Three weeks to go in the regular season, and Kansas and Texas have added another game of separation between them and the rest of the Big 12 teams, as everyone but cellar-dwelling TCU continues to beat up on each other. There is a good reason why the Big 12 continues to be the top conference in college basketball this season. When your eight and ninth place teams in a 10-team league were once ranked in the top-10 nationally in the same season, it easily underscores the parity and power level of the teams within the conference.
The degree of separation between the best team and the worst team in the Big 12 this season is razor thin. Consider that Kansas lost to Texas, which lost to Oklahoma State, which lost twice to Oklahoma, which lost to Texas Tech, which lost to West Virginia, which lost to Oklahoma State, which lost to Iowa State, which lost to West Virginia, which beat Kansas State, which beat Kansas. It’s been crazy and confusing like that practically every week since the conference season began in early January.
Kansas has been No. 1 in our weekly power rankings since supplanting Iowa State, when the once 14-0 Cyclones fell into a swoon in which they lost four o five games in mid-to-late January. The only other spot that hasn’t changed in the Big 12 power rankings is TCU which has held down the bottom spot since the beginning of the New Year.
Week 16 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Power Rankings
(Last week;s ranking in parentheses)
- Kansas Jayhawks (1) – Texas is the only conference team with a chance of resting the championship from the Jayhawks; after Saturday when one and two meet in Lawrence, it could be all over.
- Texas Longhorns (4) - The comeback team of the year after losing its first two conference games this season. Since then, the Lonhgorns have won nine of 10.
- Oklahoma Sooners (3) - Sooners are off until Saturday before hosting Kansas State and a chance to avenge an earlier loss at Manhattan.
- Iowa State Cyclones (2) - Iowa State is 5-1 at home this season in Big 12 play, but just 2-4 on the road. They have Texas in Ames on Tuesday.
- Kansas State Wildcats (6) - TCU is next up at home before the Wildcats head to Norman, Okla., on Saturday, with a 1-5 roach record in the Big 12.
- West Virginia Mountaineers (5) - The Mountaineers play well at home (beating Oklahoma and Iowa State in their last two home games). They don’t have to go back out on the road until a week from Wednesday, when then face another tough road test at Iowa State.
- Oklahoma State Cowboys (7) - The Cowboys are rudderless without floor leader and best player Marcus Smart. Problen is: They weren’t doing all that good with him. Enough said.
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (9) - The Red Raiders are playing as well as anybody in the Big 12 right now, Since beginning conference play at 1-3, Texas Tech has gone 4-3, including a road win at Oklahoma.
- Baylor Bears (8) - Two of the Bad News Bears’ four conference wins are over TCU. The only two teams they have beaten ahead of them in the standings are Oklahoma State and Kansas State.
- TCU Horned Frogs (10) - Likely not to change position this year, but a league win is still very doable.