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Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings: WVU Climbing Toward The Top

The Mountaineers are as high as they've been all season in this week's rankings.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

There were no major surprises last week in the Big 12. For once this season, things mostly went as expected.

Let's get to the rankings:

1. Kansas Jayhawks, 19-3, 8-1 (previous rank: 1)

The Jayhawks stay on top after surviving a scare in Forth Worth and then taking care of business at home (as usual) against rival Kansas State and Iowa State. Bill Self is now 24-4 all time against K-State, per ESPN. The Jayhawks are once again becoming the prohibitive favorite to win another Big 12 title.
Last week: Defeated TCU 64-61 (1/28), Defeated Kansas State 68-57 (1/31)
This week: Defeated #11 Iowa State 89-76 (2/2), @ Oklahoma State (2/7)

2. West Virginia Mountaineers, 18-3, 6-2 (previous rank: 4)

West Virginia picked up a very important road win in Manhattan on Tuesday, and then had an impressive second half on Saturday to easily put away Texas Tech. After leading the Big 12 in minutes played a year ago, Juwan Staten now has seven players ahead of him in that category this season. It's amazing that West Virginia is comfortably in second in the conference in scoring at 77.0 PPG - all thanks to #PressVirginia and crashing the offensive boards like madmen.
Last week: Defeated Kansas State 65-59 (1/27), Defeated Texas Tech 77-58 (1/31)
This week: @ #21 Oklahoma (2/3), Vs. #19 Baylor (2/7)

3. Iowa State Cyclones, 16-5, 6-3 (previous rank: 2)

Iowa State nearly blew a 20 point second half lead against Texas, but hung on for the victory. The Cyclones had 5 players in double figures against the Longhorns, led by Georges Niang with 19. Iowa State is first in the conference in defensive rebound percentage, pulling down 71.7% of their available opportunities.
Last week: Defeated #25 Texas 89-86 (1/26), Defeated TCU 83-66 (1/31)
This week: Lost @ #8 Kansas 89-76 (2/2), Vs. Texas Tech (2/7)

4. Oklahoma Sooners, 14-7, 5-4 (previous rank: 7)

The Sooners won both of their games last week to get out of the mini-slump they were in. Oklahoma just destroyed Texas Tech, setting a Big 12 record for fewest points allowed in a conference game. Ryan Spangler had 20 points on 8-9 shooting in the beatdown of the Red Raiders.
Last week: Defeated Texas Tech 81-36 (1/28), Defeated Oklahoma State 64-56 (1/31)
This week: Vs. #15 West Virginia (2/3), @ TCU (2/7)

5. Baylor Bears, 16-5, 4-4 (previous rank: 6)

Baylor now has three wins over ranked teams on the season after their dismantling of Texas at home. Rebounding machine Rico Gathers pulled down 15 boards in the victory.
Last week: Lost @ Oklahoma State 64-53 (1/27), Defeated #25 Texas 83-60 (2/7)
This week: Vs. TCU (2/4), @ #15 West Virginia (2/7)

6. Texas Longhorns, 14-7, 3-5 (previous rank: 3)

It feels weird to have Texas this low, because I still love their talent and would take them over everyone outside of Kansas when playing to their potential. However, the Longhorns have been blown out twice in their past three games and were getting destroyed by Iowa State for much of their game last Monday. Since their 27 point win over West Virginia, Texas is 1-3 with their only victory coming against TCU. They have a light schedule the next two weeks, with TCU and Texas Tech following this week's matchups with Oklahoma State and Kansas State.
Last week: Lost @ #11 Iowa State 89-86 (1/26), Lost @ Baylor 83-60 (2/7)
This week: Vs. Oklahoma State (2/4), @ Kansas State (2/7)

7. Oklahoma State Cowboys, 14-7, 4-5 (previous rank: 8)

Oklahoma State had a nice win over Baylor on Tuesday, but then fell for the second time this season to the Sooners on Saturday. Oklahoma State is last in the Big 12 in offensive rebounds per game, pulling down over 8 less per game than the leader West Virginia.
Last week: Defeated #19 Baylor 64-53 (1/27), Lost to #21 Oklahoma (1/31)
This week: @ #25 Texas (2/4), Vs. #8 Kansas (2/7)

8. Kansas State Wildcats , 12-10, 5-4 (previous rank: 5)

Kansas State had no answer for the West Virginia press, committing a season high 25 turnovers. They followed that performance by shooting only 33.3% against Kansas and trailing 33-17 at the half before falling 68-57.
Last week: Lost to #15 West Virginia 65-59 (1/27), Lost @ #8 Kansas 68-57 (1/31)
This week: @ Texas Tech (2/4), Vs. #25 Texas (2/7)

9. TCU Horned Frogs, 14-7, 1-7 (previous rank: 9)

TCU is not an easy win. One game after they nearly knocked off West Virginia in Morgantown, the Horned Frogs gave Kansas all they could handle in Forth Worth. I'm calling it now - TCU will beat Oklahoma on Saturday.
Last week: Lost to #9 Kansas 64-61 (1/28) Lost @ #11 Iowa State 83-66 (1/31)
This week: @ #19 Baylor (2/4), Vs. #21 Oklahoma (2/7)

10. Texas Tech Red Raiders, 11-11, 1-8 (previous rank: 10)

Texas Tech at least competed for a half against West Virginia, which is more than they could say against the Sooners last Tuesday.
Last week: Lost @ #21 Oklahoma 81-36 (1/28), Lost @ #15 West Virginia 77-58 (1/31)
This week: Vs. Kansas State (2/4), @ #11 Iowa State (2/7)