I'm releasing the power rankings after all the midweek games this week, so there's been quite a bit of action since the last rankings came out. Things are getting a little closer at the top, and continue to be jumbled in the middle. The Big 12 tournament should be pretty entertaining this year
Record: 10-3 (21-5 overall)
LW ranking: 1st
KenPom ranking: 9th (LW: 12th)
Last week: 73-51 win at Texas Tech, 74-64 win vs Baylor, 62-61 loss at West Virginia
Kansas is still in great shape to keep the run of consecutive conference titles going, but for the first time in weeks there's just a shred of doubt out there. It would still take a worst case scenario unfolding for Kansas not to at least share the title, but with Iowa State just one game out with five remaining, it's not a sure thing. From a national perspective, Kansas is in the top 20 in both KP's offensive and defensive rankings, so they at least fit that criteria for a national champion. No other Big 12 team is particularly close to being able to say that
2) Iowa State
Record: 9-4 (19-6 overall)
LW Ranking: 3rd
KenPom ranking: 16th (LW: 19th)
Last week: 79-59 win vs West Virginia, 70-65 win at Oklahoma State
Iowa State was trending down in last week's rankings, but I've bumped them back up to second after they dismantled West Virginia, and took care of business on the road in Stillwater. For an outright Big 12 title, ISU will need Kansas to lose twice, plus they'll need to win out through home games against Oklahoma and Baylor, with road tests against Texas and wildcard TCU still remaining. It's doable, but they'll need a lot of luck.
Record: 9-5 (18-8 overall)
LW ranking: 2nd
KenPom ranking: 10th (LW: 9th)
Last week: 59-56 loss at Kansas State, 71-69 win vs Texas
Oklahoma is still in the mix for a possible share of the Big 12 title, but their hopes for anything more went out the window with an ugly loss in Manhattan last Saturday. They came close to back-to-back losses after a close call against Texas in Norman, but held on to stay just two games behind Kansas in the standings. OU should have a couple of layups in the next week with a home game vs TCU and a trip to Lubbock, but this is a team that got swept by Kansas State, so anything's possible.
4) West Virginia
Record: 8-5 (20-6 overall)
LW Ranking: 5th
KenPom ranking: 29th (LW: 17th)
Last week: 76-72 win vs Kansas State, 79-59 loss at Iowa State, 62-61 win vs Kansas
5) Oklahoma State
Record: 7-7 (17-9 overall)
LW ranking: 4th
KenPom ranking: 27th (LW: 21st)
Last week: 70-55 loss at TCU, 70-65 loss vs Iowa State
Oklahoma State was one of the hottest teams in the Big 12 just a week ago. Now they're coming off back-to-back losses, including a game they probably should have won at home against Iowa State. They're back to an even .500 in the league, with games against Texas Tech and TCU left, plus both their games against West Virginia. I'm guessing they'll finish 10-8, which should be good for at least a 5th place tie.
Record: 7-6 (19-7 overall)
LW Ranking: 5th
KenPom ranking: 12th (LW: 13th)
Last week: 74-64 loss at Kansas, 54-49 win at Texas Tech
Baylor could easily be ranked 5th over Oklahoma State, but that nine point home loss to the Cowboys is still just a bit too fresh in my memory. Since then, Baylor put up quite a fight in Allen Fieldhouse, then won ugly in Lubbock. They host Kansas State this weekend, but then it's back to the Big 12 grind with a trip to Ames. I think 10-8 and a 5th place tie sounds about right for the Bears as well.
Record: 6-7 (17-9)
LW Ranking: 6th
KenPom ranking: 19th (LW: 22nd)
Last week: 66-43 win vs TCU, 56-41 win vs Texas Tech, 71-69 loss at Oklahoma
Texas went into their close loss at Oklahoma on a three game winning streak, but those three wins were over a Foster-less K-State, and home wins over TCU and Texas Tech. While they hung in pretty well with Oklahoma, I'm not ready to declare that Texas has turned things around. They host Iowa State this weekend, then fly out to Morgantown. We'll know a lot more about Texas' trajectory after that, but it's looking pretty likely that they'll finish below .500 in the Big 12.
Record: 3-10 (16-10 overall)
LW ranking: 9th
KenPom ranking: 54th (LW: 59th)
Last week: 66-43 loss at Texas, 70-55 win vs Oklahoma State, 69-55 win vs Kansas State
I'm giving TCU a boost after back-to-back wins over Oklahoma State and Kansas State, both by double digits. We all knew this team had an upset in them, and things finally came together Saturday. The good news for TCU is that they still have a home game against Texas Tech remaining on the schedule. The bad news is that any other wins would be a pretty substantial surprise.
9) Kansas State
Record: 6-8 (13-14 overall)
LW ranking: 8th
KenPom ranking: 99th (LW: 96th)
Last week: 76-72 loss at West Virginia, 59-56 win vs Oklahoma, 69-55 loss at TCU
It looked like Marcus Foster was back and K-State was primed for another stretch of promising play after a surprise upset of Oklahoma on Saturday, but they followed it up with a loss TCU where they didn't really look competitive. KenPom doesn't give them better than a 33% chance of winning any of their remaining games, so they look pretty much locked in to an 8th place finish in the standings.
10) Texas Tech
Record: 2-12 (12-15 overall)
LW ranking: 10th
KenPom ranking: 170th (LW: 169th)
Last week: 73-51 loss vs Kansas, 56-41 loss at Texas, 54-49 loss vs Baylor
Texas Tech has scored 60 or more points in just four Big 12 games this year, and their offense ranks 279th nationally, per KenPom. That's just about all you need to know about Tech at this point. Their defense is respectable-ish, and that's kept them in some games, but barring any huge upsets, this team will quietly end their season with just two conference wins.
Questions? Comments? Input? Feel free to contact me at PenHawkRCT@gmail.com, and follow me on twitter @kspen124