Kansas, for the ninth straight season, is the preseason favorite to win the Big 12 men’s basketball regular season title.
The Jayhawks on Thursday received eight first-place votes and totaled 80 points to finish ahead of second place Baylor (one first, 71 points) and third place Texas Tech (one first, 62 points) in the league’s annual preseason coaches poll.
Texas placed fourth, followed by West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Kansas State and TCU.
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.
KU placed first in the preseason poll for the 19th time in the 24-year history of the league. Last season, KU placed third in the league with a 12-6 record. Kansas State and Texas Tech were co-champs with records of 14-4.
Tech and KSU a season ago snapped KU’s string of 14 straight Big 12 titles, a NCAA record for most consecutive league championships. KU basketball’s 61 overall conference titles also qualifies as an NCAA record.
KU has won or tied for 18 of the 23 Big 12 regular season titles.
“Last year wasn’t our best performance. We had two teams in our league better than us,” KU coach Bill Self said Wednesday. “Our goals obviously will be to not let that happen again.”
Recently, in talking about the Big 12, Self noted: “Our league, everybody knows, is great. We’ve been successful in recent memory. Last year we weren’t as good as Bruce’s (Weber KSU coach) bunch and Texas Tech. I don’t look at our motivation as to come back and do that. Coaches will tell you it’s hard to win one as much as put together a streak.
“Each team is different. I’m proud of what our guys have been able to do over time, all the teams. It’s a different mix every year. It’s time to put ourselves in position to give ourselves the best chance.”
Big 12 preseason poll
First-place votes in parenthesis
- Kansas (8) – 80
- Baylor (1) – 71
- Texas Tech (1) – 62
- Texas – 57
- West Virginia – 45
- Oklahoma State – 42
- Iowa State – 30
- Oklahoma – 29
- Kansas State – 23
- TCU – 11