Basketball season reaches its apex this weekend, as we once again embrace the madness of March.
How did the Big 12’s 10 members stack up if you combined their results on the field and the court?
Let’s take a look:
The skinny: The Longhorns were one of just two Big 12 teams to miss the postseason in both major sports. In football, a breakthrough year never arrived and an embarrassing loss to Kansas brought on the end of the Charlie Strong Era. Shaka Smart’s basketball team was one of the most disappointing in the entire country. The Longhorns fell from a preseason top 25 team to the worst in the Big 12 at 11-22. It’s still astounding that the program with the biggest budget in the conference and one of the biggest in all of college sports could find itself at the bottom of this list. Worse, there’s really no debating the Longhorns’ spot.
9. Texas Tech
The skinny: The Red Raiders narrowly missed the NIT in Chris Beard’s first year on campus, and defensive issues once again outweighed a high-powered offense on the football field. At least quarterback Pat Mahomes can offer a bright spot. He might be a first-round pick in next month’s NFL draft.
The skinny: The Horned Frogs were in the middle of the road in both sports, settling for a disappointing Liberty Bowl berth in football. However, Jamie Dixon nearly put the Horned Frogs in the NCAA Tournament if not for a late-season losing streak. Still, at 19-15, TCU had the program’s best season since 21 wins in 2004-05, and that was in the C-USA.
7. Iowa State
The skinny: Iowa State celebrated a Big 12 Tournament title and grabbed a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament bracket. Football pulled the Cyclones to the bottom half of these rankings, though. The Cyclones stumbled to 1-8 before beating Kansas and Texas Tech and offering flashes of hope for Year 2 under Matt Campbell.
The skinny: KU has been stuck at opposite ends of the spectrum in both sports for more than a decade. The Jayhawks tied UCLA’s all-time record with a 13th consecutive basketball conference title and broke North Carolina’s all-time record for consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, at 28. But another year in the Big 12 basement stretched KU’s run without a bowl game to eight seasons, the longest of any Power 5 program.
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