OPINION: Big 12 Tourney will be madness before the madness

The K-State basketball players huddle together to talk before a free throw during the basketball game against Baylor at Bramlage Collesium on Mar. 3, 2018. ( Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group )

It’s one of my favorite times of the year: the time when college basketball has the entire spotlight.

This week, the Big 12 Tournament will commence, and this year feels like anyone could come away with the title.

With that said, I think Kansas is probably the team to watch. Coming off a loss to Oklahoma State, the team will be ready to play in its backyard.

Ideally, I want to see a matchup between Kansas and Kansas State on Friday night in Kansas City, Missouri. I honestly do think the Wildcats can beat the Jayhawks this time around. They were so close the first time that I think they would find a way to sneak it out this time. It would be so much fun to see a neutral site game between these two teams like we did two years ago.

They must get past TCU first, who they split with this season. The Horned Frogs will be tricky, but it would nice for the Wildcats to be able to put a 2-1 record on their resume against TCU.

Also, Kansas has to beat either Oklahoma State or the University of Oklahoma, who play on Wednesday night. The Cowboys have swept the Jayhawks twice this season — the first to do so in the Bill Self era — while Oklahoma brings freshman star Trae Young as the Sooners try and get a bid into the Big Dance.

Texas Tech and West Virginia University are also two teams to keep an eye out for, as they each improve their stock with the committee because both teams are locks for the tournament. In the bottom half of the bracket, my bold prediction is that we will see a Baylor against the University of Texas semifinal as both of upset the Red Raiders and Mountaineers.

The reason is that both the Bears and Longhorns are playing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, and I think they knock off the higher-seeded team.

I’m not sure on which one, but my money would be on either the Wildcats or Jayhawks to take home the Big 12 Title.

Since this is The Collegian, I say K-State wins the tournament and enters the Big Dance on a four-game winning streak and really improves on its seeding the NCAA Tournament.

Avery Osen is a graduate student in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.