KU, K-State are top dogs in first week of Big 12 power rankings

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After crumbling the Kansas Jayhawk defense, Kansas State junior guard Barry Brown approaches the basket hoping to score. The Wildcats lost the the Jayhawks 56-70 on Jan. 29, 2018 in Bramlage Coliseum. (Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

After a wild weekend in the Big 12 Conference, the Kansas State men’s basketball team is looking to keep its momentum rolling after a fourth straight win. How do other teams compare, though?

10. Oklahoma State University (8-10, 2-4)

Oklahoma State was defeated by Iowa State 72-59 on Saturday, and the Cowboys are on a two-game losing streak. Junior forward Cameron McGriff, who averages 13.6 points per game, will look to turn this team around after a slow start.

The Cowboys will host rival team Oklahoma before hosting South Carolina on Saturday in the SEC challenge.

9. West Virginia University (9-10, 1-6)

The Mountaineers’ trademark “Press Virginia” defense may be down from years prior, but the Mountaineers did defeat No. 7 Kansas 65-64 on Saturday, breaking a five-game losing streak with the win.

The Mountaineers then suffered a 73-85 loss at the hands of the Baylor Bears on Monday night.

West Virginia will play Tennessee on Saturday.

8. University of Oklahoma (13-5, 2-4)

The Sooners lost to Texas 75-72 on Saturday, the second loss in a row. Senior guard Christian James led the Sooners in scoring with 20 points in the afternoon. The No. 20 Sooners should be out of the Top 25 in the upcoming rankings.

Oklahoma will travel to face Oklahoma State before battling against Vanderbilt on Saturday.

7. Texas Christian University (13-4, 2-3)

The Horned Frogs lost to K-State 65-55 in Manhattan on Saturday. Senior guard Alex Robinson led TCU with 17 points in the afternoon.

The Horned Frogs unfortunately lost standout guard Jaylen Fisher after he declared to transfer last Thursday, meaning junior guard Desmond Bane will have to pick up the slack. Bane averages 14.8 points per game this season.

TCU will play in-state foe Texas before hosting Florida as part of the SEC challenge.

6. The University of Texas (11-7, 3-3)

Texas defeated rival school Oklahoma 75-72 on Saturday. Kerwin Roach II led all scorers with a season-high 23 points. Three other Longhorns also scored double digits in the game.

Texas will face TCU on the road on Wednesday and will play Georgia on Saturday.

5. Baylor University (12-6, 4-2)

The Bears turned heads in a 73-62 upset victory over Texas Tech. Freshman Jared Butler had a breakout game with a career-high 19 points in the victory.

Baylor will host Alabama on Saturday.

4. Iowa State University (14-5, 4-3)

The Cyclones are winners of two straight games were in a four-team time for first. Iowa State defeated Oklahoma State 72-59 on Saturday.

However, the Cyclones lost to Kansas last night.

Senior guard Marial Shayok will be the player to watch for the Cyclones. Shayok averages 19.4 points per game.

The Cyclones will play Ole Miss on Saturday.

3. Texas Tech University (15-3, 4-2)

The Red Raiders are still doing well despite a 73-62 loss to Baylor on Saturday. Sophomore guard Jarrett Culver leads Texas Tech in points per game, averaging 18.8.

Texas Tech will travel to Manhattan to take on K-State tonight and will host Arkansas on Saturday.

2. Kansas State University (14-4, 4-2)

Kansas State may not be first in the rankings, but the Wildcats are certainly the hottest team in the Big 12, winning four conference games in a row.

The return of senior forward Dean Wade has given the Wildcats a boost on energy going into the heat of conference play. Senior guard Barry Brown has taken over games for the Wildcats, averaging 15.4 points per game.

The Wildcats will look to keep the momentum rolling against Texas Tech tonight before facing a former conference foe in Texas A&M on Saturday.

1. University of Kansas (16-3, 5-2)

It may seem like an off year for the reigning Big 12 champs, but Bill Self’s Jayhawks are still on track for another conference title despite a 65-64 upset on the road against West Virginia.

After the loss of junior center Udoka Azubuike, the Jayhawks will look to junior forward Dedric Lawson and senior guard Lagerald Vick to carry the young Kansas team to another conference title. Lawson leads the team averaging 18.9 points per game.

The Jayhawks will face No. 12 Kentucky on Saturday in the marquee matchup in the Big 12/SEC challenge.

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