1. Kansas (22-4, 10-3) Last week: 3
It was really just a matter of time. Kansas has had a heck of a February. After dropping back-to-back-to-back road games, the Jayhawks won six in a row, including a win against Oklahoma last Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma. Not a whole lot stands in the way of the Jayhawks clinching another Big 12 title, but three out of their remaining five games are on the road.
2. West Virginia (20-6, 9-4) Last week: 1
The Mountaineers had their shot at really doing some damage in the conference race. They didn’t, however. Now they’re a game behind the Jayhawks after losing on the road at Texas. The Mountaineers will need some help to get back in front of the conference race.
3. Oklahoma (20-5, 8-5) Last week: 2
Life in the Big 12 sucks. Especially on the road. The Sooners had a real shot at keeping the top spot in the conference, but losing at home to Kansas and on the road against Texas Tech has them a game out of first and possibly without a shot of being a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
4. Texas (17-9, 8-5) Last week: 4
The Longhorns lost two straight after winning seven out of their last eight before that; however, a huge win over West Virginia kept them from falling in the power rankings. Texas can do some real damage down the stretch of the season with games against Oklahoma and Kansas, both of which are at home.
5. Texas Tech (16-9, 6-7) Last week: 8
Three ranked teams. The Red Raiders have beaten three straight ranked teams. Tubby Smith can freaking coach. Tech went from being one of the worst teams in the Big 12 to possibly being NCAA Tourney bound. If I had a vote for Coach of the Year, it would be headed to Lubbock, Texas.
6. Baylor (19-7, 8-5) Last week: 6
Baylor dropped triple digits at Iowa State to get a win. That was big, especially considering the Bears had gotten waxed at home several nights earlier to a very mysterious Texas Tech team. The Bears are erratic, but man, when they’re on it, they’re tough to beat. The final couple weeks of conference play will be very telling as four of their final five games are against ranked opponents.
7. Iowa State (18-8, 7-6) Last week: 5
Iowa State makes me sad. I like the Cyclones a lot, and I expected big things out of them this year with the talent and veteran leadership they have in Ames, Iowa. They could have been a Final Four caliber team. Unfortunately, injuries and other unforeseen obstacles have turned Iowa State from a potentially great team to just a good one. The Cyclones can’t let themselves fall apart in the coming weeks if they want to make a late-season run.
8. K-State (15-11, 4-9) Last week: 7
The Wildcats need to figure it out. Their loss on Saturday to Oklahoma State is borderline unforgivable, and their win at TCU doesn’t really mean that much. K-State has Kansas and Texas coming up and a real shot at getting themselves firmly back into the tournament picture. Losses against both pretty much secure NIT or worse for the Wildcats.
9. Oklahoma State (12-14, 3-10) Last Week: 10
The Cowboys just can’t pull anything together. After an overtime win at home against K-State in which both teams looked terrible, they went and got the snot beat out of them in Lawrence. If you listen closely, you might be able to hear the fat lady singing a song about Cowboys’ head coach Travis Ford.
10. TCU (11-15, 2-11) Last week: 9
TCU is really, really, really bad at basketball. They put up almost zero fight against a K-State team that was kind of on its last legs. Good news for Frog fans: Football season ramps back up on Feb. 28. You’ll finally be able to remove those bags on your heads and see the light of day once again.