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Big 12 MBB: Team Updates and Power Rankings 12/27

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The last team update before conference play!

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

#1 Baylor Bears

Record: 11-0

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

Notable Losses: N/A

Bottom Line: Baylor continued to take care of business before the Christmas break, dominating Alcorn State in an almost 40 point victory. The Bears have one more tuneup game against Northwestern State before they start conference play with a huge game in Ames. Baylor is still the clear #1 in the conference and country.

Next Game: Northwestern State 12/28

#8 Iowa State Cyclones

Record: 12-0

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

Notable Losses: N/A

Bottom Line: Iowa State has maintained a perfect nonconference record, which is really an incredible turn around from just a year ago where they had two wins on the whole season. Iowa State’s next game will be their home game against Baylor, which will be a major test for both teams.

Next Game: Baylor 1/1

#6 Kansas Jayhawks

Record: 9-1

Notable Wins: Michigan State, Iona, Missouri

Notable Losses: Dayton

Bottom Line: Kansas had their last game against Colorado cancelled, so there isn’t much of an update here other than Kansas still looks good but hasn’t played very significant competition and lost to a pretty average Dayton. They were supposed to have one more nonconference game against Harvard, but that meeting has been cancelled due to COVID and injuries in the Harvard program. So KU’s next potential game (assuming it also doesn’t get canceled) will be its conference opener against TCU.

Next Game: TCU 1/1

Kansas State Wildcats

Record: 8-3

Notable Wins: Wichita State

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

Bottom Line: Kansas State has put together a 3 game winning streak against average competition (including a bad Nebraska). They’ll have one more game to extend that streak to four against North Florida before opening conference play with Oklahoma. This team seems somewhere between average to good, but destined for the bottom third of the conference

Next Game: North Florida 12/29

Oklahoma Sooners

Record: 10-2

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

Notable Losses: Utah State, Butler

Bottom Line: Similar to Baylor, Oklahoma got a crack at Alcorn State a few days later and beat them by 34. That gave the Sooners a nice, 10-2 record heading into conference play. The Sooners are a tournament caliber team, but might still be in the bottom half of the conference just given how deep the Big 12 is this year. Their next game is their conference opener against Kansas State.

Next Game: Kansas State 1/1

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Record: 7-4

Notable Wins: NC State

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

Bottom Line: Oklahoma State’s game against USC was cancelled, so they have had a bit of a break from the top 25 gauntlet they are still about to run through. The Cowboys open conference play at Texas Tech in their next game. Given the Cowboys are ineligible for the postseason this year, I have to imagine that lack of motivation will hurt them in a deep and highly motivated conference.

Next Games: @ Texas Tech 1/1

TCU Horned Frogs

Record: 10-1

Notable Wins: Texas A&M, Utah, Georgetown

Notable Losses: Santa Clara

Bottom Line: TCU has put together a very nice nonconference record. Most of those games have been against average competition and they have a bad loss, but still TCU looks like they could make a run for a middle position in the conference. They have one more tuneup game against Texas Southern before starting conference play at Kansas.

Next Game: Texas Southern 12/29

#17 Texas Longhorns

Record: 9-2

Notable Wins: Stanford, I guess?

Notable Losses: #1 Gonzaga, #23 Seton Hall

Bottom Line: Texas still has the same issue I’ve been complaining about in these columns each week: They haven’t beaten anyone of note yet. They beat Alabama State by 20 in their last game and have one more game against Incarnate Word before they start conference play against West Virginia. I think the Longhorns are overrated as things currently stand, hence their spot in my power rankings.

Next Games: Incarnate Word 12/28

#25 Texas Tech Red Raiders

Record: 9-2

Notable Wins: #13 Tennessee

Notable Losses: Providence, #5 Gonzaga

Bottom Line: Texas Tech bounced back from their loss to Gonzaga with a 32 point win over Eastern Washington. They too have one more tuneup game against Alabama State before they begin conference play with Oklahoma State. Tech should be a tournament team somewhere around the middle of the conference standings. They have a better win than Texas and their losses are fairly similar, so I have moved the Red Raiders up in front of Texas in the power rankings.

Next Game: Alabama State 12/28

West Virginia Mountaineers

Record: 10-1

Notable Wins: #15 UConn, Clemson

Notable Losses: Marquette

Bottom Line: West Virginia beat Youngstown State by thirty points in their final game before conference play. The Mountaineers open at Texas which will tell us a lot about where those two team stand in the conference power rankings. For now, West Virginia has two more notable wins and one less loss than Texas so I have them ahead of the Longhorns for those reasons.

Next Game: Youngstown State @ Texas 1/1

Big 12 Power Rankings:

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