Baylor finished the Big 12 campaign at 19-15. They had an NIT bid, where they lost on a heart breaking buzzer beater to Mississippi State in the 2nd round. Baylor almost had a complete meltdown of a season, starting conference play 2-8. But, they bounced back, going 6-3 down the final stretch before losing the West Virginia in the first round of the Big 12 tournament. That loss in the tournament cost the Bears, as they were ultimately the last team out. Overall, it was a disappointing season. But it could have been much much worse, as the Bears still got incredible home wins over top 10 Kansas and Texas Tech.
Nothing really went right for the Cyclones this year. Starting the season 0-2 with a loss to Milwaukee signaled that this would be the rebuilding year many thought it would be. Still, the Cyclones never completely gave up the fight, getting conference wins against Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and West Virginia. The Cyclones ended 13-18, last in the Big 12, and made no post season tournaments. I reserve F’s for completely dismal seasons like Pittsburgh had this year. But the Cyclones were fairly close to that mark.
Kansas finished the season at 31-8 in the Final Four, losing to eventual champion Villanova. The Jayhawks also won the Big 12 regular season title.. again. Honestly, there’s not much more you could’ve asked from this team other than a national championship. And I recall MANY Kansas fans going into meltdown mode thinking this was the worst Kansas team in years. Lol.
Kansas State had a surprisingly good year. Many were pessimistic about the extended contract Bruce Weber was given. He seemed to put the critics at ease, finishing 4th in the Big 12 and 25-12 on the season. They also made an impressive run to the Elite Eight, ultimately losing to upstart Loyola-Chicago. There were a lot of positives for this team and given how unbelievably young this team was, I expect them to be an early dark horse candidate to compete with Kansas next year.
The tale of two seasons, really. They started the season 14-2 and looked like potentially the best team in the country behind freshman star Trae Young. Then, teams seemed to figure out how to guard Young and no one else on the team was remotely ready to step up. The Sooners lost 12 of their last 15 games before squeaking into the NCAA tournament. As the least hot team in the country, the 10 seed Sooners lost in OT to 7 seed Rhode Island. The Sooners went from national champion candidates boasting the favorite for the Wooden Award to the laughing stock of the country. I really feel like their grade deserves to be lower, but they made the NCAA tournament I guess..
Oklahoma State finished the season 21-15, making it to the quarterfinals of the NIT before losing to Western Kentucky. Overall, the Cowboys had a disappointing year in missing the NCAA Tournament. But many thought this season could be far worse than it was, so there were some positives to be had.
TCU had a breakout year by their standards. They went undefeated in their (relatively easy) non-conference schedule and finished 21-12 on the year. They lost in the first round of the tournament to Syracuse. But, even with that lose, the Horned Frogs should be excited as that was the first time they had even made the NCAA tournament in a long time. Jamie Dixon certainly has the program moving in the right direction.
Texas finished the season at 19-15, barely making the NCAA tournament and losing in the first round to 7 seed Nevada. The Longhorns had some positives, like making the tournament, but the season really felt disappointing given the NBA caliber talent Shaka Smart had in Mo Bamba. But, they fought through the end AND made the tournament, getting them a better grade than Oklahoma.
Texas Tech had one of its best seasons in recent memory, ending 27-10 and second in the Big 12. They made it to the Elite Eight, losing to eventual champion Villanova. The Red Raiders have a lot to be proud of and have momentum moving into next season.
West Virginia’s season had its ups and downs. They finished non-conference play with only one loss, but then went through numerous losing droughts in the conference play. Still, they ended up tied for second in the Big 12. They also made it to the championship game of the Big 12 tournament before losing to Kansas. Their tournament run, like others on this list, was ended by Villanova in the Sweet Sixteen. The Moutaineers do hold the distinction of being tied for the closest game Villanova played in the tournament, losing by only 12 (Villanova was really good this year).