Heading into Week 17 in the 2013-14 big 12 men’s basketball season, it’s the same old song. The Kansas Jayhawks’ magic number to clinch their unprecedented 10th consecutive Big 12 championship stands at two.
A win over Oklahoma Monday night would earn Kansas no worse than a tie for the conference crown. After that, one more league win, which would give Kansas 16 conference wins with two games remaining, would award the title to the Jayhawks and give them the No. 1 seed in the postseason Big 12 Tournament regarless of what the teams closest to them do.
If Kansas were to win on Monday, however, and Iowa State and Texas were each to loss their home games on Wednesday to West Virginia and Baylor, respectively, Kansas could claim its 10th straight league title before Saturday’s games.
After that, attention turns to the battle for second place and the other high seeds heading into the postseason Big 12 Tournament.
Big 12 Men’s Basketball Week 17 Power Rankings
(Last week’s ranking in parentheses)
- Kansas Jayhawks (1) – It’s the Jayhawks’ championship to lose. Two more wins, and it won;t matter what anyone else does; one more win ensures no worse than a tie for the top spot.
- Oklahoma Sooners (3) - Kansas gets another shot at a 20-win team when Oklahoma goes to Allen Fieldhouse on ‘Big Monday.’ An OU loss eliminates the Sooners from the 2013-14 conference race.
- Iowa State Cyclones (4) - Owns the toughest conference schedule down the home stretch with games against West Virginia, Kansas State, Baylor and Oklahoma State.
- Texas Longhorns (2) – Longhorns have arguably the easiest schedule remaining of the contending team, which gives Texas a good shot at the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Championship Tournament.
- Kansas State Wildcats (5) - The Wildcats are a perfect 7-0 at home in Big 12 games, but just 1-6 away from home in the conference.
- West Virginia Mountaineers (6) - Final four games are at Iowa State, against TCU, at Oklahoma and home against Kansas to close out the regular season.
- Baylor Bears (9) – After losing seven of eight, Baylor is now on a four game winning streak, including two road wins.
- Oklahoma State Cowboys (7) - Marcus Smart is back, which probably means a few more wins for the Cowboys down the stretch.
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (8) - The Red Raiders are much improved over the first half of the season, but with Kansas State, Baylor, Kansas and Texas still left on the schedule, they may have already peaked.
- TCU Horned Frogs (10) - Will win at least one of its final four games (Oklahoma State, at West Virginia, at Texas, Oklahoma). Oklahoma lost it’s season finale at TCU last season. That could happen again this year.