Roughly a third of the Big XII conference schedule has now been played and the elimination game has started. We will also take our first, very preliminary look at the bubble.
- Kansas Jayhawks (15-3, 5-1) — Death, Taxes, Etc. The Jayhawks got an important win on the road in Morgantown, basically nullifying the loss to Tech. This is not one of Bill Self’s best teams, but as always, there are few things more consistent than the Jayhawks.
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (15-2, 4-1)—The Raiders have a win at home versus WVU and an all important road win in Kansas, and have two of their three most difficult games remaining at home (Kansas and Oklahoma) with a road test against WVU on a short turnaround.
- WVU Mountaineers (15-3, 4-2)—There has been a lot of chicken littling among our fan base following a 1 point road loss to the #8 team in the country, and a 5 point home loss to the #10 team on a short turnaround. Y’all need to settle the hell down.
- Oklahoma Sooners (14-2, 4-1)—The Sooners live and die by Trae Young. In the end, I don’t think they’re as complete a team, particularly on defense as either Tech or WVU.
- TCU Horned Frogs (13-4, 1-4)
- Kansas State Wildcats (12-5, 2-3)
- Texas Longhorns (11-6, 2-3)
- Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-6, 12-6)
- Iowa State (10-6, 1-4)
- Baylor Bears (11-6, 2-4)
Should Be In: WVU, Kansas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma
Work Left To Do:
- TCU Horned Frogs (RPI: 22, SOS: 23) — Last year the Horned Frogs came up just short after a strong start. They have started conference play 1-4, but all four of those losses have been close and three of them have been against top 15 teams. Ideally, they’d like to get three of their next four to get them firmly into the Should Be In Category.
- Kansas State Wildcats (RPI: 84, SOS: 75)—The Wildcats are firmly in bubble trouble. Their weak non-conference schedule leaves little room for error and so far they have missed opportunities against WVU and Kansas to help their case.
- Texas Longhorns (RPI: 50, SOS: 5)—Unlike K-State, Texas has a little bit of breathing room thanks to a solid non-conference schedule that included a good showing against Duke. That’s good because they’ll likely be without star guard Andrew Jones for the rest of the season.
- Oklahoma State Cowboys (RPI: 72, SOS: 51)—I’ve gushed over this team being better than expected all season, and I will continue to do so. They got a much needed win over Texas this weekend, but they’ll need some success against the top half of the conference to make up for a weaker SOS and low-ish RPI.
- Baylor Bears (RPI: 93, SOS: 18) —I really don’t know what to make of this team. Against WVU, they played extremely well and looked like they were turning a corner on what has been a disappointing season and I was prepared to move them up in power rankings. Then they lost to Iowa State and it feels like this team is on the verge of playing itself out of the tournament in January. Yikes.
- Iowa State Cyclones (RPI: 89, SOS: 69)—The ‘Clones got a huge win against Baylor to keep their slim hopes of an NCAA tournament bid alive.