2018 College Basketball – Big 12 Preview
Looking for 2018 Big 12 NCAA Basketball Futures Odds and some great betting lines to get down on? The regular season begins this week and we’re breaking down the major power conferences to get you ready.
Handicapping 2018 Big 12 College Basketball Futures Odds
The Consensus: Kansas
Kansas matched UCLA’s record of 13 straight conference championships between 1967 and 1979 last season and it is favored to outdo it this season. Even a share of the Big 12 Championship would get it done for KU.
It doesn’t look like it will be as easy as it was last year for the Jayhawks, who ran away with the regular season crown with a 16–2 record. Frank Mason is gone and Devonte’ Graham slides into his place as the lead scorer and playmaker on the floor. He is the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year.
Mississippi State transfer Malik Newman will help handle the scoring load but it is yet to be seen how he will fit in with Graham. Newman is a ball-dominant guard who will undoubtedly take his fair share of shots. How those two coexist in the backcourt will go a long way to determining how successful the Jayhawks are this season.
Freshman Billy Preston is uber talented but critics question if he is mature enough to be a consistent contributor for KU this season. Kansas will be good without much out of Newman but it probably only has National Title aspirations if he plays an important role. At 6’10” he has at the most talent on this roster.
On The Rise: Texas Christian
Jamie Dixon won the NIT with his new team in 2016/2017 and now the Horned Frogs are out to build on that success and get back to the NCAAs, where Dixon’s Pittsburgh program was a cog for years.
Vladimir Brodziansky is TCU’s best player. He is back for his senior season after leading the conference with nearly an 87 percent conversion rate at the free throw line.
Fellow seniors Alex Robinson and Kenrich Williams are each trustworthy scorers who should chip in around 10 points a night.
An experienced team with balanced scoring and a newfound belief in itself, TCU will compete for an at-large bid in the top half of the Big 12.
What Could Have Been: Baylor
Had Johnathan Motley not bolted for the NBA after a successful surgery just weeks before the deadline earlier this year, the Baylor Bears would probably be considered the second-best team in the conference.
As it is, Baylor can still compete with the West Virginia’s but it will take the emergence of playmaker, most likely a big.
Three seniors are expected to lead the team in scoring. Emmanuel Lecomte, TJ Mason and Jo Acuil are a nice blend of shooting and power as a trio but Motley athleticism on the defensive end and running the break would have fit in seamlessly with those three.
As a result of Motley’s absence, Baylor will lean more heavily freshmen Mark Vital and Tyson Jolly in smaller lineups. It’s always a little harder to know what to expect from freshmen, which makes it harder to peg Baylor as a serious contender in the conference.
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