Big 12 Power Rankings: Saturday Lost Its Damn Mind Edition

Posted by Big 12 Team on February 7th, 2017

It took five weeks to get there, but the Big 12 finally returned to the wackiness that made it college basketball’s most entertaining league a season ago. At least for a day. All three of Saturday’s upsets encompassed a group of strangely similar qualities: the losing teams were ranked in the top 10; they dropped these games on their home floors; and the teams who won desperately needed to bolster their otherwise tame NCAA Tournament profiles. On the backs of the still surging Jeffrey Carroll and superhero guard Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State became the second Oklahoma school to hand West Virginia a home loss this season. Known for their insane comeback victories, Baylor was unable to overcome Kansas State’s 19-point first half lead, even in Waco. Finally, the Big 12’s best match-up gave us another game to remember. If you’ve enjoyed the previous editions of Iowa StateKansas since 2013, there is a great chance you also liked the Cyclones’ thrilling overtime victory in Allen Fieldhouse. What Saturday’s action proved is that a day, or even a week, full of surprises is still possible in the less chaotic 2017 version of the Big 12. Our rankings are coming your way.

Brad Underwood’s Cowboys scored a huge road win at West Virginia on Saturday. (USA Today Sports Images)

1. Kansas — all voted 1st – “The Jayhawks lost their first conference home game since 2013 on Saturday when Iowa State canned 18 three-pointers. It should have created an opening for both Baylor and West Virginia to make up ground in the title race, but both teams stumbled at home as well. KenPom ranks Kansas as the 65th luckiest team in the country, but the Jayhawks certainly had their horse shoes and rabbit foots on hand Saturday.” – Chris Stone (@cstonehoops)

2. Baylor — all voted 2nd – “The Bears were given a gift as Kansas couldn’t hold serve in its earlier home game, but the Wildcats entered Waco and walked out with a huge road win. The defense did its part but Johnathan Motley was the only Baylor player in double figures. Scott Drew’s team now has three straight games against bottom-half league teams before hosting Kansas in what could be a de facto regular season championship game.” – Drew Andrews (@DrewAndrews24)

3. West Virginia — all voted 3rd – “The gap between third and fourth place in the Big 12 has shrunken considerably in a matter of just a few days. With West Virginia’s second home loss to a sub-.500 team in league play and Iowa State’s road triumph in Lawrence, the Cyclones and Mountaineers are now both 6-4 in Big 12 play. What’s keeping West Virginia in third is its head-to-head win at Iowa State last Tuesday night.” – Nate Kotisso (@natekotisso)

4. Iowa State — all voted 4th – “There are many wild nuggets about the Cyclones’ monumental win at Allen Fieldhouse over the weekend, but my favorite might be this one: Iowa State cashed a school-record 18 three-pointers, but not a single one came from its best long-range shooter, Matt Thomas. The senior went 0-of-5 from distance and spent most of the second half and all of overtime on the bench with an ice pack on his ankle.” – Brian Goodman (@BSGoodman)

5. Oklahoma State — average: 5.4 – “How is the hottest team in the Big 12 only fifth on this list? Probably because the Cowboys were 0-6 in Big 12 play not too long ago. They’re now putting that losing streak solidly in the rearview mirror with five straight wins, capped off by the road win at West Virginia over the weekend. With home games against Baylor and Kansas still to come, Oklahoma State looks like a team with a chance to close strongly and earn an at-large bid.” – Justin Fedich (@jfedich)

Despite wins over Baylor and West Virginia, Bruce Weber and Kansas State are tournament maybe’s as of today with a 5-6 conference record. (Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle)

6. Kansas State — average: 5.6 – “The Wildcats went on a 20-8 run to begin The Sunflower Showdown on Monday night, but another winnable game went in favor of the team on the opposing sideline. Kansas State is still within striking distance of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, but the close losses stacking up are infuriating to fans who don’t have a lot of confidence in Bruce Weber to begin with.” – NK

7. TCU — all voted 7th – Jamie Dixon‘s Pittsburgh teams ranked among the top 30 in offensive rebounding percentage in 11 of his 13 seasons and among the top 30 in assist percentage in nine of his 13 seasons in The Steel City. While Dixon has only been in his new digs for 10 months now, those hallmarks have already shown themselves in Fort Worth: The Horned Frogs rank 21st in offensive rebounding percentage (36.0%) and 10th in assist percentage (62.7%), and Dixon has his new team in reach of an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time in nearly 20 years.”- BG

8. Texas Tech — all voted 8th – “After a poor performance at Texas in the midweek game, the Red Raiders bounced back with a win over Oklahoma at home. A split against the two weakest teams in the conference is not the result Texas Tech needs at this point in the season. After TCU on Tuesday, the Raiders will face the top four teams in the conference in a tough stretch that could spell the end of any existing NCAA Tournament hopes.” – DA

9. Texas — all voted 9th – Jarrett Allen continues to improve as the season rolls along, averaging 20.5 points and 8.5 rebounds over his last two games. It hasn’t affected the Longhorns’ results all that much, however. A 15-point loss to TCU isn’t exactly a confidence builder.” – JF

10. Oklahoma — all voted 10th – Jordan Woodard deserves better than this.” – CS

Big 12 Video/GIF of the Week 

As we have mentioned an ample number of times in this post, Iowa State knocked down a school-record 18 threes en route to a major win at Kansas on Saturday. Lost in its three-point barrage was that the Cyclones had to overcome a 14-point halftime deficit in order to force extra time and win by three points in overtime. In any event, the three-pointers were so many that Iowa State’s men’s basketball Twitter account (@CycloneMBB) was only able to put a montage together with only 16 of the 18 made threes. Prepare to be mesmerized… again.

Five Big 12 Games To Watch

1. Tuesday: Texas Tech at TCU (8:00 PM CT, ESPNews)
2. Wednesday: Baylor at Oklahoma State (6:00 PM CT, ESPNU)
3. Saturday: Kansas State at West Virginia (11:00 AM CT, ESPN)
4. Saturday: TCU at Baylor (1:00 PM CT, ESPNU)
5. Saturday: Kansas at Texas Tech (1:00 PM CT, ESPN)

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