We all know the defenses in Big 12 men’s basketball this season are good.
All 10 of the league’s teams rank inside of the top-35 nationally in KenPom’s adjusted defense while three are in the top-10 and five are in the top-20. Points don’t come easy in the Big 12.
But, these defenses are not just great nationally by the standards of 2021-22. They are historically great as a whole.
At this point, the Big 12 stands as the first men’s basketball conference since 2008 to have a league-wide average adjusted defensive efficiency below a 91 rating. The current Big 12 adjusted defensive efficiency rating… is 90.0.
That 90.0 rating is more than a point and a half better than the second-best league-wide rating produced during that span, a 91.6 by the Big 12 in 2019-20.
To make it even crazier, only 12 leagues have ever produced adjusted defensive efficiency averages lower than a 94. The Big 12 has achieved that feat four times (2022, 2020, 2015, 2008), which is tied with the Big Ten for the most since 2008.
Here are the top-10 league-wide adjusted defensive efficiency ratings since 2008, according to numbers compiled from BartTorvik.com:
It is worth noting that the average D1 efficiency rating has decreased by several points ever since the 3-point line was moved back prior to the 2019-20 season.
That fact has made it slightly easier for a league to produce lower adjusted defensive efficiency averages, but it remains notable the Big 12 is not just great defensively by 2021-22 standards.
Points have never been harder to come by in any league than they are right now in the Big 12.