With roughly three weeks to go in the regular season, seven Big 12 teams are solidly in the NCAA tournament, with the potential of 80% of the league making it in still viable. The talk for much of the season has been that there are a bunch of good teams, but no elite ones. The folks in Lawrence make disagree with that.
Let's get to the rankings:
1. Kansas Jayhawks, 21-4,10-2
The Jayhawks are now two games clear of everyone at the top of the standings. In other words, it's a wrap. Kansas is going to win the league -- again.
Last week: Defeated Texas Tech 73-51 (2/10), Defeated Baylor 74-64 (2/14)
This week: @ West Virginia (2/16), Vs. TCU (2/21)
2. Iowa State Cyclones, 18-6, 8-4
Iowa State had their way with a reeling West Virginia team, although the game was a bit closer than the score would indicate. The Cyclones are averaging 5 more points per game than anyone else in the conference.
Last week: Lost @ Oklahoma 94-83 (2/9), Defeated West Virginia 79-59 (2/14)
This week: @ Oklahoma State (2/18), @ Texas (2/21)
3. Oklahoma Sooners, 17-8, 8-5
Oklahoma followed up their impressive win over Iowa State with a loss in the final seconds to Kansas State, with Marcus Foster hitting the game winner in his first game back from suspension. The loss to the Wildcats ended Oklahoma's five game winning streak.
Last week: Defeated Iowa State 94-83 (2/9), Lost to Kansas State 56-53 (2/14)
This week: Vs. Texas (2/17), @ Texas Tech (2/21)
4. Oklahoma State Cowboys, 17-8, 7-6
Teams 4-7 could really be ranked in any order and I wouldn't have any complaints. And although Oklahoma State lost by 15 at TCU, they've still been playing well and are the only team outside of Iowa State to beat Kansas.
Last week: Defeated Baylor 74-65 (2/9), Lost @ TCU 70-55 (2/14)
This week: Vs. Iowa State (2/18), Vs. West Virginia (2/21)
5. Baylor Bears, 18-7, 6-6
Baylor dropped both of their games last week, but they were leading Kansas in Lawrence at halftime and were within 2 points with 4 minutes to go. As Mountaineer fans learned, Rico Gathers is a beast. He had 18 and 8 against the Jayhawks.
Last week: Lost to Oklahoma State 74-65 (2/9), Lost @ Kansas 74-64 (2/14)
This week: @ Texas Tech (2/17), Vs. Kansas State (2/21)
6. West Virginia Mountaineers, 19-6, 7-5
West Virginia has lost three out of their last four games, and their only win came against a Kansas State team without Marcus Foster. Things are only going to get tougher from here. Five of the final six games on the schedule are against ranked teams. The only game against an unranked team is Texas, who demolished the Mountaineers in their earlier meeting and have been a bad matchup since West Virginia joined the Big 12.
Last week: Defeated Kansas State 76-72 (2/11), Lost @ Iowa State 79-59 (2/14)
This week: Vs. Kansas (2/16), @ Oklahoma State (2/21)
7. Texas Longhorns, 17-8, 6-6
Texas is riding a three game winning streak, but that's a little misleading. They squeaked by Kansas State with Foster out, and took care of business at home against the two worst teams in the league. They'll get a chance this week to prove the turnaround is legit, with a trip to Norman on Tuesday and a home game against Iowa State on Saturday.
Last week: Defeated TCU 66-43 (2/11), Defeated Texas Tech 56-41 (2/14)
This week: @ Oklahoma (2/17), Vs. Iowa State (2/21)
8. Kansas State Wildcats, 13-13, 6-7
Marcus Foster returned from suspension and promptly hit the game winner to beat Oklahoma and end their five game losing streak. The Wildcats still have an outside shot of making the NCAA tournament, but they can't afford many more losses.
Last week: Lost @ West Virginia 76-72 (2/11), Defeated Oklahoma 59-56 (2/14)
This week: @ TCU (2/18), @ Baylor (2/21)
9. TCU Horned Frogs, 15-10, 2-10
I was a week off in my prediction of TCU beating a ranked team at home. After trailing by only 3 at halftime to Oklahoma on February 7th, they got the job done the next Saturday by knocking off #21 Oklahoma State. The Horned Frogs outscored the Cowboys by 17 in the second half of Saturday's game.
Last week: Lost @ Texas 66-43 (2/11), Defeated Oklahoma State 70-55 (2/14)
This week: Vs. Kansas State (2/18), @ Kansas (2/21)
10. Texas Tech Red Raiders, 12-14, 2-11
Texas Tech is going to need a miracle to avoid being the only team in the Big 12 to finish below .500.
Last week: Lost to Kansas 73-51 (2/10), Lost @ Texas 56-41 (2/14)
This week: Vs. Baylor (2/17), Vs. Oklahoma (2/21)