Led by some of the greatest coaches and players in the history of college basketball, the Big 12 stands as a giant in the landscape of the sport. Recent seasons have seen a thrilling flux of power throughout the conference, with the Baylor Bears winning a college basketball national championship in 2021, followed by Kansas taking home their fourth natty in 2022. However, this season the perennial power houses have fallen off the pace, with the Houston Cougars favored as the Big 12 regular season winner.
Big 12 Regular Season Winner Odds
Odds as of February 21
Big 12 Regular Season Winner Favorite: Houston Cougars (-375)
Senior guards Jamal Shead went off for 26 points while sophomore Emanuel Sharp added 20 for the Cougars. Houston held Iowa State to 41% shooting and forced 15 turnovers in the 73-65 victory.
I don’t think the average person recognizes the level of athleticism and anticipation this takes to consistently pull off.— Pluto (@plutothepanacea) February 21, 2024
Jamal Shead might be the best defender I’ve seen since prime Kawhi Leonard pic.twitter.com/82keSGgLso
The Cougars intimidating defense sits atop college basketball's efficiency ratings, allowing just 83 points per 100 possessions. Kelvin Sampson's squad is particularly adept at denying opponents time to shoot from three, allowing just 30.6% of attempts from beyond the arc to be converted. The Cougars also lead the nation in total opponent field goal percentage at 36.7%.
Houston's deliberately slow halfcourt offense hasn't translated to beating the spread. The Cougars are just 11-12-2 ATS on the season and have covered just once in their last six games.
Big 12 Regular Season Winner Value Pick: Iowa State (+325)
Despite the loss, Iowa State (20-6, 8-3) remain the Big 12 regular season winner conversation. Mostly due to a much more favorable remaining strength of schedule. While the Cougars take on the 11th-ranked Baylor Bears, and later the ninth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks to finish out the season. Iowa State has only the BYU Cougars as a top-25 opponent down the stretch.
If the Cyclones can continue their 7-3 SU run by winning out against West Virginia, Oklahoma, UCF, BYU, and Kansas State, they have a real shot to be the Big 12 regular season winner. Remember, the Cyclones still lead the country in points generated off of breakaway steals, and have the ability to dominate less talented teams. Iowa State is an excellent value bet at +325 to come away as the Big 12 regular season winner.
Last 10 Big 12 Regular Season & Tournament Winners
|Regular Season Winner
|Kansas, Kansas State
With blue blood giants like the Kansas Jayhawks and Texas Longhorns, the Big 12's basketball legacy is interwoven within the very fabric of college hoops. When you look up “a whole lot of winning” in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of the Jayhawks. They’ve dominated the conference, winning the most Big 12 tournaments with 12 – how fitting. Four of those championships have come in the last decade. Additionally, the Jayhawks have won the regular-season title nine times in the last 11 years.
Predictably, the Kansas Jayhawks lead the Big-12 with 2357 overall wins. Kansas has been blessed by some of the finest coaches, and greatest college basketball players of all-time.