It was another wild week in the Big 12, starting last Monday with West Virginia’s near-upset of Kansas in Morgantown and ending with the ever-inconsistent Oklahoma State Cowboys dropping 85 points in a rare win in Allen Fieldhouse. It helped push the Cowboys back up the standings while Baylor, who dropped both of its games last week, fell three spots to #5. We still have six projected teams in the NCAA Tournament as of now — Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Baylor, and Iowa State — and the big wins by OSU and ISU look to have pushed them off the bubble for now. Here’s where we stand this week:
1) Kansas (19-2, 7-1 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 1
Projected NCAA Seed: #1
Last Week: W 61-56 at West Virginia, L 85-80 vs Oklahoma State
This Week: Wednesday at TCU, 8:00 PM, Saturday at Oklahoma, 3:00 PM
- Rundown: The Jayhawks were due for a loss after winning 18 straight games and walking a tightrope most of January. It finally came on Saturday against Oklahoma State. It also ended the Jayhawks’ 33-game home winning streak and 16-game home winning streak against Oklahoma State, dating back to 1989. Turnovers — especially at the point guard position — have been a problem for KU of late, and Saturday was no different. Elijah Johnson committed four turnovers, including a last-second mishap that prevented Ben McLemore from doing his best Mario Chalmers impersonation.
- Player Stepping Up: Freshman G Ben McLemore: He has scored in double figures every game in 2013 and had 23 in Saturday’s loss. He is shooting an impressive 50% from the field and 45.5% from three-point range.
2)Kansas State (17-4, 6-2)
Previous Ranking: 2
Projected NCAA Seed: #6
Last Week: W 83-57 vs Texas, W 52-50 at Oklahoma
This Week: Tuesday at Texas Tech, 7:00 PM, Saturday vs Iowa State, 5:00 PM
- Rundown: It hasn’t always been the case, but Saturday’s win over Oklahoma in Norman was big for the Wildcats. They have won 10 out of 12 and sit just one game behind Kansas in the Big 12 standings, thanks to Angel Rodriguez’s two free throws with 5.6 seconds left to give them the 52-50 win. It was a rare win in a game where leading scorer Rodney McGruder, who finished with seven points, was quiet offensively.
- Player Stepping Up: Junior G Will Spradling: Spradling averages 8.5 PPG, but has scored in double figures in three of his last five games. He had 15 in the first meeting with Oklahoma and had 12 points in Saturday’s win while shooting 62.5%.