Baylor tabbed Big 12 men’s basketball favorite over Kansas

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Baylor has been tabbed by Big 12 coaches as the favorite to win the conference title this season, with the Bears returning four starters from a team that likely would have been a No. 1 seed if there had been an NCAA Tournament last spring.

In the preseason poll released Thursday, the Bears received seven first-place votes from the coaches, who weren’t able to vote for their own teams. Kansas got the other three first-place votes and was second.

The Bears, 26-4 last season, are led by junior guard Jared Butler. The league’s top returning scorer (16 points a game) was named the preseason Big 12 player of the year.

This is the first time the Jayhawks haven’t been picked as the preseason favorite since 2011-12. Kansas was 28-3 last season and was the No. 1 team in the final AP Top 25 poll before the rest of the Big 12 tournament and the NCAA Tournament were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

West Virginia, Texas and Texas Tech rounded out the top five. Oklahoma was picked sixth, followed by Oklahoma State, Iowa State, TCU and Kansas State.

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