The adage “the more things change, the more they stay the same,” does not apply in Big 12 men’s basketball. In fact, nothing could be further from reality, especially this season.
In how many conferences is the sixth-place team in the standings ranked among the top 15 teams in the country? Oklahoma State and Baylor, who will play each other in a “Big Monday” matchup this week, are both four up and four down in Big 12 games and are tied for sixth. Prior to last week’s games, howevcer, Oklahoma State was ranked No. 8 and Iowa State No. 16 in the national rankings.
No. 25 Oklahoma defeated No. 8 Oklahoma State a week ago, and on Saturday No. 25 Texas hogtied No, 6 Kansas, who was previously unbeaten in the Big 12. And we shouldn’t forget that Baylor and Kansas State have both been in the top-25 rankings this season.
All told, seven of the 10 conference teams in men’s basketball have been ranked this season, the most of any conference.
It’s become business as unusual this season in Big 12 basketball, and it leads to weekly shakeups in the conference power structure.
Big 12 Men’s Basketball Week 14 Power Rankings
(Last week’s ranking in parentheses)
- Kansas Jayhawks (1) – Saturday must have been one of the “five bad games a season” that head coach Bill Self says every elite team goes through.
- Texas Longhorns (3 ) – The Longhorns are really believing in themselves, which is going to make them a tough out the rest of the way.
- Oklahoma Sooners (2) – Even though they lost for the first time in five games, the Sooners should feel good about themselves because they were in position to win the game late, despite trailing practically the entire game.
- Iowa State Cyclones (5) – This is a very good and well-coached Iowa State team. Hard to explain how they lost fthree in a row, other than that’s the way things have been going this year in the Big 12.
- Oklahoma State Cowboys (4) – Can’t afford to let another game slip away at home on Monday night if they expect to be in contention the rest of the way.
- West Virginia Mountaineers (7) – A win over Oklahoma on Wednesday might spark some talk about seven teams from the Big 12 making it into the NCAA Tournament.
- Kansas State Wildcats (6) – Wildcats need to get back on the winning track, but they have Texas and Kansas at home coming up and then a trip to Baylor in the next three games.
- Baylor Bears (8) – The Baylor men finally know what it’s like to win again. Saturday was a must win for the stumbling Bears, who played like it at Oklahoma State.
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (9) – Have already won as many conference games (3) as they did all last season.
- TCU Horned Frogs (10) - Came close to capturing their first conference win on Saturday. The Frogs will finally break through the winless streak in the next couple of weeks.