Big 12 Rankings thru games on February 23rd: (last week's ranking in parentheses)
Easily the biggest week for OU this year with wins over Bedlam rival Okie State and Kansas. The Sooners are getting the inside help they need desperately and they might have a Final Four run in them yet. Two potentially difficult road games are ahead this week for Oklahoma. Missouri and Texas A&M welcome the Sooners to their respective buildings and will probably succumb to OU's talent, but they could be close games.
2. Kansas (1): 20-6, 10-2; beat Colorado then lost to Oklahoma
A good win over Colorado was followed by a tough loss in Norman. The first 30 minutes were ugly for the Jayhawks, but Kirk Henrich brought them back and made things interesting. Wayne Simian is back, but still hurting. A&M comes to Lawrence and then the Cowboys make the trip north. It should be a two-win week for KU.
3. Texas (2): 18-5, 9-3; beat Texas Tech then lost to Oklahoma State
This just in: T.J. Ford is good! He almost won the game at OSU by himself when the rest of team did not help him out (James Thomas and Brandon Mouton were the exceptions). The Longhorns simply ran into a very hot Cowboy who was playing at home. A relatively easy week lies ahead for Texas with games against Baylor and at Texas Tech.
4. Oklahoma St. (4): 20-5, 9-3; lost to Oklahoma then beat Texas
The Cowboys responded very well to their bad loss at Oklahoma with a great win over Texas at home. OSU had been slipping the past few weeks, but stopped the skid with the big win over UT. This team is still an enigma and probably won't be figured out all year. Some questions may be answered if they handle Texas Tech at home like they should and then challenge KU on the road.
5. Colorado. (6): 16-9, 6-6; lost to Kansas then beat Missouri
The Buffs are stockpiling great homes wins to show off when the NCAA tournament committee looks at their positives this year. After battling KU in Lawrence, CU destroyed Mizzou at home and added them to the list of great home wins. Kansas and Texas already suffered the same fate in Boulder. The problem this year has been on the road and Colorado can correct that this week. Trips to Iowa State and Baylor are must wins.
6. Missouri (5): 15-7, 7-5; beat Nebraska then lost to Colorado
Mizzou looked awful against Colorado after easily handling Nebraska. This seems to be a pattern for Quin Snyder teams. Play well early, struggle late, sneak into the Big Dance, and then surprise people. This year's version is talented enough to do just that. The Tigers can secure their NCAA bid with an upset of OU at home, but the more likely win comes with a trip to Manhatten. That KSU game will not be easy though.
7. Texas A&M (7): 13-10, 5-7; beat Iowa State then lost to Texas Tech
The Aggies bid for the NCAA tourney probably ended with their one-point loss at Texas Tech. They have won at home like most of the elite teams in the conference, but they also know how to falter on the road like the lower tier of the Big 12. A trip to the NIT looks secure, but a very rough schedule remains and that includes games at Kansas and home against Oklahoma this week.
8. Texas Tech (8): 15-8, 5-7; lost to Texas then beat Texas A&M
Bobby Knight's bunch is turning into a soap opera cast in Lubbock. Ups and downs, suspensions, parent's writing accusatory emails, and one player quitting are all a part of As the Raiders Turn. Nick Valdez has quit after he and Andre Emmett were suspended for an unknown reason. Unfortunately for Tech, their next three games are at Oklahoma State and then Texas and Kansas at home. That is not the best way to go about reaching the NCAA tourney.
9. Baylor (10): 13-10, 4-8; beat Kansas State and Nebraska
The Bears are a force these days. Two more wins last week including their second consecutive road win. Lawrence Roberts is playing like a player-of-the-year candidate and John Lucas and Co. are draining threes with regularity. As of right now, this is the team to watch that may jump into the top six next year. Their young talent continues to develop and could finish this year off strong. A loss at Texas is probable this week, but a win over CU at home could derail the Buffs hopes of an NCAA tourney bid.
10. Iowa St. (11): 13-10, 3-9; lost to Texas A&M then beat Kansas State
The ‘Clones picked up a nice win over Kansas State at home to end a four-game losing streak. Tim Barnes is starting to show signs of being a fantastic point guard, but this team is still Jake Sullivan and almost nothing more. Two winnable games are ahead this week although they will be tough. Colorado comes to Ames and then ISU goes to Lincoln.
11. Kansas State (9): 12-13, 3-9; lost to Baylor and Iowa State
Hey! Looky here! The Wildcats missed the basement and are trying their best to get back in with losses to Baylor and Iowa State this week. All the momentum they had built up in the early part of the Big 12 season is gone and they are on the verge of dropping into 12th if they lose to Nebraska and Missouri this week.
12. Nebraska (12): 9-16, 1-11; lost to Missouri and Baylor
One of the worst seasons in Nebraska basketball history is almost over and it cannot come soon enough for Barry Collier's crew. The losing streak is at nine games, but possible wins are on the schedule this week. Kansas State and Iowa State come to Lincoln where the Huskers play far better than on the road.