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Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings - Feb. 1, 2016

After a break in conference play for the Big 12/SEC Challenge, the very top of the rankings remains the same this week.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

1) Oklahoma (18-2 overall, 6-2 conference)
Last week: 1 (NC)
Kenpom: #1
Last game: at LSU (W 77-75)
Next game: vs. TCU (2/2)

This just in, Buddy Hield is great. It seemed that for much of OU's game in Baton Rouge that they would be upset by LSU, but enter Hield and the gap was quickly closed. Isaiah Cousins contributed right at the end and hit the game-winner with six seconds left, clinching the win for the Sooners. They just barely came away with a win, but Oklahoma still has a solid claim to the title of best team in the nation, let alone best in the Big 12.

2) Kansas (17-4 overall, 5-3 conference)
Last week: 2 (NC)
Kenpom: #15
Last game: vs. Kentucky (W 90-84)
Next game: vs. Kansas State (2/3)

Following a five game stretch in which they went 2-3, the Jayhawks picked up an emotional victory over the visiting Kentucky Wildcats this past Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse. It was by no means a perfect game, but a hard-fought contest that Kansas needed to win (even if it doesn't affect conference standing). If Wayne Selden plays the rest of the season like he did on Saturday, he's going to be a force that any team could struggle with.

3) Baylor (17-4 overall, 6-2 conference)
Last week: 5 (+2)
Kenpom: #24
Last game: vs. Georgia (83-73)
Next game: vs. Texas (2/1)

Baylor benefits here from being the only team in this next group to have won their game this weekend. This is a talented team that has played very well in the last couple of weeks, as they've won seven of their last eight games since losing their conference opener versus Kansas. After the Bears' next game (at home versus Texas), they have a big showdown in Morgantown versus West Virginia.

4) Iowa State (16-5 overall, 5-3 conference)
Last week: 4 (NC)
Kenpom: #14
Last game: at Texas A&M (L 62-72)
Next game: vs. West Virginia (2/2)

Iowa State took a loss against the best team in the SEC on the road this past Saturday, which is not going to hurt them too much. The biggest concern for the Cyclones after their last game is the health of Georges Niang. It's unlikely that he is suffering from a debilitating injury, but he needs to be at full strength for ISU going forward. This Tuesday will be a huge test for Iowa State as they host West Virginia.

5) West Virginia (17-4 overall, 6-2 conference)
Last week: 3 (-2)
Kenpom: #10
Last game: at Florida (L 71-88)
Next game: at Iowa State (2/2)

It was an ugly loss for Bob Huggins' squad in Gainesville, as the Gators were lights-out from the floor and neutralized the Mountaineers' signature press. West Virginia needs to be able to shoot well to win, and they did not accomplish that against Florida. WVU has a brutal stretch of schedule coming up, with a home game versus Baylor sandwiched by road games at Iowa State and Kansas. The Mountaineers will be golden if they somehow escaped this stretch unscathed, but they could just as easily see their season derailed with a few losses.

6) Texas (14-7 overall, 5-3 conference)
Last week: 6 (NC)
Kenpom: #30
Last game: vs. Vanderbilt (W 72-58)
Next game: at Baylor (2/1)

Texas has won five of their last six games (segmented by a loss at Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 23), concluding that stretch with a win at home over Vanderbilt. Texas still seems to be something of an outsider when it comes to contention for the Big 12 title (which is understandable, despite their conference record), but they could make a huge impact on the conference landscape if they pull off a big upset on the road against Baylor.

7) Kansas State (13-8 overall, 2-6 conference)
Last week: 9 (+2)
Kenpom: #44
Last game: vs. Ole Miss (W 69-64)
Next game: at Kansas (2/3)

Following a home win versus Ole Miss, K-State jumps up in the rankings this week. The best team in the bottom group of the Big 12, Bruce Weber's Wildcats are looking to continue to show improvement as the season continues. Things are going to get harder before they get easier for Kansas State however, as they travel to Lawrence to face the Jayhawks in Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday, a place they have not won a game since 2006.

8) Oklahoma State (11-10 overall, 2-6 conference)
Last week: 8 (NC)
Kenpom: #64
Last game: at Auburn (W 74-63)
Next game: at Texas Tech (2/3)

The Cowboys pulled off a nice win against Bruce Pearl and Auburn down on the plains this past Saturday. Barring a Big 12 Conference Tournament win or a miraculous undefeated stretch to end the season, Oklahoma State won't be dancing this year, but they could play spoiler to one of the elite teams as the season winds down. This Wednesday they have a chance to build a winning streak versus a struggling Red Raiders team.

9) Texas Tech (12-8 overall, 2-6 conference)
Last week: 7 (-2)
Kenpom: #55
Last game: at Arkansas (L 68-75)
Next game: vs. Oklahoma State (2/3)

Texas Tech was able to take Arkansas to overtime on the road, but it has been a miserable stretch for the Red Raiders. TTU has lost seven of their last eight, the only win in the stretch coming on the road against TCU. This run of failure has been grueling for Texas Tech, and if they can't pick up their scoring production (they're averaging just over 67 points per game over this eight game stretch), it's only going to get worse.

10) TCU (10-11 overall, 1-7 conference)
Last week: 10 (NC)
Kenpom: #136
Last game: vs. Tennessee (W 75-63)
Next game: at Oklahoma (2/2)

Good news for TCU: They won a game by double-digits against a power conference school (granted, not a good power conference school, but I digress). Bad news for TCU: they're still a bad team and this Tuesday will be playing against the best team in the conference on the road. This one could get ugly quickly in Norman. But it was nice for TCU to pick up a win nonetheless.

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