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If the Schedule Holds Baylor Wins the Big 12 with Any Win or Any West Virginia Loss

The title is close

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Baylor Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

With four games left, as long as Baylor plays four remaining games, only the Bears and Mountaineers can win the league.

Shouts to Ashley Hodge of SicEm365 for doing the math earlier on their forum. I had planned to do a post later—because I’ve been asked about this a lot—but he went through the math before the Big 12 announced Baylor-West Virginia was canceled or before tonight’s results (shouts to Kansas State for eliminating Oklahoma from the Big 12 title race).

Hodge and Jason King have done a series of fantastic podcasts. I would recommend any Baylor fan subscribe to that site.

The Bears now have 10 Big 12 wins. Baylor has four remaining games (Kansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech). If the Bears lose all four games, they would finish with a 71.4% winning percentage.

For any other team to win the league, they’d need to top Baylor’s winning percentage.

If you’re wondering, wait, why winning percentage? The Big 12’s protocol says that if a team plays three games within the league average, then winning percentage is the tie breaker.

The Big 12 should end with 170 games played (BU-14, WVU-17, KU-18, OU-17, UT-17, OSU-18, Tech-17, TCU-16, KSU-18 and ISU-18). There are 10 teams. That leaves us with a 17 game average. Baylor’s 14 games are within three, so the Bears don’t have to add forfeits to the record.

With the losses tonight, only West Virginia can achieve a winning percentage greater than 71.4%. Every other Big 12 team has at least five losses. None of them can achieve a better record than 12-5, which caps someone at a 70.6% win percentage.

If the Mountaineers win out, they’d be 13-4. That’s a 76.5% winning percentage. With a single loss, the Mountaineers could only be 12-5 (winning the remaining games). That leaves them with a 70.6% winning percentage.

If Baylor wins another game, the Bears will have at least a 78.6% winning percentage (11-3 is 78.6%). West Virginia’s highest possible winning percentage is 76.5% (winning all the remaining games). That means Baylor wins the league with a win in either the Texas Tech or Oklahoma State games (if Baylor beats West Virginia, then West Virginia would be unable to hit 13-4, so the Bears win the league too).

Things get a bit weird if Baylor has a cancelation. My guess is that the Big 12 would try and swap an opponent for Baylor to hit 14 games, but hopefully we just get all the remaining games.

TLDR: Assuming no cancelations for the Bears, Baylor wins the Big 12 with a win in any of the next three games or a West Virginia loss in any game.