wo weeks have passed since our weekly power rankings, which means that things have taken shape to a greater extent than the last time we checked in.
Record: 8-1 (19-3 overall)
LW ranking: 1st
KenPom ranking: 10th (LW: 15th)
Last week: 75-62 win at Texas, 64-61 win at TCU, 68-57 win vs Kansas State, 89-76 win vs Iowa State
There's no longer a case for anyone else here. Kansas sits atop the conference in virtually every measure, and barring a meltdown in the second half of the conference slate, should win at least a share of their 11th straight title. Road wins over Oklahoma State and Texas Tech in their next two games would all but seal the deal.
2) West Virginia
Record: 6-2 (18-3 overall)
LW Ranking: 5th
KenPom ranking: 17th (LW: 14th)
Last week: 86-85 win vs TCU, 65-59 win at Kansas State, 77-58 win vs Texas Tech
West Virginia stands alone in second place right now, but they're aided by already having played all their games against TCU and Texas Tech. Beginning tonight, we'll start to find out more about what West Virginia is really made of, as five of their next six games are against Oklahoma, Baylor, Kansas and Iowa State.
3) Iowa State
Record: 6-3 (16-5 overall)
LW Ranking: 2nd
KenPom ranking: 24th (LW: 17th)
Last week: 77-71 win vs Kansas State, 78-73 loss at Texas Tech, 89-86 win vs Texas, 83-66 win vs TCU, 89-76 loss at Kansas
The last two weeks haven't treated Iowa State particularly well. Home wins against Kansas State and Texas were closer than they probably should have been, and it took a while to finally put TCU away. Throw in an embarrassing loss in Lubbock, and a loss in the second half of the season series against Kansas, and Iowa State should probably consider themselves a bit lucky to be sitting this high. They don't have to play Kansas again, but they have yet to play Oklahoma at all.
Record: 5-4 (14-7 overall)
LW ranking: 3rd
KenPom ranking: 9th (LW: 10th)
Last week: 69-58 loss at Baylor, 81-36 win vs Texas Tech, 64-56 win at Oklahoma State
Oklahoma continues to be tough to figure out. The Sooners were teetering on the brink after back-to-back losses to Kansas and Baylor left them with a losing record in conference, but they rebounded by humiliating Texas Tech in drastic fashion. They then looked like they may drop another in Stillwater, but came back in the second half to pull themselves up to 5-4. Efficiency margin says they're easily the 2nd best in the Big 12 so far. The next couple of weeks should be interesting for OU, who has a giant trap game at TCU sitting right in between important home games against West Virginia and Iowa State.
Record: 4-4 (16-5 overall)
LW Ranking: 7th
KenPom ranking: 13th (LW: 21st)
Last week: 81-61 win vs Huston-Tillotson, 69-58 win vs Oklahoma, 64-53 loss at Oklahoma State, 83-60 win vs Texas
This is where it starts getting hard to rank teams. Location, location, location seems to be the mantra for Baylor, as they are a completely different team on the road compared to their home games. Baylor has won their last four in Waco, while going 1-3 in their last four road games (the lone win being an overtime victory over 9th place TCU). That's not necessarily good news for Baylor, for whom the back end of the schedule contains trips to Lawrence, Ames, Morgantown and Austin. Their only really tough home game remaining is West Virginia, so if they hold serve in Waco and grab a road win in Lubbock, the Bears would end up with a 10-8 record. Could be worse.
Record: 3-5 (14-7)
LW Ranking: 4th
KenPom ranking: 26th (LW: 13th)
Last week: 75-62 loss vs Kansas, 89-86 loss at Iowa State, 83-60 loss at Baylor
Just when it looked like Texas had regrouped, the wheels come off again. After a double-digit home loss to Kansas, Texas had a not-as-close-as-it-looks performance in Ames, then got thumped by Baylor. Granted, that's not an easy stretch of games for anyone, and Texas gets their next four against Oklahoma State, Kansas State, TCU and Texas Tech. That's about as easy a stretch as you'll find in the conference this year.
7) Oklahoma State
Record: 4-5 (14-7 overall)
LW ranking: 6th
KenPom ranking: 28th (LW: 24th)
Last week: 63-43 win vs Texas Tech, 63-53 loss at Kansas State, 64-53 win vs Baylor, 64-56 loss vs Oklahoma
Like Baylor, the location of the game seems to be big for Oklahoma State. In fact, before a second half collapse against Oklahoma Saturday, OSU hadn't lost a conference game in Stillwater all year. They hope that trend continues, as the second half of the schedule shows home games against all top 3 teams in the Big 12. First, Wednesday's game at Texas threatens to put the Cowboys two games below .500
8) Kansas State
Record: 5-4 (12-10 overall)
LW ranking: 8th
KenPom ranking: 74th (LW: 85th)
Last week: 77-71 loss at Iowa State, 63-53 win vs Oklahoma State, 65-59 loss vs West Virginia, 68-57 loss at Kansas
I considered moving K-State up to 7th, but at this point I think they're pretty clearly establishing that their hot start was fool's gold. Kansas State has lost three of four, and KenPom only has them favored in one game the rest of the season (their next one at Texas Tech). If Kansas State makes it to the tournament I will be legitimately impressed, because they simply look unimpressive right now, and a 12-10 overall record isn't doing them any favors.
Record: 1-7 (14-7 overall)
LW ranking: 9th
KenPom ranking: 48th (LW: 51st)
Last week: 86-85 loss at West Virginia, 64-61 loss vs Kansas, 83-66 loss at Iowa State
This team has to pick up an upset win at some point, don't they? In their seven losses, four have been by seven points or fewer, and two have gone to overtime. It's abundantly clear that while this program hasn't arrived yet, you cannot circle them on your schedule as an easy win.
10) Texas Tech
Record: 1-8 (11-11 overall)
LW ranking: 10th
KenPom ranking: 184th (LW: 191st)
Last week: 63-43 loss at Oklahoma State, 78-73 win vs Iowa State, 81-36 loss at Oklahoma, 77-58 loss at West Virginia
Iowa State may very well have the dubious honor of being Tech's lone conference victory at the end of the year. KenPom says their best shot to win a game is tomorrow night against Kansas State in Lubbock, and that's just a 35% chance. Tubby Smith has Tech playing a little defense, but KP ranks them a woeful 278th in offense.
Questions? Comments? Input? Feel free to contact me at PenHawkRCT@gmail.com, and follow me on twitter @kspen124