Big 12 Tournament Brackets 2016: Schedule, Games Times Ready For Big 12 Opener

Big 12 tournament brackets for 2016 begin play on March 9. The 2016 Big 12 tournament schedule has two late games times for first-round play, preparing for the conference to name its automatic berth in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Kansas finished the season strong, winning 10 straight games and clinching the regular season Big-12 title. Now Kansas is the No. 1 seed when the Big 12 Tournament brackets get rolling.

The two first-round games take place late on Wednesday, March 9. The first game on the Big 12 tournament schedule is No. 8 Kansas State vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. CT. That game is followed by No. 7 Texas Tech vs. No. 10 TCU at 8 p.m. CT. Texas Tech (19-11) still has an outside shot at getting an invite to the NCAA Tournament but would need to string together several wins in the Big 12 Tournament brackets to make that a reality. It won’t get easier in the quarterfinals, though.

The quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament schedule begin at 11:30 a.m. CT on Thursday, March 10 with No. 4 Texas vs. No. 5 Baylor. That game is followed by No. 1 Kansas vs. the Kansas State/Oklahoma State winner at 1:30 p.m. CT, No. 2 West Virginia vs. the Texas Tech/TCU winner at 6 p.m. CT, and then No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 6 Iowa State at 8 p.m. CT. The importance of securing the first-round byes becomes very evident with the number of good schools waiting in the quarterfinals.

The Big 12 Tournament brackets lead to the semi-finals on Friday, March 11 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. CT on ESPN2. Then the Big 12 Championship Game is on Saturday, March 12 at 5 p.m. CT on ESPN. The winner of that ninth game gets an automatic spot in the 2016 NCAA Tournament and possibly one of the top overall seeds.

West Virginia Beats Baylor
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

In the latest bracketology report from ESPN.com on March 9, seven Big 12 teams are projected to make it into the 2016 NCAA tournament field. That would be tied with the most teams from a single conference (seven) this year. In addition to a projected No. 1 seed for Kansas, the Big 12 could have Oklahoma as a No. 2 seed and West Virginia as a No. 3 seed. The other schools projected to make the field are Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech, and Iowa State.

Kansas (27-4), Oklahoma (24-6), and West Virginia (24-7) could each become a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament by winning three straight games in the 2016 Big 12 Tournament. One exciting game for Big 12 games is a possible West Virginia vs. Oklahoma match-up in the semi-finals. That could then lead to a Kansas vs. West Virginia or Kansas vs. Oklahoma Big 12 Championship Game. In each of those instances, the winning teams would get a nice bump in the RPI and strength of schedule rankings.

The Big 12 tournament odds have the Kansas Jayhawks as the favorites to win another conference title, but the West Virginia Mountaineers have received the second-best odds. They are followed by the Oklahoma Sooners, Baylor Bears, Iowa State Cyclones, and Texas Longhorns as the most likely schools to receive the automatic NCAA Tournament bid. As for the first-round odds, Texas Tech is favored by 8.5 points over TCU and Kansas State is favored by five points over Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma Beats Baylor
(Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

There are a lot of college basketball experts who have predicted either the Kansas Jayhawks or Oklahoma Sooners can win the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Currently, Kansas has the best RPI for the season, with Oklahoma coming in at No. 5. That is an impressive showing for the Big 12 Conference and just about guarantees a No. 1 seed if either school can sweep through the Big 12 Tournament brackets. It’s even possible that the Big 12 could have two No. 1 seeds if the schools meet in the Big 12 Championship Game and several other tournaments experience early round upsets.

[Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images]