Big 12 Rankings thru games on February 16th: (last week's ranking in parentheses)
Wayne Simian is back and the Jayhawks are starting to gel. Two easy wins last week over the Bears and Cyclones built confidence going into the stretch run. A revenge game against Colorado is this week before a huge matchup in Norman against Oklahoma. That is one game you have to watch if you are a Big 12 basketball fan.
The monkey is off of the Longhorns' backs with their win over Oklahoma. They still meet one more time, but bragging rights reside in Austin right now. The game at Nebraska was an easy one as expected. This week features a couple of good tests with Texas Tech at home and a trip to Stillwater to meet the Cowboys.
3. Oklahoma (2): 17-4, 8-2; lost to Texas then beat Texas Tech
Losing at Texas is not that bad and will not set the Sooners back too far. They responded with a solid win in Lubbock over the Red Raiders. Oklahoma brings up the rear of the top three teams in the Big 12 who are pulling away from the rest of the conference. The second installment of this year's Bedlam Series is up next and is then followed by the matchup with Kansas. A huge week ahead for Kelvin Sampson's crew.
4. Oklahoma St. (4): 19-4, 8-2; beat Nebraska then lost to Baylor
What was that?!?! Losing to Baylor?!?! At home?!?! This game replaces the Texas Tech loss at Kansas State as the most shocking upset of the season by far. OSU has been struggling mightily in recent weeks and needs to turn it around quickly. The schedule turns ugly for the Cowboys with a trip to OU and Texas coming to Stillwater this week. A split is a success.
5. Missouri (5): 14-6, 6-4; lost to Texas A&M then beat Kansas State
Mizzou is a team looking for respect and a good seed in the NCAA tournament and losing to Texas A&M is a horrible way to earn those things. They took care of business against Kansas State and will do the same with Nebraska coming to town this week. The big contest is against Colorado in Boulder.
6. Colorado. (6): 15-8, 5-5; lost to Kansas State then beat Texas A&M
This team is so close to being considered a legit NCAA tourney team, but another loss like Kansas State could have them sitting on the wrong side of the bubble come Selection Sunday. An upset at Kansas would be huge, but beating Missouri at home is a must win game.
7. Texas A&M (7): 12-9, 4-6; beat Missouri then lost to Colorado
Add another name to the list of upset victims in College Station. The Aggies took out the Tigers before an unsuccessful trip to Colorado. This is another team on the verge of something great like Colorado, but needs to pick up a few road wins down the stretch to make the NCAAs. Iowa State is an easy win at home and then another chance on the road follows. Texas Tech has been struggling, so the Aggies need to finish off the season sweep while they can.
8. Texas Tech (8): 14-7, 4-6; beat Iowa State then lost to Oklahoma
Bobby Knight has to be going crazy right now. The Red Raiders are slowly slipping away and turning into an NIT team. They need a third scorer to step up soon and this week would be a good time for that to happen. A rough trip to Austin is probably a loss, but the Aggies come to Lubbock after that game. A loss in that one ends all hopes of the NCAA tourney for Tech.
9. Kansas State (9): 12-11, 3-7; beat Colorado then lost to Missouri
A great home win over the Buffaloes was followed by a hard fought loss to the Tigers on the road. The Cats have righted their ship and are settling into the ninth spot for the Big 12 tournament. Two wins are possible this week with a home tilt against Baylor followed by a road game in Ames against the Cyclones. KSU has a chance at the NIT and these games are musts if they hope to reach the postseason.
10. Baylor (11): 11-10, 2-8; lost to Kansas then beat Oklahoma State
The stars finally aligned correctly for the Bears as they broke a two-year drought without a road win and pulled the huge upset over Oklahoma State. Can the pesky Bears make it two-in-a-row? Tune in and find out when they take on Kansas State this week. It will be drama at its best! Nebraska at home follows that up, so Big 12 win #3 is guaranteed this week.
11. Iowa St. (10): 12-9, 2-8; lost to Texas Tech and Kansas
Baylor's win drops the Cyclones down a spot and Larry Eustachy was so mad about it that he got ejected from the Kansas loss. Ole Larry is looking a little worn out these days and it will continue until the end of the season. A loss in College Station is not a foregone conclusion, but it is likely. The one possible win this week comes with Kansas State visiting Hilton Coliseum.
12. Nebraska (12): 9-14, 1-9; lost to Oklahoma State and Texas
Another week of losses for the Huskers as teams are beginning to take them for granted. Both OSU and Texas struggled with their first half shooting in Lincoln, but it did not matter in the end. Husker fans are looking away from Devaney and towards Memorial Stadium and thinking about spring football already. Two more losses will probably come this week with trips to Missouri and Baylor.