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Big XII MBB Power Rankings: Death, Taxes and Kansas

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NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Kansas Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was a week of basketball.

POWER RANKING

  1. Kansas Jayhawks (23-3, 11-2) - The Jayhawks have all but locked up the conference title, but have a tough test this weekend when they visit Baylor.
  2. West Virginia Mountaineers (20-6, 8-5) - WVU had yet another opportunity to put themselves into the league title race on Big Monday, but failed to finish the first season sweep of Kansas by a Big XII opponent ever.
  3. Baylor Bears (22-4, 9-4) - Baylor has lost three of their last five and have Kansas coming this weekend. They need to win both to remain in the hunt not just for the conference title, but likely also a 1-seed.
  4. Iowa State Cyclones (16-9, 8-5)
  5. Oklahoma State Cowboys (17-9, 6-7)
  6. TCU Horned Frogs (17-9, 6-7)
  7. Kansas State Wildcats (16-10, 5-8)
  8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (17-9, 5-8)
  9. Texas Longhorns (10-14, 4-9)
  10. Oklahoma Sooners (9-16, 3-10)

BUBBLE WATCH

LOCKS: WVU, Baylor, Kansas

SHOULD BE IN:

Oklahoma State (17-9, 4-6, RPI 28, SOS 13) Five wins versus the RPI Top 50 and a strong finish should be more than enough for Brad Underwood’s first squad to earn a berth.

WORK LEFT TO DO:

Kansas State (16-10, 5-8 RPI: 54, SOS: 38) : There are worse positions to be in, but there are certain;y better positions. Kansas State now has three wins versus RPI Top 50 teams, including the road win at Baylor, but are 4-8 in their last twelve games. The good news for the Wildcats is that they’re now through the most difficult stretch in their schedule with winnable games ahead. However, if they want to make the NCAA tournament they can ill-afford home losses, like their 87-79 loss to Iowa State last night.

Iowa State (16-9, 8-5 RPI: 46, SOS 57) : Like Kansas State, Iowa State has three wins versus the RPI Top 50, including a road win versus one of the best teams in the nation, Kansas. They also have relatively similar computer numbers. I don’t think it would come to this, but if it did, they also have a season sweep of the Wildcats. Still the Cyclones need to finish strong down the stretch and have two more opportunities for signature-type wins with games against Baylor at home and WVU on the road.

TCU (17-9, 6-7 RPI 48, SOS 33): Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Iowa State have all separated themselves a little bit from TCU by having at least one win each against the “Big 3.” Still TCU is in fairly good position — much better position then they’ve been in a very long time — to make the NCAA tournament.

Texas Tech (17-9, 5-8, RPI 95, SOS 130) I have repeatedly called Texas Tech the Saturn of the Big XII, because while the other “bubble” teams are all relatively the same, Tech Continues to be different. They’ve now beaten two of the big three, something none of the others have done, but the rest of their resume is still not exactly what you’d expect from a bubble team, with awful computer numbers as a result. I am not saying they’re going to end up in the NIT, but I am saying they’re going to end up in the NIT.

OUT: Oklahoma, Texas