We’re getting to the end of the season and Baylor is still at the top. The conference is helping them out though if they cancel the West Virginia game. That was one we were all looking forward to.
- Baylor (17-0, 9-0 in conference)
Baylor will be able to get back on the court tomorrow after a 21 day break. They get to start with a struggling Iowa State game before trying to get in the other remaining games. There are five ranked opponents still on the schedule with two of them planned. We’ll see if they are able to get back to their perfect form and finish the year without a loss.
2. Oklahoma (14-5, 9-4 in conference)
Outside of a hiccup at Texas Tech a few weeks ago, Oklahoma has been the most consistent team outside of Baylor. They opened up Big 12 play losing 3 of 4 but have rattled off 8 of 9 wins. KenPom doesn’t love them due to their inability to put teams away. Outside of Iowa State and Kansas State, their wins are all by 7 points or less. Wins are wins though and those include games against #9 WVU, #9 Kansas, #5 Texas, #9 Alabama, and #14 WVU again. As long as Reaves continues to shine, this team will finish either second or third in the conference standings.
3. West Virginia (15-6, 8-4 in conference)
West Virginia started off it’s 3 game Texas road trip with another huge comeback win. WVU trailed Texas by 19 points with 18:20 to go. Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones got into an altercation on the sideline during the next timeout and the game seemed to completely change after that. West Virginia had the Longhorns completely thrown out of sorts with the matchup zone they employed for the second half. They keep finding different ways to win but man to man defense has to worry Mountaineer fans. The Longhorns shot 70% in the first half including a lot of wide open shots at the rim. They sit at 310th at two point field goal percentage defense.
4. Kansas (17-7, 11-5 in conference)
Tell me if you’ve heard of this before. A struggling Kansas team is heating up as we get closer to March. They are now winners of 5 straight and David McCormack, who I have doubted much of this year, has really taken over as the leader of this team. He is being used on 28.3% of possessions which puts him at third in the Big 12. Derek Culver and Cade Cunningham are the only players in front of him. The guards need to improve on three point shooting if they want to win either of their last games against Texas or Baylor.
5. Texas (13-6, 7-5 in conference)
Texas looked unstoppable for 22 minutes on Saturday. The matchup zone really threw them off their game in the second half. They were unable to get the ball into the middle and the bigs were unable to distribute if they did catch it there. They still have some of the best athletes in this conference. Jericho Sims was a man amongst boys when he was able to stay in the game. One thing to worry about is that they’ve lost 4 of their last 6 games with the wins being against Kansas State and TCU. The Longhorns desperately need to win one of the games this week between Kansas and Texas Tech.
6. Oklahoma State (15-6, 8-6 in conference)
Cade Cunningham is my favorite player to watch in the country. I can’t wait to see what he does at the next level. The Cowboys beat Texas Tech for the second time last night. The two teams are very evenly matched, with both going into OT. Cunningham got his fourth foul and I was worried Texas Tech would pull away. They did a great job all game in slowing down Mac McClung and Terrence Shannon. The two combined for 35 points but were forced into a lot of difficult shots. They also shot 2-10 from the three.
7. Texas Tech (14-8, 6-7 in conference)
I was very critical of the Red Raiders early on in the year and I think their true colors are now showing. They’ve lost three straight. Mac McClung leads the Big 12 in shot percentage but sits only 18th in effective field goal percentage and 16th in true shooting percentage. If teams have a bigger guard that can keep up with him, he seems to struggle. On the defensive end, they are pretty good but they sit at 300th in free throw attempts/field goal attempts. Chris Bears complained after the loss about the free throw disparity but that is just who the Red Raiders are.
8. TCU (11-9, 4-7 in conference)
Mike Miles is a baller. RJ Nembhard is struggling shooting the basketball. Kevin Samuel leads the league in offensive rebounding percentage and block percentage. This team has some positives to take away. They have just turned the ball over a little too much and can’t make free throws.
9. Kansas State (6-18, 2-13 in conference)
Kansas State ended their 13 game losing streak with a win against TCU on Saturday. That moves them out of the cellar but TCU has some good wins over Oklahoma State so they stay below them. The Wildcats have gone through a brutal schedule. They’ve played 11 consecutive games that the team were either ranked at the time or are currently ranked. The triple threat of Miguel, Pack, and McGuirl led the way playing 36, 39, and 37 minutes, respectively. The trio also scored the final 14 points to get the win. Pack and Miguel are true freshman so this team has some good years ahead.
10. Iowa State (2-16, 0-13 in conference)
Despite going winless in Big 12 play, I was higher on Iowa State than most because they were putting up a fight in most games. The losing streak has beaten them down and they’ve now lost four straight games by double digits. They also haven’t cracked 60 points in any of the last three. Rasir Bolton, who has led this team all year, has cooled off a bit and it takes a big toll on this team. They now rank 197th in offensive efficiency.