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Big 12 basketball power rankings: Red Raiders show their prowess

Texas Tech takes the top spot, but how does the rest of the conference shake out?

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Chris Beard has orchestrated the best defense in basketball while developing arguably the best player in the Big 12, Jarrett Culver. Culver makes this team a Big 12 championship contender, and as long as players such as Davide Moretti and Tariq Owens continue to be key contributors, Tech will be able to make a Final Four run as well.

2. Kansas Jayhawks

The Jayhawks suffered a big upset loss last weekend, but still remain the big bad wolf in the Big 12. However, the biggest loss they’ve suffered recently is the loss of star big man Udoka Azubuike. Without the Center, Kansas now has a big void in the middle and may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and finally ends the Kansas reign.

3. Iowa State Cyclones

Similar to Tech, Iowa State has climbed it’s way to top of the standings. Mariol Shayok and Lindell Wiggington have led this team to a surprising start. The Cyclones and Red Raiders are the biggest threats to ending the Jayhawks long-standing championship run.

4. TCU Horned Frogs

Jamie Dixon and company were not able to upset Kansas in Lawrence, however TCU has shown how dangerous they can be. Desmond Bane and Alex Robinson have taken over as the leaders of this veteran team. TCU’s veteran presence will make them tough to beat throughout the year

5. Oklahoma Sooners

In the post-Trae Young era, the Sooners have actually become a better team. Lon Kruger has the team moving the ball around and playing well together. Oklahoma does already have two conference losses however the losses came at Kansas and at Texas Tech. OU has a string of easier games coming up where they are able to stack up the conference wins.

6. Baylor Bears

Baylor’s victory over Iowa State showed just how well this team can play. Makai Mason and Tristan Clark have become a nice 1-2 combo and if teams can’t stop those two, they won’t e able to beat them.

7. Texas Longhorns

Shaka Smart was once a renowned coach at VCU and now he simply can’t get right at Texas. This is still a very talented team that can turn their year around, but they need to do it quickly.

8. Kansas State Wildcats

Without Dean Wade, this team simply isn’t as good as they could be. After starting the year as one of the best threats to win the whole thing, Wade’s absence has plummeted the Wildcats chances.

9. Oklahoma State Cowboys

This team is very fun to watch. Though they’ll lose many games this year, Mike Boynton’s team will play tough, keep games close, and pull off surprising upsets.

10. West Virginia Mountaineers

West Virginia is the only winless team in the conference for reason. This team is just as defensive as always but after losing veterans like Jevon Carter, this team simply isn’t talented enough to compete.