The Big 12 Conference leads the NCAA in conference RPI thanks to a tough non-conference schedule and a murderer’s row conference schedule. Unlike other conferences, the Big 12 plays each opponent twice in a season. With seven-to-eight teams within the conference vying for a potential berth into the NCAA tournament, every game is the equivalent to a heavyweight title fight. Last Saturday, Kansas State snapped their 10-game losing streak with a blowout loss to in-state rival Kansas. The loss knocked the Wildcats out of the top 25.
The Oklahoma Sooners replaced the Wildcats in the No. 25 spot of the rankings with a big time win against Iowa State. Tuesday evening the Sooners would play their first game as a ranked team since 2009 on the road against the Kansas Wildcats. The Big 12 conference touts many premium basketball atmospheres such as Allen Fieldhouse, Gallagher-Iba Arena and Hilton Coliseum, Kansas State has one of the most underrated environments in all of college basketball: The Octagon of Doom.
Oklahoma’s reign in the top 25 will likely be short-lived after a 72-66 loss Tuesday evening, becoming the latest victim of the hostile confines of the Octagon of Doom. Kansas State may be the lowest-scoring offenses in the conference, but they can sure play defense. Head coach Bruce Webber‘s squad held Cameron Clark, the conference’s leading scorer, to two points. Clark was averaging a shade under 18 points per game in conference play entering Tuesday night’s contest.
Thanks to intense defense, the high-energy environment of the Octagon of Doom and a 16-4 Wildcat run in the final five minutes, the Wildcats were able to get their second marquee victory in conference play. The Wildcats move to 3-1 in the Big 12 Conference, and will host West Virginia Saturday.
Jack Dooley is a Big 12 Basketball writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JackDooleyOCS.