wins in 18 games) and the Jayhawks’ only loss of the season was to the aforementioned boys in orange (74-63 at home).

Kansas then was tripped up by rival Kansas State in Manhattan, and Texas lost three of their next four games before sneaking by Baylor in the regular-season finale. To the Jayhawks’ credit, they did finish the season on a five-game win streak that included back-to-back victories over nationally ranked Texas A&M and Missouri.

The team most of the country fell in love with before the season started is the Big 12 squad playing its best basketball now. Frank Martin has his K-State Wildcats focused. They are winners of six straight games heading into the Big 12 tournament. The late-December suspensions of Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly shook up the Wildcats, and they dropped five of their next nine games. (Keep in mind three of those wins came over Missouri-Kansas City, Savannah State and North Florida.) However, their six-game win streak includes victories vs. Kansas, vs. Missouri and at Texas.

Using our 2010-11 college basketball simulation engine we “played” each Big 12 tournament matchup 101 times. It provided us with each team’s chances of winning (Win%) and average score.

Big 12 Tournament First Round
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Oklahoma State Cowboys35.663
Nebraska Cornhuskers64.466
Big 12 Tournament First Round
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Iowa State Cyclones50.575
Colorado Buffaloes49.574
Big 12 Tournament First Round
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Oklahoma Sooners28.764
Baylor Bears71.369
Big 12 Tournament First Round
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Texas Tech Red Raiders13.968
Missouri Tigers86.178

Iowa State quietly has become the safe haven for college basketball refugees. In addition to Michigan State transfers Chris Allen and Korie Lucious, joining the Cyclones next season, coach Fred Hoiberg has snatched a player from Penn State, Minnesota, Morehead State, Northern Illinois and Southern Illinois.

The Cyclones won two of their last three regular-season games. In our simulations, they follow up with a close win over Colorado. Iowa State beat the Buffaloes a week ago and won 50.5 percent of the simulations by an average score of 75-74.

Big 12 Tournament Quarterfinals
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Nebraska Cornhuskers10.964
Kansas Jayhawks89.176
Big 12 Tournament Quarterfinals
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Iowa State Cyclones28.769
Kansas State Wildcats71.375
Big 12 Tournament Quarterfinals
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Baylor Bears31.768
Texas Longhorns68.372
Big 12 Tournament Quarterfinals
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Missouri Tigers75.276
Texas A&M Aggies24.870

The Big 12 tournament’s simulated quarterfinals produced a chalky aftertaste with three of the top four seeds, Kansas, Kansas State and Texas, all advancing to the semifinals. No. 6 seed Missouri flipped the script and wooed our simulation engine with its statistical DNA. Mizzou (22-9, 8-8 Big 12) steamrolled No. 3 seed Texas A&M 75.2 percent of the time by an average score of 76-70. The Aggies required overtime to beat the Tigers 91-89 at home in the regular season.

Although only one statistic to consider, Missouri averaged 81.5 points per game (eighth nationally) compared with 68.7 (176th nationally) for the Aggies. But Mark Turgeon’s Texas A&M team is 14th in the country in points allowed per game (60.4), and the Tigers allow 70.5 ppg.

Big 12 Tournament Semifinals
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Kansas State Wildcats17.873
Kansas Jayhawks82.281
Big 12 Tournament Semifinals
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Missouri Tigers51.573
Texas Longhorns48.572

Despite that loss to the Wildcats, Kansas has a few things going for it this season. Bill Self’s program is fifth in the country in scoring (82.7 ppg), first in assists per game (18.2) and first in field-goal shooting (51.8 percent). The Morris brothers are averaging more than 30 points and 15 rebounds a contest.

The Jayhawks mowed over Kansas State in the semifinals 82.2 percent of the time by an average score of 81-73.

Missouri and our simulation engine continued to see eye-to-eye as the Tigers snuck by Texas by the slimmest of margins.

Big 12 Tournament Finals
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Missouri Tigers30.776
Kansas Jayhawks69.383

Kansas scored more than 100 points twice during the 2010-11 regular season. The first time, it was against Longwood in the season opener (113-75) and the second century strike was against Missouri a month ago (103-86).

In their two previous meetings this season, the Jayhawks have beaten the Tigers by an average of 10.5 points. This history lesson left little to the imagination when it came to our Big 12 tournament simulated finale. Though not as much of a blowout as the regular-season average, Missouri loses 69.3 percent of the time by an average score of 83-76.

Check out our 2011 Big Ten Tournament Predictions

Check out our 2011 Big East Tournament Predictions
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Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at rfowler@whatifsports.com.

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