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Big 12 MBB: Team Updates and Power Rankings 12/20

Your weekly Big 12 MBB update as we inch closer to conference play!

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Kansas State vs TCU Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

#1 Baylor Bears

Record: 10-0

Notable Wins: #6 Villanova, Michigan State, Arizona State

Notable Losses: N/A

Bottom Line: Baylor picked up another win over the weekend, as they defeated Pac 12 foe Oregon in Eugene. The win was admittedly ugly (at least by the standards of play we have become accustomed to over the past couple seasons). However, as the old saying goes, you should never look a road P5 win in the mouth. That hard fought victory will certainly help the Bears come Big 12 conference play. The Bears are still the team to beat in the conference.

Next Game: Alcorn State 12/20

#9 Iowa State Cyclones

Record: 11-0

Notable Wins: #9 Memphis, #25 Xavier, Iowa, Creighton

Notable Losses: N/A

Bottom Line: Iowa State had another somewhat slow start against inferior competition (this time Southeastern Louisiana), but the Cyclones are still undefeated and still have some of the best wins in the conference. This is certainly one of the best storylines to pay attention to this season, as the Cyclones look poised to be battling for the Big 12 title.

Next Game: Chicago State 12/21

#7 Kansas Jayhawks

Record: 9-1

Notable Wins: Michigan State, Iona, Missouri

Notable Losses: Dayton

Bottom Line: Kansas is still one point away from also being undefeated this year. However, the Jayhawks once again struggled at home against inferior competition, only beating Stephen F. Austin by 8 points, which required a late game three to make some distance. Similar to Baylor, a win is a win but this one felt much more precarious for the Jayhawks.

Next Game: @ Colorado 12/21

Kansas State Wildcats

Record: 7-3

Notable Wins: Wichita State

Notable Losses: #13 Arkansas, #14 Illinois, Marquette

Bottom Line: Kansas State has still been firmly average in nonconference play. They’ve won against the teams they should beat and taken Ls to the teams they should probably lose to. That includes a road win over a struggling Nebraska squad in their last game. They have themselves in a position where anything is possible in conference play, but I would still expect them to be near the bottom third of the conference.

Next Game: McNeese 12/21

Oklahoma Sooners

Record: 8-2

Notable Wins: #14 Florida, #12 Arkansas, UCF

Notable Losses: Utah State, Butler

Bottom Line: Oklahoma followed its nice win against Arkansas with another win against UT-Arlington. However, the problem for the Sooners is that Arkansas win looks way less impressive as the Razorbacks lost to Hofstra at home and have now fallen out of the rankings. So the jury might still be out on OU.

Next Game: Alcorn State 12/22

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Record: 7-4

Notable Wins: NC State

Notable Losses: Oakland, Wichita State, Xavier, #14 Houston

Bottom Line: Oklahoma State put up a pretty good fight against then #14 Houston before ultimately succumbing. That loss starts a brutal stretch for the Cowboys, where eight of their 10 opponents are currently ranked. Unless Oklahoma State figures something out quick, their losses are quickly going to build.

Next Games: #10 USC 12/21

TCU Horned Frogs

Record: 9-1

Notable Wins: Texas A&M, Utah, Georgetown

Notable Losses: Santa Clara

Bottom Line: TCU has continued to quietly put together an impressive nonconference resume, with their only blemish being a terrible, 19 point loss to Santa Clara. It still remains to be seen if that will continue when the competition ratchets up in Big 12 conference play.

Next Game: Grambling 12/21

#16 Texas Longhorns

Record: 8-2

Notable Wins: Stanford, I guess?

Notable Losses: #1 Gonzaga, #23 Seton Hall

Bottom Line: I still haven’t seen Texas pull off a defining victory that has me convinced they should be any higher in the power rankings. Stanford is the first P5 victory for the Longhorns, but that’s the same team Baylor beat by 38 points. Texas only beat them by 7.

Next Games: Rice 12/22

#25 Texas Tech Red Raiders

Record: 8-2

Notable Wins: #13 Tennessee

Notable Losses: Providence, #5 Gonzaga

Bottom Line: Texas Tech suffered a loss to then #5 Gonzaga. That loss is nothing to be ashamed of, although the Red Raiders looked pretty inept on offense. They’ll need to find a more consistent offensive flow in conference play to compliment their strong defense.

Next Game: Eastern Washington 12/22

West Virginia Mountaineers

Record: 10-1

Notable Wins: #15 UConn, Clemson

Notable Losses: Marquette

Bottom Line: West Virginia was battling from behind for most of their game against UAB, until they finally pulled away for the victory with only a few minutes left in the game. Once again, a win is a win is a win and the Mountaineers have a very strong 10-1 record. They should be battling for the middle/upper middle of the Big 12.

Next Game: Youngstown State 12/22

Big 12 Power Rankings:

  1. Baylor Bears
  2. Iowa State Cyclones
  3. Kansas Jayhawks
  4. West Virginia Mountaineers
  5. Texas Longhorns
  6. Texas Tech Red Raiders
  7. Oklahoma Sooners
  8. TCU Horned Frogs
  9. Kansas State Wildcats
  10. Oklahoma State Cowboys