Dec 21, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Phil Forte (13) looks for a team mate to pass to while being covered by Colorado Buffaloes guard Askia booker during the second game of the MGM Grand Showcase at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Oklahoma won the game 78-73. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12 Hoops Week 9 Power Rankings: Iowa State Leads Pack Into New Year

Big 12 teams begin the second half of the college basketball season with one team still undefeated and only 25 combined losses as a conference. That is good enough to earn the Big 12 the top RPI ranking anong every college conference.

The Big 12 finished the month of December with an overall record of 101-25 (.750) against nonconference opponents. That is the second best league record of any conference. The 25 losses, however, is the fewest of any conference, large or small.

Teams from the Big 12 have won 14 of their last 15 games dating back to Dec. 22. Oklahoma’s loss in overtime to Louisiana Tech on Monday night, just the Sooners’ second second defeat this season, was the only thing keeping the Big 12 from registering a perfect 15 for 15 record during that 10-day period.

Iowa State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State continue to be ranked in the top 10 in the country in scoring offense. Iowa State is the second best team int he country in that category.

This weekend marks the beginning of conference play in the 2013-14 season. Four conference matchups are scheduled, headlined by sixth-ranked Oklahoma State visiting Kansas State.

Here are my picks for Saturday’s Big 12 games:

Iowa State @ Texas Tech - Iowa State by 18

Oklahoma State @ Kansas State – Oklahoma State by 8

Oklahoma @ Texas – Texas by 6

West Virginia @ TCU – TCU by 3

Big 12 Men’s Basketball Power Rankings – Week 9

  1. Iowa State Cyclones – Impressive 12-0 start; firmly the team to beat at this stage of the season.
  2. Oklahoma State Cowboys – The Cowboys are right on the Cyclones’ heels and primed to ascend to the top spot if Iowa State stumbles.
  3. Baylor Bears – Baylor has two wins over ranked teams (Kentucky and Colorado). Their only loss was to No. 2 Syracuse.
  4. Kansas Jayhawks- Very young, but exceptionally talented. This bunch is going to get better as the season progresses. Look out in February and March.
  5. Oklahoma Sooners – The Sooners were tripped up in their final nonconference game, but this team is playing much better than the experts first thought.
  6. Texas Longhorns – Off to an 11-2 start to the season, the Longhorns have been playing much better in their last few games.
  7. Kansas State Wildcats – The Wildcats started the season 2-3 but have won eight straight to build theur record to 10-3 with one-loss Oklahoma State coming to Manhattan on Saturday.
  8. TCU Horned Frogs – TCU is 9-3 heading into Big 12 play. The Horned Frogs only won 11 games all of last season.
  9. Texas Tech Red Raiders – Tubby Smith’s bunch faces their toughest test of the season with league-leading Iowa State coming to town on Saturday.
  10. West Virginia Mountaineers – Based on the early going, it appears it is going to be another long season for head coach Bob Huggins.


Tags: Baylor Bears Big 12 Week 9 Power Rankings Iowa State Cyclones Kansas Jayhawks Oklahoma Sooners Oklahoma State Cowboys

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