Well we've made it to the final week of the regular season. The Bears are back near the top of the mountain and have an outside shot at repeating as Big XII Champs if they take care of business and get some help from the Horns or the Horned Frogs this week. Tech fans won't like that I dropped them behind a team they've beaten twice this season but Baylor leads the nation in Quad 1 wins at the moment and didn't lose to TCU over the weekend. In personal news, I got married last week. Woot! If you'd like to check out last week's post, you can find it here.
Big XII Team of the Week: Baylor. The Bears made their case for continuing to be among the best teams in the nation with their 2 wins this week.
Big XII Player of the Week: Izaiah Brockington, Iowa State. In 2 wins this week: 52 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals on 55% from the field and 6/12 (50%) from deep.
Big XII Power Rankings
Kansas, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas, TCU, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia
1) #6 Kansas Jayhawks (Prev: 1). Overall Record: 23-5. Weekly Record: 1-1. Conference Record: 12-3. B12 Position: 1.
Game Notes: WIN. KU 102 v KSU 83. Sunflower Supremacy. Ochai Agbagi + Christian Braun: 43 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists, and 2 steals on 68% from the field and 7/10 (70%) from deep.
Game Notes: LOSS. KU 71 @ BU 58. Jayhawks Lose Ground. Ochai Agbaji: 27 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Outlook: Kansas will play 3 times this week, twice against TCU and once against Texas. The Jayhawks remain in control of their destiny in the regular season conference title race but surely the gap between them and the Bears is smaller than many KU fans may have thought going into Saturday night's matchup.
2) #3 Baylor Bears (Prev: 3). Overall Record: 24-5. Weekly Record: 2-0. Conference Record: 11-3. B12 Position: 2.
Game Notes: WIN (in OT). BU 66 @ OSU 62. The Bears trailed by 7 at halftime. Flagler had a career high in scoring with 29 points on 55% from the field and 7/13 (54%) from deep. He played 41 minutes including all 25 minutes after halftime. James Akinjo started the game 0/7 from the field in regulation before assisting or scoring on every point in OT including the Jordan-esque game-winner. Baylor had just 3 FT attempts 32 minutes into the very physical game. Matthew Mayer brought the energy early but was benched for Jeremy Sochan down the stretch.
Game Notes: WIN. BU 80 v TCU 70. Baylor was down by as many as 13 in the first half before battling back to trail by just a point at halftime. The Bears were ice-cold from deep for most of the game. Flo Thamba had his best game as a Bear with a career-high 18 points to go along with 9 rebounds. Matthew Mayer was dominant on the glass with 12 rebounds. James Akinjo hit some clutch shots to help Baylor pull away late.
Outlook: Baylor faces Texas and Iowa State to close the regular season. The Bears, even without LJ Cryer, look like a potential 1-seed. If they win out, I believe we'll see them on the top line on Selection Sunday. For the umpteenth time, if this team can get healthy (i.e. getting Cryer back), they could find themselves in New Orleans competing for another Natty.
3) #12 Texas Tech Red Raiders (Prev: 2). Overall Record: 22-7. Weekly Record: 1-1. Conference Record: 11-5. B12 Position: 3.
Game Notes: WIN. TTU 66 v BU 42. Raiders Stomp Sooners. Davion Warren + Bryson Williams: 29 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 5 steals on 72% from the field.
Game Notes: LOSS. TTU 61 @ TCU 55. Winning Streak Snapped. Tech turned it over on more than 30% of their offensive possessions for the first time since 2019.
Outlook: The Raiders take on Kansas State and Oklahoma State. Tech remains one of the biggest threats to win a trophy in Kansas City and will be very dangerous in the NCAA Tournament.
4) #21 Texas Longhorns (Prev: 4). Overall Record: 21-8. Weekly Record: 2-0. Conference Record: 10-6. B12 Position: 4.
Game Notes: WIN. UT 75 v TCU 66. Balanced Stampede in Austin. Andrew Jones + Marcus Carr + Timmy Allen: 57 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals on 47% from the field.
Game Notes: WIN. UT 82 @ WVU 81. Horns Hold On. Timmy Allen + Marcus Carr: 41 points on 87% from the field.
Outlook: Texas will play Baylor and Kansas this week. The Horns are well on their way back to the NCAA Tournament but a win or two could improve their seed significantly come selection Sunday.
5) Texas Christian Horned Frogs (Prev: 5). Overall Record: 18-9. Weekly Record: 2-1. Conference Record: 7-8. B12 Position: 5.
Game Notes: WIN. TCU 77 v WVU 67. Losing Streak Snapped. All 5 starters scored in double figures.
Game Notes: LOSS. TCU 66 @ UT 75. TCU Fades on the Road. The Horns Outscored the Frogs by 16 from the FT line.
Game Notes: WIN. TCU 66 v TTU 69. Frogs Topple Tech. Mike Miles 26 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 steals on 67% from the field and 3/6 (50%) from deep.
Outlook: The Frogs will play 3 games this week: Kansas (X2) and West Virginia. TCU could be just a win away from going dancing following their 2 victories last week.
6) Iowa State Cyclones (Prev: 7). Overall Record: 20-9. Weekly Record: 2-0. Conference Record: 7-9. B12 Position: 6.
Game Notes: WIN. ISU 84 v WVU 81. Brought Back by Brockington. Izaiah Brockington: 35 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals on 63% from the field and 5/8 (62%) from deep.
Game Notes: WIN. ISU 74 @ KSU 73. Cyclones Hold Off Cats. Caleb Grill off the bench: 18 points on 6/10 from deep to go with 8 rebounds.
Outlook: Iowa State takes on Oklahoma State and Baylor this week. The Clones have won 4 straight and have stockpiled enough Q1 wins that another win could be enough to put them in the Big Dance despite their losing record in conference play.
7) Kansas State Wildcats (Prev: 6). Overall Record: 13-15. Weekly Record: 0-2. Conference Record: 6-10. B12 Position: T-7.
Game Notes: LOSS. KSU 83 @ WVU 102. Slapped by Big Brother. This was just the 3rd time in the last 14 seasons that the Wildcats gave up 100+ points. Fun Fact: The other 2 such instances were last year at the hands of the Bears.
Game Notes: LOSS. KSU 73 v OSU 74. Comeback Comes Up Short. Nijel Pack: 32 points on 73% from the field and 6/9 (67%) from deep.
Outlook: The Wildcats face Texas Tech and Oklahoma this week. Having lost 3-straight, Kansas State desperately needs to win at least one game this week. If they can find a way to sweep the week, it'll take a lot of pressure off the team before heading to KC.
8) Oklahoma Sooners (Prev: 9). Overall Record: 15-14. Weekly Record: 1-1. Conference Record: 5-11. B12 Position: 9.
Game Notes: LOSS. OU 42 @ TTU 66. Sooners Stay Cold. Between this loss and their last, OU only mustered 96 combined points. This is their lowest back-to-back game point total as a program since 2008.
Game Notes: WIN (in OT). OU 66 @ OSU 62. Bedlam Classic. Tanner Groves: 14 points, 10 boards, and 4 assists.
Outlook: The Sooners play West Virginia and KSU this week. OU's NCAA Tourney hopes hang on by a thread. They must win both this week and then at least 1 or 2 games in KC to have even a chance at an at-large bid.
9) Oklahoma State Cowboys (Prev: 8). Overall Record: 13-15. Weekly Record: 0-2. Conference Record: 6-10. B12 Position: T-7.
Game Notes: LOSS (in OT). OSU 64 v BU 66. Pokes Unable to Sweep the Champs. The Cowboys as a team were 6/12 (50%) from the FT line in the game.
Game Notes: LOSS (in OT). OSU 62 v OU 66. Little Brother Loses in OT. Avery Anderson III: 25 points and 6 rebounds on 46% from the field.
Outlook: Just 2 games remain on the year for OSU who'll wrap up their campaign against Iowa State and Texas Tech.
10) West Virginia Mountaineers (Prev: 10). Overall Record: 14-15. Weekly Record: 0-3. Conference Record: 3-13. B12 Position: 10.
Game Notes: LOSS. WVU 67 @ TCU 77. Misery Continued. Taz Sherman: 23 points on 52% from the field.
Game Notes: LOSS. WVU 81 @ ISU 84. Blown Chance for ‘Neers. Malik Curry + Gabe Osabuohien (both off the bench): 38 points, 11 boards, and 4 assists on 55% from the field.
Game Notes: LOSS. WVU 81 v UT 82. West Virginia Comes Up Short. Malik Curry (off the bench): 27 points on 46% from the field.
Outlook: Up next for WVU is Oklahoma and TCU. The Mountaineers have now lost 13 of their last 14 and have no shot at an at-large bid. An NIT appearance might be doubtful at this point.
Big XII Award Leaderboards
Coach of the Year Leaderboard:
1) Mark Adams, Texas Tech.
2) Scott Drew, Baylor.
3) Bill Self, Kansas.
4) TJ Otzelberger, Iowa State
Player of the Year Leaderboard:
1) Ochai Agbaji, Kansas.
2) Izaiah Brockington, Iowa State.
3) Taz Sherman, West Virginia.
4) Nijel Pack, Kansas State.
Defensive Player of the Year Leaderboard:
1) Matthew Mayer, Baylor.
2) Tyrese Hunter, Iowa State.
3) Kevin McCullar, Texas Tech.
4) Flo Thamba, Baylor.
Sixth Man of the Year Leaderboard:
1) Jeremy Sochan, Baylor.
2) LJ Cryer, Baylor.
3) Malik Curry, West Virginia.
4) Aljaz Kunc, Iowa State.
Freshman of the Year Leaderboard:
1) Kendall Brown, Baylor.
2) Tyrese Hunter, Iowa State.
3) Jeremy Sochan, Baylor.
4) Bijan Cortes, Oklahoma.
Newcomer of the Year Leaderboard:
1) Izaiah Brockington, Iowa State.
2) Bryson Williams, Texas Tech.
3) James Akinjo, Baylor.
4) Timmy Allen, Texas.
Upcoming Big XII Games Worth Monitoring
Last week's predictions: 2-2; I had Baylor winning last Monday by 5, they won by 2; I had Texas winning last Wednesday by 4, they won by 9; I had Kansas winning last Saturday by 3, they lost by 10; and I had Tech winning last Saturday by 7, they lost by 3.
a) Baylor @ Texas. Monday, February 28, 2022, at 8:00 PM CT on ESPN. Prediction: Baylor by 3.
b) Kansas @ TCU. Tuesday, March 1, 2022, at 6:00 PM CT on ESPN2. Prediction: Kansas by 1.
c) TCU @ Kansas. Thursday, March 3, 2022, at 7:00 PM CT on ESPN+. Prediction: Kansas by 6.
d) Iowa State @ Baylor. Saturday, March 5, 2022, at 5:00 PM CT on ESPN2. Prediction: Baylor by 9.
e) Texas @ Kansas. Saturday, March 5, 2022, at 3:00 PM CT on ESPN. Prediction: Texas by 2.