Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings: Week 17 Edition
Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings
With the NCAA Tournament and the great month of March just a handful of games away, the Big 12 title race seems all but over. For a conference that has been widely considered the best in college basketball -- some might argue the Big Ten is up there as well -- to have a team run away with the conference title with a few regular season games left is very rare.
The Big 12 has been considered the best, and deepest, conference by many, but it's not what other people think, it's how the conference's best teams play. I think it's pretty clear that the Kansas Jayhawks think they are the best team in the nation -- and they have been proving as much on the court lately.
After a slow start to the season, Kansas has come on strong and a recent blowout victory over the Texas Longhorns at home has furthered its confidence that it can win a Big 12 and national title.
So if Kansas is running away with the conference title, how is the Big 12 so good? Well, with three ranked teams and seven or eight teams with a legitimate shot to make the NCAA Tournament isn't enough proof, then I don't know what to tell you.
When the Oklahoma State Cowboys are in eighth place out of 10 teams in your conference, you know you're a pretty solid league. Also, when 70 to 80 percent of your conference has a legit shot at making the Tournament come March, you know you're doing something right as a conference.
With that being said, let's look at the Big 12 power rankings for week 17. Let me know if you agree or disagree with the placement of any team in the rankings.
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. TCU Horned Frogs (9-17, 0-14)
To say the Horned Frogs have had a rough season is the definition of an understatement. The Horned Frogs began the season with a 9-3 record -- and then conference play happened. Losers of 14 consecutive games, there's no question as to why TCU finds itself in last place in these power rankings.
This week: vs. Oklahoma State (17-10), at West Virginia (15-12)
9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (13-14, 5-9)
Texas Tech has gone just 1-3 since the infamous win over Oklahoma State at home in which Marcus Smart was ejected for shoving a fan. Since the Red Raiders' three-game win-streak, they have lost three straight -- including a rematch with Oklahoma State by 22 points.
This week: vs. Kansas State (18-9), at Baylor (18-9)
8. Oklahoma State Cowboys (17-10, 5-9)
Oklahoma State has a chance to climb out of the gutter of the Big 12 standings -- and my power rankings -- by winning out. With two ranked teams left on the schedule, the Cowboys have a chance to prove they belong in the NCAA Tournament, and with Smart back, there's a good chance they can win at least three of their final four games.
This week: at TCU (9-17), vs. No. 5 Kansas (21-6)
7. West Virginia Mountaineers (15-12, 7-7)
West Virginia is a bubble team if I've ever seen one, but it are so close to having its bubble bursted. Winning the conference tournament might be the Mountaineers only shot at making the Tournament. Well, winning on the road at Iowa State this week and at home against Kansas might help their resumé as well.
This week: at No. 15 Iowa State (21-5), vs. TCU (9-17)
6. Kansas State Wildcats (18-9, 8-6)
After starting the season 14-4, Bruce Weber's Wildcats have lost five of their last nine games to drop their record to 18-9 and 8-6 in Big 12 play. With two road games remaining and a 1-6 record on the road in conference play, the Wildcats won't have it easy when trying to make a run in March.
This week: at Texas Tech (13-14), vs. No. 15 Iowa State (21-5)
5. Baylor Bears (18-9, 6-8)
Baylor has moved up considerably in my power rankings. The Bears might be in seventh place in the actual standings, but they have won four consecutive games and two of those have come on the road. Those four straight wins come after losing eight of the previous 10 games.
This week: at No. 24 Texas (20-7), vs. Texas Tech (13-14)
4. Texas Longhorns (20-7, 9-5)
Texas suffered its toughest loss of the season against Kansas in week 15, losing to the conference rival by an embarrassing 31 points, 85-54. Everyone has those games where nothing goes right, however, and the Longhorns are still the fourth-best team in the conference right now -- could move up with a 2-0 record in week 17.
This week: vs. Baylor (18-9), at Oklahoma (20-7)
3. Oklahoma Sooners (20-7, 9-5)
Oklahoma has been the surprise team in the conference this season, starting the year with an 11-1 record -- cooling off since. While the Sooners are 9-6 since that hot start, they are still third in the conference standings after three wins in their last four games. This is going to be a very telling week for the Sooners, however, as two wins could make them serious conference tournament title threats.
This week: at No. 5 Kansas (21-6), vs. No. 24 Texas (20-7)
2. Iowa State Cyclones (21-5, 9-5)
Iowa State is the conference's second-best team in terms of actual standings as well as their ability to beat anyone. The Cyclones have won six of their past seven games after starting conference play with a mediocre 3-4 record. Iowa State is the only legitimate threat to Kansas' conference title, but they will need three Kansas losses in its final four games -- not likely.
This week: vs. West Virginia (15-12), at Kansas State (18-9)
1. Kansas Jayhawks (21-6, 12-2)
Kansas has been the hottest team in the conference lately. Since starting the season with a mediocre 9-4 record, the Jayhawks have dominated in Big 12 play, winning 12 of 14 conference games. Andrew Wiggins and company have finally gelled enough to build one of the scariest teams in the nation and many are calling the Jayhawks a No. 1 seed and serious national title threat. Someone is going to have to steal a Big 12 title from this team -- not going to happen.
This week: vs. Oklahoma (20-7), at Oklahoma State (17-10)