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Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings - Jan. 18, 2016

We have some changes at the top this week after some eventful conference matchups over the last seven days.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

1) Oklahoma (15-1 overall, 4-1 conference)
Last week: 2 (+1)
Poll rankings: #1 AP (unanimous), #1 Coaches
Kenpom: #2
Last game: vs. West Virginia (W 70-68)
Next game: at Iowa State (1/18)

Thanks to a close win over West Virginia and Kansas' loss against those same Mountaineers, Oklahoma takes over the top spot this week. That said, the top two (and even three at this point) are neck and neck. In the last week OU won two games by a combined four points against WVU and Oklahoma State before that. The games were close but wins are wins and for now the Sooners are at the top. Buddy Hield, one of the top players in America, currently stands in second place among all scorers nationwide (26 PPG).

2) Kansas (15-2 overall, 4-1 conference)
Last week: 1 (-1)
Poll rankings: #3 AP, #3 Coaches
Kenpom: #3
Last game: vs. TCU (W 70-63)
Next game: at Oklahoma State (1/19)

You can make the argument for West Virginia to be slotted here since they beat KU this past week and nearly toppled Oklahoma on the road as well. However, the Jayhawks are hanging in at number two this week. After losing in Morgantown, Kansas was able to bounce back this past Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse versus the lowly TCU Horned Frogs. Granted, it was a closer game than many expected, but the team needed a win to get back on track and that's what they got. Their next game (Tuesday night in Stillwater) is going to be an important contest for Kansas.

3) West Virginia (15-2 overall, 4-1 conference)
Last week: 3 (NC)
Poll rankings: #6 AP, #7 Coaches
Kenpom: #5
Last game: at Oklahoma (L 68-70)
Next game: vs. Texas (1/20)

The Mountaineers are coming off of a wild week, one in which they knocked off top-ranked Kansas at home (and then stormed the court pridefully afterwards) and nearly took down second-ranked Oklahoma as well before falling just short. As previously stated, West Virginia could be the number two team in the power rankings this week, but they are a close third for now. Devin Williams is currently leading "Press Virginia" in scoring (14.1 PPG) and rebounding (8.6 RPG).

4) Baylor (14-3 overall, 4-1 conference)
Last week: 4 (NC)
Poll rankings: #13 AP, #15 Coaches
Kenpom: #21
Last game: at Texas Tech (W 63-60)
Next game: vs. Kansas State (1/20)

After losing their conference opener in blowout fashion versus Kansas, the Baylor Bears have rattled off three consecutive conference wins, firmly establishing themselves as number four in the rankings for now. Their most recent victories came via a 28-point beatdown of TCU and a close call in Lubbock versus Texas Tech. The Bears have a weeknight game versus K-State this week before welcoming Oklahoma to Waco this coming Saturday, in what will be a huge test for Scott Drew's team.

5) Texas (11-6 overall, 3-2 conference)
Last week: 9 (+4)
Poll rankings: NR AP, NR Coaches
Kenpom: #52
Last game: vs. Oklahoma State (W 74-69)
Next game: at West Virginia (1/20)

Some volatility showing this week in the number five spot, as Texas jumps up after two straight wins over Iowa State and Oklahoma State. Mimicking the Big 12 standings, Texas moves up thanks to their two straight wins and the Cyclones two losses in their last three games. This Longhorns team has been streaky so far this season, and after two wins at home they have a tough stretch coming up: their next two games are at West Virginia and at Kansas with just two days off inbetween them.

6) Iowa State (13-4 overall, 2-3 conference)
Last week: 5 (-1)
Poll rankings: #19 AP, #21 Coaches
Kenpom: #19
Last game: at Kansas State (W 76-63)
Next game: vs. Oklahoma (1/18)

Each of Iowa State's Big 12 games has been competitive to this point (their last game against Kansas State being the most comfortable of the bunch), however they're left with a losing record in conference to show for it. The Cyclones' overtime loss in Austin was a close, hard-fought game but it hurts that they came up short. Iowa State could certainly bounce back, but they have a very interesting upcoming stretch of games: four of their next five games are against teams currently ranked in the top 15 in the AP Poll, but they will be at home for three of the four matchups.

7) Texas Tech (11-5 overall, 1-4 conference)
Last week: 6 (-1)
Poll rankings: NR AP, NR Coaches
Kenpom: 51
Last game: vs. Baylor (L 60-63)
Next game: at TCU (1/18)

Texas Tech is one of two conference teams that have lost four consecutive games, and they're certainly in danger of falling further in the rankings soon. They've gone through a hard part of the schedule in that time, but to be fair there aren't many easy stretches when it comes to Big 12 basketball. The Red Raiders need a win against TCU Monday night to right the ship.

8) Kansas State (11-6 overall, 1-4 conference)
Last week: 10 (+2)
Poll rankings: NR AP, NR Coaches
Kenpom: #49
Last game: vs. Iowa State (L 63-76)
Next game: at Baylor (1/20)

This past week K-State picked up their first conference win of the season, defeating Texas Tech at home by 13. This Wildcats team is nothing like some of the Bruce Weber squads we've seen in recent history, but the roster still has some capable players. This coming week the Wildcats will travel to Waco to face Baylor on Wednesday before hosting Oklahoma State on Saturday night.

9) Oklahoma State (9-8 overall, 1-4 conference)
Last week: 7 (-2)
Poll rankings: NR AP, NR Coaches
Kenpom: 84
Last game: at Texas (L 69-74)
Next game: vs. Kansas (1/19)

The second of two teams in the Big 12 that has lost four straight games, Oklahoma State has gone through an ugly stretch in the past two weeks. After 17 point losses to both Baylor and West Virginia, the Cowboys have lost their last two contests by just seven points total. OSU will look to score a huge upset this Tuesday when Kansas comes to town.

10) TCU (9-8 overall, 1-4 conference)
Last week: 8 (-2)
Poll rankings: NR AP, NR Coaches
Kenpom: 138
Last game: at Kansas (L 63-70)
Next game: vs. Texas Tech (1/18)

TCU is coming off of their closest conference defeat this season, a seven point defeat versus KU, but that isn't saying much for the Horned Frogs. With a point differential in Big 12 play of -63, it hasn't been pretty for TCU. Their next two games will be at home in Ft. Worth, where they will face Texas Tech and then Iowa State. That Texas Tech game may be TCU's best chance at another conference win for quite some time.

Questions, comments, concerns, opinions? Let me know in the comments or shoot me a tweet, I'm listening.