Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings
FEB 23, 2014 8:57p ET
There are only two weeks to play in the regular season, and while the No. 1 and No. 10 spot are pretty sealed up, there's plenty up for grabs across the rest of the conference. Here's how the power rankings look this week:
1. Kansas 21-6, 12-2 Big 12. Last week: 1. There's a reason why two and a half years after his namesake's ouster as Big 12 commissioner, Fake Dan Beebe continues to be a relevant presence in the Twittersphere.
The Jayhawks' 43-10 first-half run on the way to an 85-54 win over Texas made it all but official: Another year, another chance for Kansas to look down at the rest of the Big 12. A well-deserved title for the Jayhawks, who can clinch a share of their 10th consecutive league crown with a home win against Oklahoma on Monday. The Jayhawks are 7-0 at home in Big 12 play, and only OSU has come within single digits. Three of those wins were by at least 26 points, too.
2. Iowa State 21-5, 9-5 Big 12. Last week: 3. Iowa State's my pick as the Big 12 darkhorse bound to make a deeper-than-predicted run in the NCAA Tournament. Why? The Cyclones' 7-2 mark against top 25 teams is the best in the Big 12, better than even Kansas (7-3). It added its seventh win last week against Texas, and as the kind people at Iowa State noted on Sunday, the Cyclones are on track to become the first team in Big 12 history to have three players average at least 17 points, thanks to Melvin Ejim, DeAndre Kane and Georges Niang.
3. Oklahoma 20-7, 9-5 Big 12. Last week: 6. A solid road win against OSU and rolling over a good K-State team at home give the Sooners a boost in this week's power rankings. It's so tight between Nos. 2 and 6 in the Big 12, that shouldn't be unexpected after a good week. Only two games separate that group in the conference standings.
4. Texas 20-7, 9-5 Big 12. Last week: 2. The Longhorns have slid from Big 12 title contender to a three-way tie for second in the Big 12 after losing three of their last five games. Texas has to be careful that slide doesn't continue. Red-hot Baylor comes to town on Wednesday before Texas travels to rival Oklahoma on Saturday. Without a split in those games, Texas may say goodbye to a coveted second-place finish in the Big 12.
5. Kansas State 18-9, 8-6 Big 12. Last week: 4. Like Kansas, K-State is also undefeated at home. Saturday, the Wildcats reminded us of their penchant for poor road performances. They were routed in the first half against Oklahoma and trailed by as many as 27 in the second half. It was never competitive. If K-State could convince the Big 12 and NCAA to move its tourneys to Bramlage Coliseum, the Wildcats would be in business. However, the reality of their 0-6 record away from home against Big 12 teams not named TCU is hard to swallow when you consider their odds for postseason success.
6. Baylor 18-9, 6-8 Big 12. Last week: 8. The Bears have quietly won four consecutive games to reignite bubble talk in Waco, but they'll have to earn their way onto the right side of the bubble. A 2-2 split in their final four games at Texas, vs. Texas Tech/Iowa State and at Kansas State to close the year would put Scott Drew's team in position to grab a spot in the 68-team field with a good showing in Kansas City at the Big 12 Tourney.
7. West Virginia 15-12, 7-7, Big 12. Last week: 5. When the Mountaineers take the court at Hilton Coliseum on Wednesday, it will have been 16 days since their last win. Not good, and Saturday's home loss to Baylor was a gut punch. WVU's road to the tournament looks very, very uphill now. The Mountaineers have trips to ISU and Oklahoma ahead, and must also host Kansas. The potential for losses is high, but on the flip side, they're also opportunities for quality wins that catch the eye of the tournament committee.
8. Oklahoma State 17-10, 5-9 Big 12. Last week: 9. OSU ended its seven-game losing streak and gets to feast on TCU on Monday, but the Cowboys will need Marcus Smart to look like he did against Tech on Saturday for the final three games against Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State. OSU showed some promise, but it was also playing a shorthanded Red Raiders team already short on talent.
9. Texas Tech 13-14, 5-9 Big 12. Last week: 7. The Red Raiders followed up their three-game winning streak with three losses, though they were competitive against both Kansas and Iowa State on the road. Tech actually had the lead in the final minutes at Iowa State. Saturday was Tech's worst performance of the season, and the result was just its second loss by double digits in Big 12 play.
10. TCU 9-17, 0-14 Big 12. Last week: 10. It's been almost three weeks since TCU lost a game by less than double digits. I'm beginning to doubt we'll see the Frogs steal a game in Big 12. They're not going to catch Oklahoma State and WVU off guard when they're fighting for tournament bids, and Texas and Oklahoma may be too consistent to drop one to TCU. The oft-injured Frogs can't seem to consistently field their full roster, either.