Projecting how Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship will play out

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

As the No. 9 seed in the Big 12 Championship, the Oklahoma basketball men avoid the opening-round play-in games on Tuesday, but the Sooners aren't able to avoid a difficult second-round matchup against an experienced and talented TCU team.

The Horned Frogs come in as the No. 8 seed, and they would probably be seeded much higher if they didn't compete in the Big 12. That's what is going to make this year's 14-team tournament such a battle royal and survival of the fittest.

Houston is a clear No. 1 but there is not a lot of separation in 2 through 10. And even the four opening round teams (Cincinnati, UCF, Oklahoma State and West Virginia) are good enough to beat anyone in the conference on a given day. Just look at Kansas, a top-10 team all season long, seeded on the No. 6 line in this year's conference tournament.

The Big 12 has been the best conference in college basketball this entire season, made even stronger with the addition of BYU, Cincinnati, UCF and Houston this season.

Here is our projection of how the 2024 Big 12 Men's Championship will play out:

Round 1, Tuesday, March 12

Game 1: No. 12 UCF over No. 13 Oklahoma State

Game 2: No. 11 Cincinnati over No. 14 West Virgina

Round 2, Wednesday, March 13

Game 3: No. 5 BYU over No. 12 UCF

Game 4: No. 8 TCU over No. 9 Oklahoma

Game 5: No. 10 Kansas State over No. 7 Texas

Game 6: No. 11 Cincinnati over No. 6 Kansas

Quarterfinals, Thursday, March 14

Game 7: No. 5 BYU over No. 4 Texas Tech

Game 8: No. 1 Houston over No. 8 TCU

Game 9: No. 2 Iowa State over No. 10 Kansas State

Game 10: No. 3 Baylor over No. 11 Cincinnati

Semifinals, Friday, March 15

Game 11: No. 1 Houston over No. 5 BYU

Game 12: No. 2 Iowa State over No. 3 Baylor

Championship, Saturday, March 16

Game 13: No. 1 Houston over No. 2 Iowa State