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Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings - March 7, 2016

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The regular season has come to a close, bringing us to the final power rankings prior to postseason play.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

1) Kansas (27-4 overall, 15-3 conference)
Last week: 1 (NC)
Kenpom: #2
Last game: vs. Iowa State (W 85-78)

The Jayhawks had their fans quite concerned as the end of January neared, having lost three of their last five games. Then Kentucky came to town, and ever since it has nothing but W's for KU. After closing out Iowa State in a tough contest on senior day, Kansas ended its regular season on an 11-game winning streak. Their win over the Cyclones was a close won, but it doesn't take away from the fact that the Jayhawks are arguably the best team in America right now. They're obviously and easily deserving of the top spot in the rankings.

2) West Virginia (24-7 overall, 13-5 conference)
Last week: 2 (NC)
Kenpom: #6
Last game: at Baylor (W 69-58)

West Virginia claimed this spot in the rankings from Oklahoma last week, and another week featuring two wins solidified their positioning as the regular season has come to a close. On a four-game winning streak and with the second seed in the Big 12 tournament, West Virginia is primed to bring a lot of momentum into the big dance.

3) Oklahoma (24-6 overall, 12-6 conference)
Last week: 3 (NC)
Kenpom: #7
Last game: at TCU (W 75-67)

Oklahoma maintains their number three position in the power rankings following a 2-0 week in which they knocked off Baylor at home and TCU on the road. OU floundered a bit as the regular season wound down, but they've now won four of their last five games headed into the conference tournament. The Sooners will be taking on Iowa State in the second round of the Big 12 tournament this coming Thursday, who they split their season series with this year.

4) Texas (20-11 overall, 11-7 conference)
Last week: 5 (+1)
Kenpom: #28
Last game: at Oklahoma State (W 62-50)

Texas jumps one spot in this final regular season ranking, thanks to a season-ending win over Oklahoma State. This win provides some much needed momentum for Shaka Smart's club after they were romped by Kansas earlier in the week on their senior night. The veteran Longhorns will face off with Baylor, who they split their two games with this season, on Thursday.

5) Iowa State (21-10 overall, 10-8 conference)
Last week: 6 (+1)
Kenpom: #18
Last game: at Kansas (L 78-85)

The Cyclones had won consecutive games before losing a hard fought battle in Lawrence on Kansas' senior day (granted, those wins were against two of the worst teams in the conference, K-State and OSU). It may be concerning that Iowa State has lost five of their last six games against ranked teams, but they are playing well recently despite losing this past Saturday. ISU easily has the potential to be a couple spots higher or lower when this season is all said and done, in my personal opinion.

6) Baylor (21-10 overall, 10-8 conference)
Last week: 4 (-2)
Kenpom: #27
Last game: vs. West Virginia (L 58-69)

Baylor is entering the Big 12 tournament on a skid, having lost three of their last four games, the only win coming against lowly TCU. To be fair, those three losses were against Kansas, Oklahoma and West Virginia, all top-15 teams nationally, but losing three of four is never good regardless of who you're playing. They've still got the talent to make a run in the conference tourney and the big dance, but losing two straight before the conference tournament is usually not a great sign.

7) Texas Tech (19-11 overall, 9-9 conference)
Last week: 7 (NC)
Kenpom: #36
Last game: vs. Kansas State (W 80-71)

Power rankings is an inexact science to say the least. I did not originally intend for the list to shake down in perfect mirroring of the conference standings, yet here we are. I also wanted to give Tech a boost for this:

but I couldn't pull the trigger on that. Tech is a good team that should be tournament-bound, but they don't make up any ground in the power rankings after a win over K-State that followed losses at Kansas and at West Virginia.

8) Kansas State (16-15 overall, 5-13 conference)
Last week: 8 (NC)
Kenpom: #47
Last game: at Texas Tech (L 71-80)

Just 1-4 in their last five games, K-State limped to the finish line this season, coming in eighth in the Big 12 and in our power rankings. If the Wildcats want to pull off some upsets in the Big 12 tournament, they had better hope for some tremendous fan support in the Sprint Center: Kansas State is just 1-7 in road games in Big 12 play this season. They'll take on Oklahoma State on Wednesday in the tournament's opening round.

9) Oklahoma State (12-19 overall, 3-15 conference)
Last week: 9 (NC)
Kenpom: #100
Last game: vs. Texas (L 50-62)

If Kansas State limped to the finish line, then OK State was dragging their dying carcass to it. It's been a rough season at best for the Pokes, but if it's any consolation, Jawun Evans was named the Big 12's freshman of the year on Sunday. If nothing else, it provides the Cowboys a bright spot looking forward to next year after they faltered mightily in 2015-16.

10) TCU (11-20 overall, 2-16 conference)
Last week: 10
Kenpom: #149
Last game: vs. Oklahoma (L 67-75)

After those last two analogies, I'm out of ways to describe TCU's performance during the Big 12 season. It was a bleak year for the Horned Frogs, one in which they remained in the basement for effectively the entire season. They'll play their first game of the Big 12 tournament on Wednesday against Texas Tech, a team they lost twice to during the season, but by just 11 total points.

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