As we slide into the final day of regular season play, it's time to break down the potential seeds for the Big 12 Tournament. There are three games which actually matter today, and one which you might think matters but has no impact on anything.
Kansas has, of course, secured the top seed, while TCU and Texas Tech are locked in at nine and ten. West Virginia is also set, despite exactly half of today's possibilities resulting in them being in a tie with someone. Why? Well, they got swept by both Baylor and Iowa State, and the one tie they can't end up in is with Oklahoma. So the Mountaineers will have to settle for the fifth seed no matter what happens anywhere else today.
There are two groups to be sorted out. The 6-7-8 group of K-State, Oklahoma State, and Texas, and the 2-3-4 group of Oklahoma, Iowa State, and Baylor.
Baylor, who has already played their final game, is the actually the key everything. The possibility that they might claim the second seed is all that prevents K-State from being assured of the sixth seed with a win today, and Baylor's season sweeps of both West Virginia and Iowa State give them a big leg up in tiebreakers.
If Kansas, West Virginia, and Iowa State win: Iowa State is the second seed at 12-6. Oklahoma, Baylor, and West Virginia are tied at 11-7. Baylor claims the third seed based on head-to-head record among the three teams (3-1 for Baylor, 2-2 for Oklahoma, 1-3 for West Virginia). Oklahoma is fourth.
If Kansas, Oklahoma State, and Iowa State win: Iowa State is the second seed at 12-6. Oklahoma and Baylor are tied at 11-7. Baylor is the third seed by virtue of having swept second-place Iowa State; Oklahoma is fourth.
If Kansas, West Virginia, and TCU win: Baylor, Oklahoma, Iowa State, and West Virginia all tie at 11-7. Baylor claims the second seed, going 5-1 against the other three. West Virginia went 1-5 against the group, so would be the fifth seed. Iowa State and Oklahoma each went 3-3; so we have more work to do. Oklahoma went 4-5 on the road compared to Iowa State going 3-6; Oklahoma is the third seed, Iowa State fourth.
If Kansas, Oklahoma State, and TCU win: Baylor, Oklahoma, Iowa State all tie at 11-7. Baylor claims the second seed, going 3-1 against the other two. Iowa State went 1-3 compared to Oklahoma having gone 2-2; Oklahoma is the third seed, Iowa State fourth.
If Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Iowa State win: Oklahoma and Iowa State tie at 12-6, consigning Baylor to the fourth seed at 11-7. (West Virginia, as always, is the fifth seed at 11-7; Baylor swept them.) The Sooners and Cyclones split their two games; the next tiebreaker is head-to-head against teams in descending order. They split with Kansas; next is Baylor and West Virginia, taken as a group. The Sooners and Cyclones both went 2-2 against that pair, however, meaning that the tiebreaker again reverts to road record; that's still even at 4-5 for both teams. Finally, we hit tiebreaker step four: road record against teams in descending order. They both lost at Kansas. They both lost at Baylor. Iowa State won at West Virginia; Oklahoma didn't. Iowa State is the second seed, Oklahoma third.
If Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Iowa State win: Oklahoma and Iowa State tie at 12-6, again leaving Baylor as the fourth seed at 11-7, but all by themselves. That makes this permutation a lot simpler. It's exactly the same as above, but since Baylor and West Virginia aren't considered as a group now, Baylor's sweep of Iowa State ends the tiebreaker. Oklahoma is the second seed, Iowa State third.
If Oklahoma, West Virginia, and TCU win: Oklahoma is the second seed at 12-6. Baylor, Iowa State, and West Virginia tie at 11-7. Baylor went 4-0 against the other two, so they're the third seed. Iowa State went 2-2, and are fourth; West Virginia, at 0-4, is fifth.
If Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and TCU win: Oklahoma is the second seed at 12-6. Baylor and Iowa State tie at 11-7. Baylor swept Iowa State, so they're the third seed and the Cyclones are fourth.
So what about the bottom group? It's fairly simple... sort of.
If Texas wins and West Virginia win: Texas and Oklahoma State tie with K-State at 8-10. Texas went 3-1 within the group, Oklahoma State 2-2, and K-State 1-3, so the Longhorns are six, Oklahoma State seven, and K-State eight.
If Texas and Oklahoma State win: Oklahoma State finishes alone in sixth place at 9-9; Texas and K-State finish 8-10, but Texas claims the seventh seed over K-State by virtue of the season sweep.
If K-State and West Virginia win: K-State is alone in sixth place at 9-9. Oklahoma State is alone in seventh at 8-10. Texas is alone in eighth at 7-11. Easy peasy.
If K-State and Oklahoma State win: Obviously, Texas is still alone in eighth. K-State and Oklahoma State tie at 9-9, and now things get completely wonky. If Kansas and Iowa State win, K-State is the sixth seed because Iowa State swept Oklahoma State. If Kansas and TCU win, K-State is the sixth seed because they went 4-2 against Oklahoma, Iowa State, and Baylor while Oklahoma State went 2-4. If Oklahoma and TCU win, K-State is the sixth seed because they swept Oklahoma. And if Oklahoma and Iowa State win, K-State gets the sixth seed because they were 3-1 against Oklahoma and Iowa State combined while Oklahoma State was 0-4.
And now that we've explained it all, here's a tl;dr table for you to look at!
Hat tip to Mike Tufano, who pointed out an error. I'd originally gotten Oklahoma State's record against Oklahoma and Iowa State wrong. Fixed.
Correction two: Resolving the potential OU/Iowa State tie was wrong and backward, because Iowa State won at West Virginia. Fixed.