Iowa State Jumps Kansas in Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings

Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg, “The Mayor,” as the Cyclone Nation refers to him – finally bagged that elusive home win over the 10-time defending Big 12 champs, the Kansas Jayhawks, over the weekend.

Kansas is the only team to hold a winning record over the Cyclones at Hilton Coliseum. Even though a number of the games have been relatively close, the Jayhawks had won nine of the last 10 and 11 of the last 13 games played at Hilton Coliseum.

Jan 19, 2015; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self talks with guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) in a timeout during the second half against the Oklahoma Sooners at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won 85-78. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Not this past weekend, however. Iowa State played fast and repeatedly beat the slower Jayhawks down the floor on transition to score easy layups and slam dunks. Kansas showed tremendous heart and fought to the very end, but it became clear fairly early on in the game that the amped up Cyclones and their partisan sold-out crowd were going to refuse to lose on this night.

Iowa State handed the Jayhawks their first conference loss. As a result of their compelling victory over the defending regular-season champions, the Cyclones jumped to the top rung in the Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings this week.

The Cyclones are not in first place in the conference standings, though. Until Kansas’ rebound win at home over Oklahoma on Monday night, Kansas State stood alone at the top of the league standings with a 4-1 record in the Big 12.

Iowa State gets a chance on Tuesday night to do to Kansas State what the Cyclones did to the last Big 12 front runner who came to town. The Cyclones play host to K-State, the No. 5 team in this week’s power rankings in men’s basketball.

The Wildcats made the biggest jump in this week’s power rankings, moving up three spots from eighth to fifth.

Big 12 Men’s Basketball Power Rankings (for week of Jan. 19)

(Last week’s ranking in parentheses)

  1. Iowa State Cyclones (2) – The Cyclones sent one team from the Sunflower State home clicking its heels together with its tail feathers between its legs; they’ll get a chance to make it two on Tuesday when Kansas State pays a visit.
  2. Kansas Jayhawks (1) – The Jayhawks get another stiff road test this weekend against a reinvigorated Texas Longhorns squad. It will be Kansas’ fifth ranked opponent in six conference games.
  3. West Virginia Mountaineers (3) – Watch out for the Mountaineers. They don’t face another ranked conference team (of which there are six this week) until two weeks from now.
  4. Oklahoma Sooners (4) – Other than against Kansas State, the Sooners have been badly outplayed in the first half in their three league losses (at West Virginia and at Kansas).
  5. Kansas State Wildcats (8) – Surprise team in the Big 12 so far in conference play. The next four contests (at Iowa State, Oklahoma State, West Virginia and at Kansas) will reveal the true character of this Wildcats team.
  6. Texas Longhorns (5) – Floor leader Isaiah Taylor is back, and, it appears, is the highly talented Texas team we saw earlier in the season.
  7. Baylor Bears (6) – The enigmatic Bears blew a 14-point lead at Kansas State the last time out. Their next Big 12 encounter is at home against Oklahoma.
  8. Oklahoma State Cowboys (7) – A 17-point Bedlam loss to Oklahoma hurts more than just in the standings. The Cowboys are at Kansas State on Saturday.
  9. TCU Horned Frogs (9) – TCU logged its first win against a Big 12 opponent in 23 games, beating Texas Tech decisively on Saturday.
  10. Texas Tech Red Raiders (10) – The Red Raiders are going to have a tough go the rest of the season in this conference.