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Around the Big 12 - Week 9

Kansas clinches outright title; Dogfight for second place; TCU still winless

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Have we received our trophy yet?

Despite a disappointing finish to the week, Kansas claimed sole possession of first place at the end of the year no matter how the last two games turn out. Some might say that Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Texas gave KU the title, but I’m not one of them! KU is now the only team in the Big 12 with a winning record in conference road games. They won that outright title fair and square by being able to go out and do what other teams, as whole, weren’t able to do – pick up road wins.

Of course, after I go off on Kansas State not being able to beat anyone except TCU on the road, they go out and take a game in Lubbock. That’s just how my life works I suppose. I’m seriously thinking of predicting a Sweet 16 exit for KU just so I can be wrong.

In other news, the Big 12 is looking to get seven teams into the madness. Yes, seven. Baylor and Oklahoma State are both 19-10, 7-9, don’t play each other the rest of the way, and each have a few decent non-conference wins (although Kentucky losing to South Carolina and getting swept by Arkansas isn't doing Baylor any favors). West Virginia would probably have to win out and then take the Big 12 Tournament, which seems quite unlikely, otherwise the Big 12 would be gunning for eight teams-a-dancing.

Here is your obligatory TCU is still winless statement. Oklahoma is back in the Top 25 again, and Texas and Kansas State are receiving lots of votes. If you go far enough down the list, you’ll even see Oklahoma State receiving a few votes as well.


"Hey, bro, I’ve been meaning to ask you, can we get some Red Bull for these things? Sometimes a guy’s got to ride the bull. Am I right? Later, skater." – Creed Bratton

13-3, 22-7 (8) Kansas

"Nice try, history. Better luck next year." – Dwight Schrute

10-6, 22-6 (16) Iowa State

10-6, 21-8 (23) Oklahoma

10-6, 21-8 Texas

10-6, 20-9 Kansas State

"You need to access your un-crazy side; otherwise, maybe this thing has run its course." – Darryl Philbin

8-8, 16-13 West Virginia

7-9, 19-10 Baylor

7-9, 19-10 Oklahoma State

5-11, 13-16 Texas Tech

"He’s not the worst. Okay? He’s not the worst. You know who’s the worst? That intern we had a few years ago. That guy. Remember? That face, how ugly he was? He was the worst. Good worker, though." – Michael Scott

0-16, 9-19 Texas Christian

The conference race is over, but everything from second to eighth is still in question. Matchups will be a big part of the conference tournament, as always, so watching the teams jockey for position above the fray is a nice position for Kansas to be in.

Let’s dive in to the happenings on the court this past week.

(8) Kansas, 22-7, 13-3

Last week: win vs (23) Oklahoma 83-75, loss @ Oklahoma State 72-65

This week: vs Texas Tech 3/5, @ West Virginia 3/8

What happened to the guys the Jayhawks played against Texas a week or so ago? Oklahoma ran up and down with KU and threatened to leave Lawrence with a win before falling late, and Oklahoma State Marcus Flopped their way to a win in one of the worst games I’ve seen Kansas play all year. Bottom line, though, does it really matter? Kansas has wrapped up sole possession of the Big 12 regular season title and has the opportunity to rest Joel Embiid for at least a week.

(16) Iowa State, 22-6, 10-6

Last week: win vs West Virginia 83-66, loss @ Kansas State 80-73

This week: @ Baylor 3/4, vs Oklahoma State 3/8

The Cyclones got revenge against West Virginia but then dropped a tough one in Bramlage. ISU now has splits with Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas State. I for one am interested in how tiebreakers are determined for seeding for the Big 12 Tournament. It would not be a surprise to see the Cyclones split their last two games, if only because of the home/road splits in the conference this year.

(23) Oklahoma, 21-8, 10-6

Last week: loss @ (8) Kansas 83-75, win vs Texas 77-65

This week: vs West Virginia 3/5, @ TCU 3/8

The Sooners have one of the "easier" finishes to conference play considering the home game vs WVU and a season-ending road trip to TCU. If they can take care of business, they’ll be a top 4 seed in Kansas City and set themselves up for a chance for a decent run in the NCAAs.

Texas, 21-8, 10-6

Last week: win vs Baylor 74-69, loss @ (23) Oklahoma 77-65

This week: vs TCU 3/5, @ Texas Tech 3/8

The Longhorns have the other argument for "easiest" finish to the season, hosting the Horned Frogs and visiting the Red Raiders. Pretty much what I said about Oklahoma applies to Texas as well.

Kansas State, 20-9, 10-6

Last week: win @ Texas Tech 60-56, win vs (16) Iowa State 80-73

This week: @ Oklahoma State 3/3, vs Baylor 3/8

Kansas State, as mentioned earlier, finally got a road win after Texas Tech said, "Here, take this ball, there ya go, dribble out the clock, actually, dribbling is apparently optional now, Okay… ballgame." I’m pretty sure that’s a direct quote. And that’s a true story that I just made up. Anyway, the Wildcats will find out if there’s any magic left in what I assume will be a half-full Gallagher-Iba Arena on Big Monday. A home finale with what will should be a hungry Baylor team makes for an interesting finish to the regular season for K-State.

West Virginia, 16-13, 8-8

Last week: loss @ (16) Iowa State 83-66, win vs TCU 81-59

This week: @ (23) Oklahoma 3/5, vs (8) Kansas 3/8

The Mountaineers have a fairly difficult finish to their regular season compared to the rest of the conference. But, imagine if they were to win both games this week. Both would be quality wins. Would two more wins in KC get them into the Big Dance, or would they have to win the Big 12 tournament? Think on this one, I’ll ask again later.

Baylor, 19-10, 7-9

Last week: loss @ Texas 74-69, win vs Texas Tech 59-49

This week: vs (16) Iowa State 3/4, @ Kansas State 3/8

The Bears really needed that game in Austin. Now, they really need to win both games this week and probably one in KC the following weekend. Baylor is at least somewhere near the bubble… I think…

Oklahoma State, 19-10, 7-9

Last week: win @ TCU 76-54, win vs (8) Kansas 72-65

This week: vs Kansas State 3/3, @ (16) Iowa State 3/8

If the Cowboys can win their final two games, it probably doesn’t matter what they do in Kansas City. Both of OSU’s opponents this week will be playing in the NCAA Tournament, so losses won’t hurt OSU too much, but at this point in the season I’m sure the Cowboys want to remove any doubts about their qualifications. The finale in Ames will tell us a lot about how much better OSU is now that Marcus Flops’ suspension is over.

Texas Tech, 13-16, 5-11

Last week: loss vs Kansas State 60-56, loss @ Baylor 59-49

This week: @ (8) Kansas 3/5, vs Texas 3/8

Is it just me, or is it always Texas Tech that ends up wearing the meat necklace? Not much to say here. Tech made it interesting in almost all of their games all year long, but just couldn’t break through for very many wins. Two tough games to finish the season and a trip to KC for the Big 12 Tournament await Tubby Smith’s squad. Overall, once everything is considered, I’d say that the Red Raiders had a successful year, especially if they can manage to pick up another win or two.

Texas Christian, 9-19, 0-16

Last week: loss vs Oklahoma State 76-5, loss @ West Virginia 81-59

This week: @ Texas 3/5, vs (23) Oklahoma 3/8

From the Department of Redundancy Department, TCU lost two more conference games last week. And unfortunately for the Horned Frogs, they weren’t even very competitive, losing both games by 20+ points because they didn’t compete well with the opposition. Chances for a Big 12 win this season are almost nil at this point, and it’s looking like TCU will complete the first (I think anyway) imperfect record in the short history of Big 12 history. This commentary brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

Questions to consider:

Who will finish second in the conference standings?

Will Baylor and Oklahoma State be sweating Selection Sunday?

Do any Big 12 coaches get fired in the offseason?

What does West Virginia have to do to make the NCAAs?