Previewing the Big 12 tournament

Kansas Jayhawks' depth among other pressing postseason questions

Originally Published: March 5, 2012
By Fran Fraschilla | ESPN Insider
Thomas Robinson, Kim EnglishEd Zurga/Getty ImagesIf Thomas Robinson and the Jayhawks meet Missouri in the final, it will be an electric atmosphere.

With four of the league's five best teams coming from the old Big Eight Conference and with Missouri playing in the Big 12 tournament for the final time, nostalgia will be in the air in Kansas City.

And, if the Border War championship matchup between No. 4 Kansas and No. 8 Missouri materializes one last time, the electric Sprint Center will be the place to be on Saturday night.

Here are some key questions as the Big 12 tournament is underway.

1. Will depth be an Achilles' heel for either Kansas or Missouri?

Probably not. Both teams will have five days' rest before the tournament starts so playing the first two games should not be a problem for either team. And if they meet in the championship, both teams will be dealing with the same fatigue issues. Remember that both Bill Self and Frank Haith have adeptly managed their lack of depth all season and their starters have handled big minutes well.

If either team gets to the finals and plays a deep Kansas State team, it could get problematic, especially if Missouri meets up with the Wildcats, a team that beat the Tigers twice during the regular season. However, the likelihood is that both Kansas and Missouri will muster the energy to play well.


2. Who could be the tournament's surprise team?

Fran Fraschilla is a college basketball analyst for ESPN. He formerly was the head coach at Manhattan, St. John's and New Mexico.