The Kansas Jayhawks, with consecutive games this week against Iowa State at home on Wednesday and at Texas on Saturday, can blow a huge hole in the Big 12 standings and shorten the list of potential title contenders.
Oklahoma and Texas are the closest contenders to the Jayhawks right now, and they both have two losses, placing them one and one-and-a-half games, respectively, back of nine-time defending champion Kansas.
The topsy-turvy nature of the Big 12 this season continued in Norman Monday night, as 23rd-ranked Oklahoma, winners of four in a row since losing a couple of weeks ago at Kansas State, upset No. 8 Oklahoma State 88-76 to register the Sooners fourth win over a ranked conference opponent. OU is 4-2 against top-25 teams this season and is now 6-2 in the conference and in sole possession of second place. The loss, the Cowboys’ 10th straight at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, was their third against four wins in league play.
Five teams are ranked in nation’s top 25 again this week – but not the same five as last week – demonstrating the strength in Big 12 basketball this season..
Texas has moved into No. 25 in the AP poll, replacing Kansas State, which dropped out of the top 25 following consecutive losses last week to Texas and Iowa State, both on the road. Kansas moved to No. 6, Oklahoma State is at No. 8, Iowa State is 16th and Oklahoma advanced two spots to No. 23 in the current rankings.. With Baylor and K-State both having been ranked in the top 25 previously, that gives the Big 12 seven teams that have been ranked at some point this season.
Big 12 Men’s Basketball Week 13 Power Rankings
(Last week’s ranking in parentheses)
- Kansas Jayhawks (1) – Kansas is in full stride right now, which is bad news for the rest of the Big 12.
- Oklahoma Sooners (4) – OU has victories over Oklahoma State, Texas, Iowa State and Baylor so far – Texas and Baylor on the road. It doesn’t get any easier for the Sooners., though. They go to No. 16 Iowa State on Saturday, where the Cyclones would love to avenge their earlier loss to OU in Norman.
- Texas Longhorns (5) – Only Kansas is playing better basketball in the Big 12 right now than the Longhorns. Speaking of Kansas, that’s UT”s next opponent, in Austin on Saturday.
- Oklahoma State Cowboys (3) – The Cowboys have Baylor at home on Saturday.
- Iowa State Cyclones (6) – A date with Kansas awaits the Cyclones on Wednesday. That will make it five straight league games against ranked teams. Such is life in the Big 12 this season.
- Kansas State Wildcats (2) – The Wildcats get a bit of a breather this week with games against teams lower than them in the standings. But it is back to going against ranked teams when they host Texas a week from Satutrday.
- West Virginia Mountaineers (9) – The Mountaineers almost pulled off the upset at Oklahoma State on Saturday. They generally play well at home, which could mean a tough task for K-State when the Cats visit Morgantown this Saturday
- Baylor Bears (7) – The Bears are in a free fall with five losses in their first six league games. If Scott Drew doesn’t get things turned around quickly, the Bears, once a top-15 team, will be lucky to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (9) – The Red Raiders’ five conference losses are by an average of six points.
- TCU Horned Frogs (10) – The Horned Frogs are better than an 0-for team. They’re going to knock someone off in the Big 12, maybe even two or three, before the season is over.