Ranking New Big 12 Hoops Teams Ready to Win Conference Now

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Championship - Rutgers in Houston

In just over a year, the Big 12 will have 14 teams. Now that BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF have joined the league at the same time, that means many things for the conference.

First, it means that basketball is likely to get better, and stay better, even after you leave Oklahoma and Texas.

So which of the four new shows could win the Big 12 Championship the soonest? Let’s classify them.

1. Houston

This should come as no surprise. In fact, the Cougars may give the current Big 12 a run for their money in 2023-24. Cougars Kelvin Sampson has competed in the NCAA Championship four times in a row, reaching the Final Four in 2021 and the Elite Eight last season. Sampson will pull Big 12 transfers as well, including former Kansas guard Quentin Grimes (now in the NBA) and a new transfer at Texas Tech’s Melek Wilson. The Cougars signed a five-star player to Garas Walker, a striker from IMG Academy who played with Baylor’s newest guard, Keyonte George. Houston also has a Top 100 commitment of 2023 in Arlington (Martin), Texas, guard Cordelius Jefferson. Sampson doesn’t need to recruit from the back of the Big 12, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt.

2. BYU

Mark Pope created the Quality Program in Three Years at BYU. He won no fewer than 20 games in each of his three seasons, took the Cougars to the NCAA Championship and helped them into the NIT quarterfinals last season. But the Cougars don’t make it to the NCAA Championships very often, and that’s because, right now, they have the misfortune of being in the same league as Gonzaga. Once Cougars join the Big 12, it should help their NET rankings and their big chances. But the night and night competition in the Big 12 would be a huge step forward and the Cougars wouldn’t be as well-equipped now as Houston. But they are building it. The Cougars are signed to the highest-ranked 247Sports.com ever in guard Collin Chandler, who is part of the 2022 class.

3. Cincinnati

The Bearcats were the first group 5 team to play a College Football game. This made Cincinnati a destination for football recruits. It raised the entire school’s image, but the basketball program has been, historically, the most productive one. While the program isn’t quite what it used to be under current West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins, the Bearcats seem to have the right head coach at Wes Miller, the former head coach at UNC-Greensboro. The Bearcats won 18 games in Miller’s first season, and he’s bombing the recruiting path hard. He already has a commitment from top 100 local producer Rayvon Griffith, a guard from Taft High School. Miller won 20 or more games in five consecutive seasons at UNC-G. He has the potential to work the same magic in Cincinnati, and could turn the Bearcats into a Big 12 contender in the next few years.

4. UCF

Like Houston, putting the Knights last was a relatively easy decision. The Knights went to the NCAA Championship in 2019, led by Tacko Fall, but it was only the fifth in the program’s history. But it’s not that UCF is not a good program. The Knights won 18 games last season under Johnny Dawkins. It’s just that the Knights have the longest way to go out of these four teams. But, the Knights began making their way into the Big 12. The Knights were active in the transfer gate, and Dawkins had the program’s highest-ranked recruit in history, striker/centre Taylor Hendricks, who is in the ESPN Top 60 rank.

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