Kansas basketball coach Bill Self can’t vote for his own team to win the Big 12 title, but that doesn’t mean he’s picking a team outside of the Sunflower State to win, either.
Self told ESPN’s Andy Katz on Katz’s March Madness 365 podcast that he would be casting a first-place vote for Kansas State in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
“K-State could be picked to win it,” Self said. “I’ll definitely pick them first in my preseason poll.”
Kansas State finished fourth in the conference in 2017-18, posting a 10-8 record in the regular season. But the Wildcats made a surprising run to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament, knocking off Kentucky along the way.
In 2018-19, Kansas State could return nearly its entire starting lineup from last year, including leading scorer Dean Wade and sophomore forwards Xavier Sneed and Makol Mawien. If Barry Brown withdraws his name from the NBA draft and returns to school, the Wildcats could be something special this season.
But the elephant in the room is that Kansas, not Kansas State, has won 14 straight Big 12 regular-season championships. The Jayhawks will most likely be a top 5 team in the country when the season begins this fall.
The Wildcats would love nothing more than for Self’s vote to be eerily accurate and for Kansas State to knock its rivals off their lofty pedestal.