In a Big 12 campaign that’s featured more twists and turns than an M. Night Shyamalan movie, the climax turned out to be as predictable as a romantic comedy.
Kansas won its 14th consecutive Big 12 title on Saturday, earning at least a share of the crown after beating Texas Tech.
Oklahoma, meanwhile, ended a six-game losing streak on Saturday by upending Kansas State in Norman.
As we enter the final week of the regular season in Big 12 play, let’s see how the Power Rankings look:
Record: 23-6, 12-4 Big 12
Last Week: def. Oklahoma 104-74, def. Texas Tech 74-72
This Week: vs. Texas (Monday, 8 p.m. CT), @ Oklahoma State (Saturday, 3 p.m. CT)
Were you honestly surprised that Kansas is once again the Big 12 champion?
The Jayhawks had arguably its best two-game stretch of the season last week, which started with a 30-point blowout of Oklahoma before the title-clinching win in Lubbock.
Senior Night is on Monday for Kansas against Texas before they travel to Stillwater in the regular season finale.
Kansas is currently listed as a No. 1 seed in the latest NCAA Tournament projections on Bracket Matrix. A pair of wins this week plus one win in the Big 12 Tournament should lock up a top seed for the Jayhawks.
2. Texas Tech
Record: 22-7, 10-6 Big 12
Last Week: loss to Oklahoma State 79-71, loss to Kansas 74-72
This Week: @ West Virginia (Monday, 8 p.m. CT), vs. TCU (Saturday, 3 p.m. CT)
Less than two weeks ago, Texas Tech was alone in first place in the Big 12.
Now the victims of a three-game losing streak coinciding with Keenan Evans’ toe injury, the Red Raiders now have to win out — and Kansas has to lose out — to earn a share of the Big 12 title.
Perhaps more importantly, Texas Tech wants to stay in the conversation for a No. 2 seed or better in the NCAA Tournament. Bracket Matrix currently has the Red Raiders as a No. 3 seed.
Correcting course this week should ensure Texas Tech doesn’t fall below a third seed. Evans’ health is ultimately the biggest concern, however. He’s been limited to single-digit scoring in each of the last three games.
3. West Virginia
Record: 21-8, 10-6 Big 12
Last Week: def. Baylor 71-60, def. Iowa State 85-70
This Week: vs. Texas Tech (Monday, 8 p.m. CT), @ Texas (Saturday, 11 a.m. CT)
An 11-point win at Baylor was one of West Virginia’s best outings of the Big 12 season. The Bears were the hottest team in the Big 12 but the Mountaineers won comfortably on the road.
After beating Iowa State at home on Saturday, West Virginia welcomes Texas Tech to Morgantown on Monday. That game will determine who holds second place in the conference by themselves.
Bracket Matrix lists West Virginia as the last No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament — the top four seeds in each bracket are eligible for preferential treatment as to location. A strong finish for the Mountaineers will do a lot to smooth over an inconsistent Big 12 campaign.
4. Kansas State
Record: 20-9, 9-7 Big 12
Last Week: def. Texas 58-48, loss to Oklahoma 86-77
This Week: @ TCU (Tuesday, 8 p.m. CT), vs. Baylor (Saturday, 1 p.m. CT)
The Wildcats earned a big bubble win over Texas before its three-game winning streak ended at Oklahoma.
K-State’s weak non-conference schedule keeps the Wildcats on the bubble, but a winning record in conference play plus 21-or-more overall wins should earn the Wildcats a comfortable berth.
Bracket Matrix projects Kansas State as a No. 10 seed and one of the last four teams to receive a bye past the First Four round.
Bruce Weber and Co. have two tough, yet doable, chances to earn that 10th conference win as they travel to TCU and host Baylor — the Wildcats are 2-0 against those teams.
Record: 20-9, 8-8 Big 12
Last Week: def. Iowa State 89-83, def. Baylor 82-72
This Week: vs. Kansas State (Tuesday, 8 p.m. CT), @ Texas Tech (Saturday, 3 p.m. CT)
A week ago, the Horned Frogs had lost three of its last five games and looked destined to join the bubble conversation.
Now, a 2-0 week has TCU in the middle of the Big 12 standings and one of five teams with a .500-or-better record in conference play.
TCU joined Kansas State as the only teams in the Big 12 to win at both Baylor and Iowa State last week — the Horned Frogs welcome in the Wildcats on Tuesday night before heading over to Lubbock to face Texas Tech.
The Horned Frogs are projected as a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament by Bracket Matrix.
Record: 17-12, 7-9 Big 12
Last Week: loss to West Virginia 71-60, loss to TCU 82-72
This Week: vs. Oklahoma (Tuesday, 8 p.m. CT), @ Kansas State (Saturday, 1 p.m. CT)
Baylor was the hottest team in the Big 12 a week ago — the Bears were winners of five straight games with wins over Kansas and Texas Tech in that streak.
That winning streak buoyed the Bears into the bubble conversation. Now Baylor needs a life preserver after suffering an 0-2 week.
Baylor needs three wins to reach 20 overall and 10 against Big 12 teams, and there’s only two regular season games left — they’ll need at least one win in Kansas City to keep their hopes at a berth alive.
Currently, Bracket Matrix has Baylor as the very last team into the NCAA Tournament field as a No. 11 seed playing in the First Four round.
It’s not an easy week for the Bears. They host Oklahoma, which just ended a six-game losing streak as Trae Young returned to form, before heading north to Kansas State, which already beat Baylor in Waco.
Record: 17-12, 7-9 Big 12
Last Week: loss to Kansas State 58-48, def. Oklahoma State 65-64
This Week: @ Kansas (Monday, 8 p.m. CT), vs. West Virginia (Saturday, 11 a.m. CT)
Texas has officially fallen deep into the bubble conversation.
After a 10-point loss at K-State where the Longhorns didn’t even crack 50 points, they salvaged a 1-1 week with a one-point squeaker over Oklahoma State.
Bracket Matrix has the Longhorns as a No. 11 seed playing in the First Four round.
Record: 17-11, 7-9 Big 12
Last Week: loss to Kansas 104-74, def. Kansas State 86-77
This Week: @ Baylor (Tuesday, 8 p.m. CT), vs. Iowa State (Friday, 8 p.m. CT)
The Sooners were embarrassed in Lawrence on Big Monday before a six-game losing streak finally ended on Saturday with a win over K-State.
In the win over the Wildcats, Trae Young was 7-of-11 from the field with six 3-pointers. His 64 percent shooting from the field was the highest mark since Oklahoma’s win over Kansas at the end of January.
If Young can remain as efficient as he was against the Wildcats, Oklahoma can escape the bubble whispers that were starting to become audible.
Bracket Matrix lists Oklahoma as a No. 8 seed.
9. Oklahoma State
Record: 16-13, 6-10 Big 12
Last Week: def. Texas Tech 79-71, loss to Texas 65-64
This Week: @ Iowa State (Tuesday, 6 p.m. CT), vs. Kansas (Saturday, 3 p.m. CT)
If there’s any high major team in the country with the smallest, yet still possible, hopes of an NCAA Tournament berth, it may very well be Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys are listed by Bracket Matrix as receiving a single vote — a win over Texas Tech is likely keeping any hopes afloat.
The one-point loss to Texas stings — it could have nearly eliminated the Longhorns from NCAA Tournament contention and Oklahoma State could’ve slid into their spot.
Now the Cowboys are essentially forced to go 2-0 this week and earn at least two wins in the Big 12 Tournament to sneak into an at-large bid.
10. Iowa State
Record: 13-15, 4-12 Big 12
Last Week: loss to TCU 89-83, loss to West Virginia 85-70
This Week: vs. Oklahoma State (Tuesday, 6 p.m. CT), @ Oklahoma (Friday, 8 p.m. CT)
The Cyclones have now lost four-straight games since a Feb. 10 upset of Oklahoma.
That’s put Iowa State two games below .500 with just two to go in the regular season plus the conference tournament.
Any faint NCAA Tournament hopes for Iowa State rest solely in a Big 12 Tournament title. However, the Cyclones could be a very viable NIT contender.
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