Not much movement in the rankings this week. Teams are beginning to make a place for themselves in conference. This is still the death conference, but we’ve found the doormat (Iowa State) and the conqueror (West Virginia). WIll anyone dethrone eithers position?
1. West Virginia (-)
The nation’s longest winning streak is still going strong at 15 straight. The Mountaineers might’ve just held the nation’s best player to his average, but they did a wonderful job of shutting the rest of the team down. They then followed that up with the closest game they’ve had during this streak. Their physicality is going to make it tough for anyone to beat them, but Tuesday they showed signs of wearing down. Will a trip down to Lubbock, TX be what exposes them?
2. Oklahoma (-)
OU lost to the No. 1 team in our rankings, and then defeated the No. 3 team. This positions them where they should be. Trae Young is still the best player in America, but both West Virginia and Texas Tech showed ways to defend him. Luckily for Sooner fans, no one else in the conference can defend like WVU & TTU, so he’ll still have a field day against the rest of the conference.
3. Texas Tech (-)
The loss on Tuesday was disappointing, but far from unexpected. OU is a quality top ten team and outlasted Tech at home. What Tech does going forward will say much about this team. A win against No. 2 ranked West Virginia will keep the Red Raiders in the top 10 nationally and their Big 12 title hopes alive.
4. Kansas (+1)
All this talk of Kansas not being as good as they usually are, yet they still start conference play off 3-1. Kansas needs to find a way to be more consistent. Following a nice road win over ranked TCU, the Jayhawks found themselves tied with less than four minutes to go at home against the worst team in the conference. If this team can find some consistency then they may not be as far off from another title as we think.
5. TCU (-1)
TCU had a tough week this week. A loss to Kansas, followed by a devastating two overtime loss in Austin does not bode well for the Horned Frogs. However, TCU has had one of the more difficult schedules to begin conference play. They play Oklahoma on Saturday, but follow that with Iowa State and Kansas State. These games should bring that win total up a bit.
6. Kansas State (-)
K-State will continue to beat up on the bottom dwellers like they should. That strategy just might be enough to lead them to March Madness. After losing to Tech on Saturday, the Wildcats made light work of Oklahoma State to bring their record to 2-2. Bruce Weber’s bunch will have a tough time going forward as they have three ranked teams coming up.
7. Baylor (-)
Baylor arguably played their best game of the season Tuesday night in Morgantown. If not for a Jevon Carter three-pointer with less than a minute, the Bears might’ve secured their signature win of the season. Alas, they did not and are stuck with a 1-3 start to conference. This week will be important for Baylor to get the wins they can as ISU and OSU should be a good way for them to get to .500.
8. Texas (+1)
FINALLY. Texas finally got that underdog win that has eluded them all season. Though it took two overtimes to do so, you have to feel like this game just meant more for the Longhorns after the news about Andrew Jones broke. If Texas can keep this energy throughout the season, this may be the turning point for them.
9. Oklahoma State (-1)
Beating K-State would’ve been big for OSU, but that slipped away and so is their tournament chances. Starting league play does not bode well for a team many expected to be a doormat anyway. Okie State needs to find a way to win at least one of the two games they have this week against Texas and Baylor or else everyone’s preseason predictions about them may soon become reality.
10. Iowa State (-)
Thanks for playing Iowa State, you are the weakest link. I’d love to get Anne Robinson to show up at the end of every Iowa State and say that phrase. The Cyclones are 0-4 in conference and have become the team everyone breathes easy about. This Cyclones squad has had two instances where they were in it at the end just to bow out late. I believe they have some upset magic in them but it’s yet to be seen.