ESPN columnist Jay Bilas ranked who he thought would be the top conferences in the upcoming basketball season. He projected a tight three-way race for supremacy between the Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC.
Ranking the Big 12 second, he wrote:
Last season, the Big 12 had the national player of the year (Blake Griffin) and some really solid basketball teams, but aside from a healthy Oklahoma, there were no truly great teams that posed a national title threat. The conference was deep with some very good teams. This time around, there are a couple of great teams. Kansas has the most talent returning, and many hold the Jayhawks in esteem similar to North Carolina before last season. Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins are on everybody's All-America list, and Tyshawn Taylor will be right there with them. Texas will be the other Final Four-caliber team, and Avery Bradley will be a capable replacement for A.J. Abrams. Oklahoma State (with All-America candidate James Anderson), a Willie Warren-led Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Kansas State and Baylor all should be in the hunt for tourney bids. And Texas Tech will be a significantly better team. The Big 12 has really good depth and great strength at the top.