1) Kansas (25-4 overall, 13-3 conference)
Last week: 1 (NC)
Last game: vs. Texas Tech (W 67-58)
Next game: at Texas (2/29)
Kansas just continues to roll and even their hottest competition can't stop them right now. The Jayhawks have now won nine consecutive games, eight in the Big 12, and squelched the Red Raiders at home on Saturday, clinching at least a share of a 12th straight Big 12 title. That streak is unbelievable and the on-court winning streak is highly impressive in its own right. The starters are playing well, guys are coming off the bench and contributing and it's hard to find a team anywhere in the country today that is playing better than KU.
2) West Virginia (22-7 overall, 11-5 conference)
Last week: 5 (+3)
Last game: at Oklahoma State (W 70-56)
Next game: vs. Texas Tech (3/2)
Admittedly, West Virginia's place in the rankings over the last two weeks has been pretty volatile, having dropped from third to fifth last week before bouncing all the way back to second this week. It's difficult to place them above Oklahoma at this point, but the Mountaineers won both of their games this past week and are the only other team in the Big 12 with a change to share the conference title. Just as it has been most of the season, it's almost too close to call between the teams in the second and third positions.
3) Oklahoma (22-6 overall, 10-6 conference)
Last week: 2 (-1)
Last game: at Texas (L 63-76)
Next game: vs. Baylor (3/1)
As previously alluded to, it's hard to bump Oklahoma down here as the Sooners are still effectively neck-and-neck with West Virginia. However, OU has seen some relative struggles recently, having now gone just 3-4 in their last seven games. In their most recent game, Oklahoma lost to a Texas team that entered the weekend having lost three of five games with one of their wins coming by the skin of their teeth against K-State. OU is still a very good team with the potential to make a run in the Big 12 Tournament and the NCAA Tournament, but they drop ever so slightly this week.
4) Baylor (21-8 overall, 10-6 conference)
Last week: 3 (-1)
Last game: at TCU (W 86-71)
Next game: at Oklahoma (3/1)
Baylor's drop this week is more due to the volatile rise of West Virginia than anything they did in particular, as the Bears have actually played pretty well recently, having won three of their last four games, the one loss coming against Kansas. Baylor has the toughest remaining schedule in the conference however, as they must travel to Norman to take on the Sooners this week before finishing off the season this coming Saturday against West Virginia at home.
5) Texas (19-10 overall, 10-6 conference)
Last week: 7 (+2)
Last game: vs. Oklahoma (W 76-63)
Next game: vs. Kansas (2/29)
At the time of last week's rankings release, Texas had lost three of four games. As of today, the Longhorns have now won three of their last four games, including a big win over rival Oklahoma. It's hard to win anytime in the Big 12 but these frequent polar opposite stretches somewhat epitomize Texas this year, as they can swiftly change from looking like world-beaters to a team you can't help but shake your head at with frustration. They've got a big late-season test in their final home game Monday night versus Kansas.
6) Iowa State (20-9 overall, 9-7 conference)
Last week: 4 (-2)
Last game: vs. Kansas State (W 80-61)
Next game: vs. Oklahoma State (2/29)
Iowa State has been somewhat average (in terms of record) throughout the past month, as the Cyclones possess a record of 4-5 since Jan. 30 (subtract one loss for their Big 12 record in the same period). After struggling in Morgantown last Monday, ISU handled K-State at home on Saturday, cruising to a 19-point win. Iowa State has one more likely win on their schedule (Monday versus Oklahoma State) before traveling to Lawrence this coming Saturday for KU's senior night, which will be anything but an easy game for Steve Prohm's squad.
7) Texas Tech (18-10 overall, 8-8 conference)
Last week: 6 (-1)
Last game: at Kansas (L 58-67)
Next game: at West Virginia (3/2)
The Red Raiders had been on a five-game winning streak until running into the buzzsaw that is Kansas on Saturday. To their credit, Texas Tech hung tough with the Jayhawks throughout the game, even after going through a long scoring drought in the second half. Texas Tech is a bubble team currently but has a real chance to make some noise in the Big 12 Tournament, and it wouldn't hurt to finish strong in their final two regular season games.
8) Kansas State (15-14 overall, 4-12 conference)
Last week: 8 (NC)
Last game: at Iowa State (L 61-80)
Next game: vs. TCU (3/2)
Kansas State has struggled in their last several games, but that's hardly surprising; the Wildcats have played three straight ranked teams and fell to each of them (two of the games coming at home). It would be good for K-State's morale as the season winds down to close out the regular season in strong fashion.
9) Oklahoma State (12-17 overall, 3-13 conference)
Last week: 9 (NC)
Last game: vs. West Virginia (L 56-70)
Next game: at Iowa State (2/29)
It's been a bad season for the Cowboys but this most recent four-game losing streak has been particularly bad; OSU is scoring just a shade over 58 points per game over this stretch and has lost each game by an average of over 18 points. It's not getting any easier in the last week of the season for Travis Ford's team, as they have to play at Iowa State and against Texas to close out the year.
10) TCU (11-18 overall, 2-14 conference)
Last week: 10 (NC)
Last game: vs. Baylor (L 71-86)
Next game: at Kansas State (3/2)
Entering the final week of the season with the longest active losing streak in the Big 12 (five games), there are undoubtedly plenty of TCU supporters who are just waiting for this miserable season to end. The Horned Frogs get to play another cold team, Kansas State, in their next game, perhaps they could pull off a road upset at the tail end of the season.
Questions, comments, concerns, opinions? Let me know in the comments or shoot me a tweet, I'm listening.