Week 3 Big 12 Power Rankings
What Is Going On In Texas?
Now that the college basketball season is well underway, the Big 12 Power Rankings are starting to get really shaken up. Teams are moving up and down while others are staying put at the very top.
This season, the Big 12 conference again looks like a powerhouse in the nation and well on its way to sending multiple teams to the Big Dance in March. Of course, Kansas will most likely find itself listed in the Associated Press weekly, but now the likes of Kansas State and Oklahoma State are definitely primed to give the conference’s powerhouse a run for their money.
The league added two teams to the conference this season, in West Virginia and TCU, who have started off their respective residences in the Big 12 a little differently. One team has found success early on, while the other finds themselves stuck at the bottom of the Big 12 food chain.
With plenty more basketball to be played and just a few weeks to go before conference play opens up, expect some more action in the power rankings come Week 4. But for now, let’s enjoy what was a wild Week 3 in Big 12 basketball.
In the following slides, we’ll recap each Big 12 team’s successes and failures this week and look forward to their week ahead.
Jake Fischer is the CAA Correspondent for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. He will also be contributing weekly Big 12 Power Rankings during the 2012-2013 NCAAB season every Tuesday. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @fischsportsline.
No. 10- West Virginia Mountaineers
Last Week: 1-2 (Marist, Davidson, Oklahoma)
When the West Virginia Mountaineers entered the Old Spice Classic last week, they were still recovering from an 84-50 loss to Gonzaga during their season opener. Now, they’ve left the tournament even more dejected and seriously need to go back to the drawing board. While the Mountaineers looked fantastic in their 87-44 victory over Marist, WVU showed their true struggling selves during their losses to Davidson and a new conference rival in Oklahoma. West Virginia needs to correct their offensive game. While they do boast a pretty well balanced offense, they are shooting the ball terribly. Shooting 39.8 percent on field goals, 25.8 percent beyond the arc and 65.6 percent from the line will not get it done in the Big 12.
Next week, West Virginia will take on Virginia Military on Wednesday. Maybe they’ll be able to discover a more efficient offensive game plan.
No. 9- Texas Longhorns
Last Week: 1-1 (USC, Mississippi State)
The Texas Longhorns should consider themselves extremely lucky to boast a 3-2 record. Thus far this season, the Longhorns have lost by double-digits to Division II Chaminade and have struggled to play cohesively at times. In their overtime loss to USC this week, Texas shot 37 percent from the field and 18.2 percent from beyond the arc. The Longhorns overall are averaging a measly 63.8 points per game this season, ranking 251 in the entire country. This team needs to correct their problems before the run into their tough closing of their non-conference schedule.
Next week, the Longhorns take on Sam Houston State on Tuesday and Texas-Arlington on Saturday.
No. 8- Iowa State Cyclones
Last Week: 0-2 (Cincinatti, UNLV)
The Iowa State Cyclones raced out of the gates to start the 2012-2013 college basketball season, jumping out to a 4-0 record in their first two weeks. But, now that they’ve faced some steep competition, two nationally ranked teams, the Cyclones have come back down to earth a tad. While they performed at an acceptable level against now No. 22 Cinicinatti and No. 18 UNLV, losing 78-70 and 82-70 respectively, Iowa State still looks to have the intangibles to be able to compete in the Big 12. They rank 21st in the country in scoring, 2nd in rebounding and 54th in assists per game. Their No. 8 Ranking might be a little unfair after all of the hard work head coach Fred Hoiberg and company have put in, but, if they can take care of business next week, maybe they’ll appear in the top 5 of the conference come Week 4.
Next week, Iowa State will play BYU on Saturday.
No. 7- TCU Horned Frogs
Last Week: 2-1 (Navy, Northwestern, UAB)
When the TCU Horned Frogs entered the 2012-2013 season, their first campaign in the Big 12, nobody truly new what to expect from an institution that’s predominantly known as a football school. Now 7 games into the season, TCU has looked superb against mid-major opponents and like they belong in a high-major conference. Last week, they took care of business against Navy and UAB, squeaking out both victories in crunch-time and maintaining their composure despite losing Americ Fields to injury. Their double-digit loss to Northwestern has revealed their only true weakness this year: playing up to more talented opponents. They’ll need to correct that during conference play.
Next week, TCU will play Southern Utah on Thursday, another mid-major they should be able to handle.
No. 6- Texas Tech Red Raiders
Last Week: 2-0 (Grambling State, Jackson State)
Thus far this season, the Texas Tech Red Raiders, the second highest scoring team in the entire nation, have looked superb beating on mid-major opponents. They’ve been so dominant thus far, their smallest margin of victory has been 9 points. The only reason Tech is ranked just outside the top 5 is the lack of high-quality talent they’ve faced. Next week, Jaye Crockett has a chance to lead his teammates against a tough opponent and show just how talented they truly are.
Next week, the Red Raiders face their first big test of the season when they take on No. 9 Arizona on Saturday.
No. 5- Oklahoma Sooners
Last Week: 2-1 (UTEP, Gonzaga, West Virginia)
During the week, Oklahoma Sooners experienced some highs and some lows. First, they handily beat UTEP 68-61, but then were demolished by No. 17 Gonzaga 72-47. In the loss, the Sooners looked absolutely horrific offensively, shooting just 32 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from beyond the arc. But, Oklahoma corrected things and regained their momentum and confidence by beating West Virginia in the two conference foes’ first of three meetings this season. Now with a bounce-back win under their belts, the Sooners should be able to contend for a top 5 spot in the conference rankings for the time being.
Next week, the Sooners will take on Oral Roberts on Wednesday and Northwestern State on Friday.
No. 4- Baylor Bears
Last Week: 0-1 (Charleston)
This week, the Baylor Bears fell to the College Of Charleston in a sloppy, sloppy game. For a team that’s in the top 70 of the country in almost every offensive statistical category, they have a lot to prove next week. Shooting only 7-15 from the foul line, like they did against the Cougars, is not going to get it done against any competitive program. The Bears will need to be more clutch if they want to creep back into the AP and USA Today polls.
Next week, Baylor has a huge matchup against No. 8 Kentucky.
No. 3- Kansas State
Last Week: 1-1 (Delaware, Michigan)
This week, the Kansas State Wildcats’ momentum-building run through the NIT-Season tip-off ended with a 71-57 loss to Michigan in the tournament’s championship. They beat Delaware 66-63 in the semifinals and looked to compete against the Wolverines but were eventually thwarted. Thus far, K State has looked exceptional and like a top team in this conference. With non-conference play winding down, they should be able to focus and grind out the next few weeks successfully.
Next week, the Wildcats take on UC Upstate.
No. 2- Oklahoma State Cowboys
Last Week: 1-0 (Portland State)
Now ranked No. 15 in the country, the Oklahoma State Cowboys look like they have just as good a chance as the Jayhawks to win the conference crown. Following their triumphant Puerto Rico Tip-Off title victory, the Cowboys demolished Portland State 81-58 and their stars Le’Bryan Nash and Markel Brown have been everything this program has needed. Look for Oklahoma State to remain towards the top of these rankings for the rest of the year.
Next week, the Cowboys take on Virginia Tech on Saturday.
No. 1- Kansas Jayhawks
Last Week: 2-0 (St. Louis and San Jose State)
The Jayhawks looked like a top-ranked national team should against St. Louis and San Jose State this week, beating both mid-majors by double-digits. Jeff Withey definitely stood out during the two victories, especially with his triple double against the Spartans last night. The Big 12 title still remains Kansas’ to lose.
Next week, Kansas will play Oregon State in a Big 12-Pac 12 battle.
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