This article is part of our Conference Preview series.
The Big 12 has been arguably the best conference in the country over the last decade from top to bottom. Going into last season, however, no team from the Big 12 had cut down the nets in April since Kansas in 2008. That changed last NCAA Tournament when Baylor steamrolled their way to the team's first national title since 1951. That Baylor team has a much different look than a season ago, as the team will have to replace one of the best backcourts in recent memory of Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell and MaCio Teague. The Bears bring in Arizona transfer James Akinjo, who averaged 15.4 points and 5.4 assists last season and is poised to take the keys to Scott Drew's high-flying offense. Adam Flagler, Matthew Mayer, and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua are key returning pieces with plenty of experience and are in a position to take the next step, along with five-star freshman forward Kendall Brown.
Baylor was the clear-cut favorite to win the conference a year ago, but going into this season, two other team's appear to be a step ahead – Kansas and Texas. For the Jayhawks, they return four starters and bring in star Arizona State transfer Remy Martin to fill in at point guard for Marcus Garrett. The team also added a marksman transfers in Drake's Joseph Yesufu and Iowa State's Jalen Coleman-Lands. Both should provide a spark off the bench. For the Longhorns, they are a completely