Busting Brackets

Big 12 Basketball: 2024 conference tournament preview and predictions

Houston v Baylor
Houston v Baylor / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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Top players in the event

Max Abmas, Texas

If you’ve paid attention to college basketball this time of the year the last few years you’re likely very familiar with the name. In his last season of college hoops, Abmas has been the shotmaker and microwave we’ve known him to be throughout his collegiate career. The six-foot shooting guard will be leaned on heavily from behind the arc, shooting 37% on 232 attempts this season. If Texas is the surprise of the tournament, it’s likely because Abmas went inferno.

RayJ Dennis, Baylor

With the Baylor backcourt of LJ Cryer, Adam Flagler and Keyonte George all leaving the program, Scott Drew took a gamble and brought in journeyman transfer Dennis in to steady the position. That bet proved right as the senior point guard has provided one of the best facilitation roles in all of college basketball. Dennis leads the conference in assist rate, averaging 6.7 assists per game while providing necessary scoring alongside freshman guard Ja’Kobe Walter. Walter gets much of the recognition for his scoring prowess and draft potential, but Dennis stirs the Bears’ drink.

Tylor Perry, Kansas State

If there is a team that needs success in the Big 12 tournament to feel confident going into Selection Sunday it’s Kansas State. The Wildcats will lean heavily on Perry to try and punch their ticket to the dance. Perry was pegged to be Jerome Tang’s recasting of Markquis Nowell, a difficult fete that Perry shouldn’t necessarily be expected to be held to. But it’s the surrounding cast, not Perry, that has largely not held up to last season’s surprise run. He’s the leading scorer on a team desperate to hear their name called, but he’ll need to be more efficient in this tournament to get the Wildcats there.

Jamal Shead, Houston

Both the all-around and Defensive Player of the Year for the Big 12 is must-see excellence for basketball fans. Shead is a force out on the court dictating the game on both sides and implementing the tough-nosed aggressive style that Sampson’s teams have been known for. Shead is the quintessential college basketball guard this season in college and wherever Houston ends up it will largely be by his doing.