Unlike in the 2020-21 season, when reasonable minds could disagree over which conference closed the campaign as the best in college basketball, there should be little debate over the matter following the 2021-22 season. Not only did the Big 12 produce its second straight national champion in Kansas, but the league was consistently excellent throughout the season.
Aside from the No. 1 seed and title-winning Jayhawks, the conference produced a second No. 1 seed in Baylor and saw Texas Tech and Iowa State both reach the Sweet 16. While KU was the only Big 12 team to go beyond the Sweet 16, the overall NCAA Tournament performance of the Big 12 stood out since each of the league’s six teams in the Big Dance won at least one game.
Though the league had seven teams in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, the Big 12 was arguably deeper in 2022 as last season’s bottom-feeders bounced back to create a top-to-bottom competitiveness that made for compelling theater throughout the season. Unlike in 2021 when Iowa State and Kansas State dragged down the league’s average NET ranking by finishing at 224 and 176, respectively, there were no serious slackers from the conference. All 10 teams from the conference finished in the top 75 of the NET.
Elsewhere around the country, the Pac-12 suffered a serious backslide after it burst onto the scene with a memorable 2021 NCAA Tournament. While the ACC salvaged its reputation by comprising three of the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament, it was still a down season by the standards of a historically proud basketball conference.
As we reflect on the 201-22 college basketball season, here is the final breakdown on conference power rankings using the following criteria: average NET ranking of each team in a league, average NET ranking without the worst two teams included, number of NCAA Tournament bids, NCAA Tournament records and number of NBA prospects.
Draft prospects were taken…