Big 12 men’s basketball: Power Rankings

KU basketball players celebrate after a play during the basketball game between K-State and KU in Bramlage Coliseum on Feb. 20, 2016. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

1. Kansas (17-1, 6-0) (Last: 76-72 win over Iowa State) (Next: Texas)

The Jayhawks are off to a blazing start in pursuit of their 13th-straight Big 12 Conference championship. Kansas has had a few close calls in conference play, but the record is still unblemished and won’t likely be touched in an easy game against Texas.

2. Baylor (17-1, 5-1) (Last: 74-64 win over Texas) (Next: at TCU)

Baylor coach Scott Drew looks like he finally has his team as a contender. The Bears have lost just once to a very good West Virginia team. They’ll have a bit of a fight at TCU on Saturday.

3. West Virginia (15-3, 4-2) (Last: 89-87 loss to Oklahoma) (Next: at Kansas State)

West Virginia looked to be a conference contender as well this year, and while it is still early, the Mountaineers might have an uphill climb after an overtime loss to Oklahoma. A rebound win at Kansas State would be big.

4. Kansas State (14-4, 3-3) (Last: 96-88 win over Oklahoma State) (Next: West Virginia)

K-State needed a win badly to avoid a possible snowball of losses. It answered that challenge with a big road win at Oklahoma State. The Wildcats will need to build off that win and defend the home court when West Virginia comes to town Saturday.

5. Texas Tech (14-4, 3-3) (Last: 75-69 win over TCU) (Next: Oklahoma State)

Texas Tech has notched some nice wins in conference play with West Virginia, K-State and now TCU. However, all three games have been at home, while all three of the losses have been on the road. If Tech can show it can win on the road, they will make it tough on the entire league.

6. TCU (14-4, 3-3) (Last: 75-69 loss to Texas Tech) (Next: Baylor)

Under new head coach Jamie Dixon, TCU looks to be an improved team. A .500 record in the conference is a nice start, although they have not been super impressive wins against Oklahoma, Texas and Iowa State. Baylor will provide a tough test.

7. Iowa State (11-6, 3-3) (Last: 76-72 loss to KU) (Next: at Oklahoma)

This is not the Iowa State Cyclone team that we typically see. Sure, they gave KU a run for their money, but the Cyclones have now lost back-to-back games. With Oklahoma having senior guard Jordan Woodard back, this road game will not be easy.

8. Oklahoma (8-9, 2-4) (Last: 89-87 win over West Virginia) (Next: Iowa State)

Oklahoma got off to a bit of a slow start due to injuries. Now that Woodard is back in the lineup, though, the Sooners look to be an improved team. This was confirmed with an overtime victory at West Virginia on Wednesday. Perhaps Oklahoma will continue to improve moving forward.

9. Oklahoma State (10-8, 0-6) (Last: 96-88 loss to K-State) (Next: at Texas Tech)

Sure, Oklahoma State is the only winless team in conference play, but the Cowboys are showing some fight this season. Single-digit losses to Texas, Baylor, KU and K-State have all seen OSU fight to the end. It might be a bad year, but Brad Underwood looks like he will have this team competitive in the future.

10. Texas (7-11, 1-5) (Last: 74-64 loss to Baylor) (Next: at KU)

It has already been a long year in Texas for basketball. After losing six games in the nonconference schedule, the woes have continued in conference play with five losses. Things don’t look to get better soon either, as KU is up next.