We’re entering the final push of the regular season and Kansas has officially locked up the conference title. The bubble picture, too, is becoming clearer. Meanwhile the conference race itself (outside of the title) remains fairly fluid.
- Kansas Jayhawks (25-3, 13-2) - Mentioned above Kansas has locked up the conference title again. Now they’re aiming for not just a number one seed, but the overall number seed in the NCAA tournament.
- West Virginia Mountaineers (22-6, 10-5) - Despite itself, WVU is still in the running for second place in the conference and, on that front, controls it’s own destiny with Iowa State and Baylor coming up and a dangerous trap game in Ft. Worth.
- Iowa State Cyclones (18-9, 10-5)
- Baylor Bears (23-5, 10-5) - It seems like a long time ago that Baylor was undefeated and #1 in the country. The Bears have struggled down the stretch, but like WVU control their own destiny.
- Oklahoma State Cowboys (18-9, 7-7)
- TCU Horned Frogs (17-11, 6-9)
- Kansas State Wildcats (17-11, 6-9)
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (17-11, 5-10)
- Texas Longhorns (10-18, 4-11)
- Oklahoma Sooners (9-18, 3-12)
LOCKS: WVU, Baylor, Kansas
SHOULD BE IN:
Oklahoma State (18-9, 7-7, RPI 29, SOS 21) If Brad Underwood isn’t COTY, then something’s seriously wrong.
Iowa State (18-9, 10-5 RPI: 43, SOS 54) : At the start of the month, Iowa State, Ok Lite, Kansas State and TCU were all very tightly grouped. ISU, like the Cowboys, has separated themselves from the others and have a chance to finish second in the conference with games against Baylor and a season-finale against WVU in Morgantown. Given the start of the season for Steve Prohme’s club, that’s pretty good.
WORK LEFT TO DO:
Kansas State (17-11, 6-9 RPI: 55, SOS: 53) : Since beating WVU, the Wildcats have won just 2 of their last nine games. They really could have used the win over Ok Lite on Wednesday night to solidfy their chances. They have really need to finish strong and win, in my view, win two of their next three to feel okay about Selection Sunday.
TCU (17-11, 6-9 RPI 54, SOS 33): TCU finds themselves in a fairly similar position to the Wildcats and if they miss against WVU on Saturday, the match between the two could almost serve a default play-in game.
Texas Tech (17-11, 5-10, RPI 88, SOS 113) 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 have now moved into Saturn Sky territory of being incredibly fun conceptually (unless you’re WVU fan, which I am, so I want them to go away) but ultimately lacking. Specifically they lack the ability to finish. The only reason they’re still in contention for a bubble position, at this point, is that the bubble is itself incredibly weak. Their final three games also give them an opportunity to make their case and, realistically, they need to win all three games versus Ok Lite, Texas and Kansas State and likely also win a game in the Big XII tournament.
OUT: Oklahoma, Texas