No. 1 Kansas hasn't won the Big 12 Tournament in nearly three years. For the Jayhawks, that's an eternity.
Kansas has won 12 straight regular season conference titles, but hasn't cut down the nets in Kansas City since 2013. That two-year drought is the longest stretch head coach Bill Self has endured since 2005. He can end that streak of relative futility with two more wins -- but they won't come easy.
The Big 12 has been one of college basketball's toughest conferences in 2016. ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi predicts seven of the league's teams will go dancing next week, and those seven were whittled down to four in the quarterfinals on Thursday. First up for the Jayhawks is a No. 22 Baylor team with the bulk (Rico Gathers) and scoring (Taurean Prince) to give any team in the nation a headache. Win there, and the path to the league title runs through either No. 9 West Virginia or No. 6 Oklahoma and All-American sharpshooter Buddy Hield.
With titans like that in the fold, whoever wins the Big 12 crown will be due for a major seeding boost at the NCAA Tournament. That may not mean much for high-line teams like Kansas and Oklahoma, but it could be the difference between a tough matchup and a potential blowout for a program like Baylor.
You can keep up with the Big 12 Tournament bracket, schedule and scores here.
Schedule (all times Eastern)
Thursday, March 10 (Quarterfinals)
Friday, March 11 (Semifinals)
Game 7: No. 1 Kansas 70, No. 5 Baylor 66
Game 8: No. 2 West Virginia 69, No. 3 Oklahoma 67
Saturday, March 12 (Finals)
Game 9: No. 1 Kansas 81, No. 2 West Virginia 71
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Greatest NCAA Cinderella: Is it 1983 NC State or 2010 Butler?
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