No. 20: The Big XII Is OK At Best
The Big XII has sent four teams dancing each of the last two seasons, and last year it landed three top-four seeds (Kansas a 1, Texas A&M a 3, and Texas a 4). But with a mass exodus of star power (Durant, Law, etc.) at the top of the league and a bulk of teams that still aren't ready to make a jump up, it's hard to imagine the Big XII making much of an impact - aside from Kansas - on the national stage this season. Even Kansas' high hopes are hanging in the balance of Brandon Rush's rehab.
Based on sheer numbers and because of its power conference status, our Bold Prediction No. 20 is that the league will get five bids this season. We admit that's being generous, and Big XII fans might see just four make it if enough upsets occur during Championship Week (ex. C-USA, WCC). Kansas, assuming Rush is fine, will be a force, and Texas and Texas A&M will bring back enough talent to compete. The conference's most intriguing team is Kansas State, which enters the year without Bob Huggins, but with frosh stud Michale Beasley and a rehabbing, not-as-fat-as-previously-thought Bill Walker. That young core could help the Wildcats surprise some people, assuming Walker is OK. The fifth and least safe Big XII bid goes to Mike Anderson's scrappy Missouri squad.
In the end, we see the Big XII's four bids looking like this come March: Kansas (1 seed), Texas (5 seed), Texas A&M (6 seed), Kansas State (9 seed), and Missouri (11).