Big 12 Power Rankings: Texas Tech Relishing Spoiler Role Edition

Posted by Nate Kotisso on February 17th, 2014

We’re nine days removed from The Shove Heard ‘Round the World but if you look close enough, something good did come out of that. With help from Tech’s athletic department, Red Raider fans sold out United Spirit Arena that night and stormed the floor as their Red Raiders scored an upset win over the Cowboys but they didn’t stop there. Last Wednesday night saw Tech go stormin’ into Norman and shock Oklahoma on their home floor. On Saturday they made things close at Iowa State before the Cyclones pulled away late, winning by six. But what does it all mean? It means opponents can’t pencil in Tech as a win anymore. TTU’s five conference wins are already the most since the 2010-11 season, the last of Pat Knight’s tenure. With Tubby Smith’s hiring making him the fourth Texas Tech coach in as many seasons, it must be swell for Red Raider fans knowing their program is finally moving in the right direction. And now our rankings:

Tubby Smith has guided the Red Raiders to five conference wins, the most since 2010-11. (Justin Hayworth/Associated Press)

Tubby Smith has guided the Red Raiders to five conference wins, the most since the 2010-11 season. (Justin Hayworth/Associated Press)

1. Kansas — 4 points (previous: 1st; All voted KU first)

Comment: “Kansas better be careful this week. They’ll have Texas coming into Lawrence for the rematch on Saturday but the Jayhawks can’t overlook those pesky Red Raiders on the road tomorrow. Classic trap game.” – Nate Kotisso (@natekotisso)

2. Texas — 8 points (previous: 2nd; All voted UT second)

Comment: “The Longhorns outscored the Cowboys and Mountaineers by a staggering 0.26 points per possession. However, both games were at home. Texas now stares down a stretch of three roadies in four games, and the locations couldn’t be any less desirable for them: Allen Fieldhouse, Hilton Coliseum and the Lloyd Noble Center.” – Brian Goodman (@BSGoodman)

3. Iowa State — 15 points (previous: 3rd; Nate & Taylor-3rd, Brian-4th, Kory-5th)

Comment: “I don’t think anyone anticipated that type if effort in Morgantown last week. The Cyclones still feel like the third best team in this league and will certainly be a tough out in post season play.” – Taylor Erickson (@tc_erickson)

4. Kansas State — 16 points (previous: 5th; Kory-3rd, Nate & Taylor-4th, Brian-5th)

Comment: “The Wildcats survived Andrew Wiggins’ unbelievably athletic play at the end of regulation last Monday, but couldn’t keep it together against on Saturday when Brady Heslip buried a buzzer-beating three to send the game into overtime. The Wildcats are a few wins away from locking up a bid, but their defensive rebounding needs to be tightened up down the stretch.” – BG

5. Oklahoma — 17 points (previous: 4th; Brian-3rd, Kory-4th, Nate & Taylor-5th)

Comment: “I didn’t want to penalize the Sooners too much for losing at home to Tech because they have been playing better as of late and were able to sweep the #Bedlam series in the process. OU has Kansas State, Kansas and Texas in their nest three games. If they were able to get two wins in any of those games, their at-large bid would essentially be locked up.” – NK

6. West Virginia — 24 points (previous: 6th; All voted WVU sixth)

Comment: “The blowout of Iowa State early in the week was huge for NCAA tournament resume points. Unfortunately, Bob Huggins and company couldn’t get it done in Austin on Saturday. This league provides plenty of opportunities for high caliber wins, something the Mountaineers will need down the stretch if they want to make the tournament.” – TE

7. Baylor — 31 points (previous: 9th; Brian-7th, Kory/Nate/Taylor-8th)

Comment: “Could things finally be looking up for the Bears? Baylor finally won back-to-back games in league play, and they have another winnable game on Monday when Oklahoma State comes to town. They’re still on the outside looking in as far as NCAA Tournament bid is concerned, but a victory could bring them back towards the bubble.” – BG

8. Texas Tech — 32 points (previous: 8th; Kory & Nate-7th, Brian & Taylor-9th)

Comment: “Much deserved love for Jaye Crockett. In the last four games, of which Tech went 3-1, Crockett posted 17.3 points and 9.3 rebounds on 22-for-46 (.478) shooting while making 22-for-24 (.916) free throws. Crockett is the only senior who played all four years at Texas Tech under Knight, Billy Gillispie, Chris Walker and now Smith. With the program’s instability, he had every reason to transfer. Props to him for staying in Lubbock.” – NK

9. Oklahoma State — 33 points (previous: 7th; Taylor-7th, Brian-8th, Kory & Nate-9th)

Comment: “What’s happening in Stillwater is disappointing to say the least. League records would suggest that even ranking them 7th is too high, but any team with Marcus Smart and Markel Brown is still dangerous.” – TE

10. TCU — 40 points (previous: 10th; All voted TCU tenth)

Comment: “The Horned Frogs have been the one constant in power rankings: they’ve been tenth since the very beginning. They have yet to register a win in conference play and looking at their remaining schedule, I can’t convince myself they’ll get even one.” – NK

Big 12 Video/GIF Of The Week

In case you missed it from Saturday, Baylor’s Brady Heslip hit a desperation three as time expired to send the Bears and Wildcats to overtime. BU would eventually outlast Kansas State 87-73 in double OT. Is it possible this shot saved BU’s season? Maybe. (h/t Ryan Fagan)

Five Big 12 Games You Better Watch This Week

  1. Monday: Oklahoma State at Baylor (8:00 PM CT, ESPN)
  2. Tuesday: Texas at Iowa State (6:00 PM CT, ESPN2)
  3. Tuesday: Kansas at Texas Tech (7:00 PM CT, ESPN3/Big 12 Network)
  4. Saturday: Kansas State at Oklahoma (3:00 PM CT, ESPN3/Big 12 Network)
  5. Saturday: Texas at Kansas (6:30 PM CT, ESPNU)
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