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Big 12 Power Rankings: KU-Tech showdown between league's 2 best teams looms

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Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) defends against a three from West Virginia forward Lamont West (15) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) defends against a three from West Virginia forward Lamont West (15) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

While the perception of the vast majority of teams fluctuates throughout the college basketball season, we have reached a point where it is safe to identify Texas Tech and Kansas as the two best teams the Big 12 has to offer.

Whether you have thought that for weeks or just recently reached that conclusion this sets up as one of the conference’s most anticipated weeks.

The Jayhawks first have to deal with Trae Young and Oklahoma on ESPN’s Big Monday, and the Red Raiders need to win at Oklahoma State on Wednesday, but Saturday’s KU-Tech rematch in Lubbock, Texas, between the two current first-place teams could turn out to be the deciding factor in the 2018 conference title race.

What’s more, the winner of Round 2 between Kansas and Texas Tech will emerge as the league’s best candidate for a deep NCAA Tournament run — especially if Red Raiders star Keenan Evans has recovered from the toe injury he suffered in a two-point road setback at Baylor.

Hopefully we will get to see both teams at full strength for their February showdown and beyond.


Big 12 standings (4 games remaining)

Texas Tech, 10-4

Kansas, 10-4

West Virginia, 8-6

Kansas State, 8-6

Baylor, 7-7

Texas, 6-8

Oklahoma, 6-8

TCU, 6-8

Oklahoma State, 5-9

Iowa State, 4-10


Here’s a look at this week’s Big 12 Power Rankings. Each team’s best victories and its losses — good, bad and in between — are considered in this process, using KenPom.com’s ratings to classify the league’s most and least impressive squads to date. Results from all league games also are listed.

Big 12 Power Rankings — Feb. 19, 2018

No. 1 - Texas Tech (22-5)

Kenpom ranking: No. 8

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +5.7

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 18 Nevada (OT), No. 31 Baylor, at No. 11 Kansas, No. 47 Kansas State, No. 13 West Virginia, No. 75 Oklahoma State, No. 42 Texas (OT), at No. 21 TCU, No. 96 Iowa State, at No. 47 Kansas State, No. 38 Oklahoma

Losses: No. 40 Seton Hall, at No. 38 Oklahoma, at No. 42 Texas, at No. 96 Iowa State, at No. 31 Baylor

No. 2 - Kansas (21-6)

Kenpom ranking: No. 11

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +1.5

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 32 Kentucky, No. 45 Syracuse, at No. 42 Texas, at No. 21 TCU, No. 96 Iowa State, No. 47 Kansas State, at No. 13 West Virginia, No. 31 Baylor, No. 26 Texas A&M, at No. 47 Kansas State, No. 21 TCU, at No. 96 Iowa State, No. 13 West Virginia

Losses: No. 95 Washington, No. 35 Arizona State, No. 8 Texas Tech, at No. 38 Oklahoma, No. 75 Oklahoma State, at No. 31 Baylor

No. 3 - West Virginia (19-8)

Kenpom ranking: No. 13

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +5.6

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 37 Missouri, No. 1 Virginia, at No. 75 Oklahoma State, at No. 47 Kansas State, No. 38 Oklahoma, No. 42 Texas, No. 47 Kansas State, at No. 38 Oklahoma, No. 21 TCU

Losses: No. 26 Texas A&M, at No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 11 Kansas, at No. 21 TCU, No. 32 Kentucky, at No. 96 Iowa State, No. 75 Oklahoma State, at No. 11 Kansas

No. 4 - Baylor (17-10)

Kenpom ranking: No. 31

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +1.2

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 27 Creighton, No. 42 Texas, No. 75 Oklahoma State, No. 96 Iowa State, at No. 75 Oklahoma State, No. 11 Kansas, at No. 42 Texas (2OT), No. 8 Texas Tech

Losses: at No. 12 Xavier, No. 14 Wichita State, at No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 21 TCU (OT), at No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 96 Iowa State, at No. 11 Kansas, No. 47 Kansas State, at No. 33 Florida, at No. 38 Oklahoma

No. 5 - Kansas State (19-8)

Kenpom ranking: No. 47

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -1.5

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: at No. 96 Iowa State, No. 75 Oklahoma State, No. 38 Oklahoma, No. 21 TCU, at No. 42 Texas, at No. 75 Oklahoma State, No. 96 Iowa State

Losses: No. 35 Arizona State, No. 119 Tulsa, No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 8 Texas Tech, at No. 11 Kansas, No. 11 Kansas, at No. 13 West Virginia, No. 8 Texas Tech

No. 6 - TCU (18-9)

Kenpom ranking: No. 21

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +2.4

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 18 Nevada, at No. 31 Baylor (OT), No. 96 Iowa State, No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 75 Oklahoma State, No. 42 Texas, No. 75 Oklahoma State

Losses: No. 38 Oklahoma, No. 11 Kansas, at No. 42 Texas (2OT), at No. 38 Oklahoma (OT), at No. 47 Kansas State, at No. 85 Vanderbilt, No. 8 Texas Tech, at No. 11 Kansas, at No. 13 West Virginia

No. 7 - Texas (16-11)

Kenpom ranking: No. 42

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -1.9

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 24 Butler, at No. 96 Iowa State (OT), No. 21 TCU (2OT), No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 96 Iowa State, No. 38 Oklahoma, at No. 38 Oklahoma

Losses: No. 3 Duke (OT), No. 9 Gonzaga (OT), No. 23 Michigan, No. 11 Kansas, at No. 31 Baylor, at No. 75 Oklahoma State, at No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 8 Texas Tech (OT), No. 47 Kansas State, at No. 21 TCU, No. 31 Baylor (2OT)

No. 8 - Oklahoma (16-10)

Kenpom ranking: No. 38

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -0.4

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 52 USC, at No. 14 Wichita State, at No. 21 TCU, No. 75 Oklahoma State, No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 21 TCU (OT), No. 11 Kansas, No. 31 Baylor

Losses: No. 39 Arkansas, at No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 47 Kansas State, at No. 75 Oklahoma State (OT), at No. 43 Alabama, at No. 42 Texas, No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 96 Iowa State, at No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 42 Texas

No. 9 - Oklahoma State (15-12)

Kenpom ranking: No. 75

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -6.1

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 28 Florida State, No. 96 Iowa State (OT), No. 42 Texas, No. 38 Oklahoma (OT), at No. 11 Kansas, at No. 13 West Virginia

Losses: No. 26 Texas A&M, No. 14 Wichita State, No. 13 West Virginia, No. 38 Oklahoma, at No. 47 Kansas State, at No. 31 Baylor, at No. 8 Texas Tech, at No. 39 Arkansas, No. 21 TCU, No. 31 Baylor, No. 47 Kansas State, at No. 21 TCU

No. 10 - Iowa State (13-13)

Kenpom ranking: No. 96

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -5.1

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 31 Baylor, No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 13 West Virginia, No. 38 Oklahoma

Losses: at No. 37 Missouri, No. 223 Milwaukee, No. 47 Kansas State, No. 42 Texas (OT), at No. 75 Oklahoma State (OT), at No. 11 Kansas, at No. 21 TCU, at No. 42 Texas, No. 15 Tennessee, at No. 31 Baylor, at No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 11 Kansas, at No. 47 Kansas State


Previous rankings:

Comments

Jonathan Allison 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The state of the big 12 right now is this... Texas Tech could finish the season losing 4 out of 5 games and no one would be surprised. Losing at Baylor... not a shock. A loss at OSU? Highly possible. Losing at home v. KU? It's KU. Losing at WVU? It happens. At home v. TCU? TTU should win.

KU could also tank down the stretch, but I would say KU is more likely to go 4-0 than to go 1-3 or 0-4.

I know that I shouldn't look ahead, but it's too fun to do.

To me it looks like #14 should be in hand... but does KU win it outright, or does Tech get a trophy too?

Suzi Marshall 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm more inclined to speculate the highest probability is a tie with TTU. We both go 4-1 with Kansas losing at TTU and TTU losing at WVa.

Tim Orel 9 months, 3 weeks ago

KU and TTU would then have a tie in records, but TTU would own a tie-breaker because of the two wins over KU. Would that still get us #14 or would that be tainted or even not counted?

Brett Arnberger 9 months, 3 weeks ago

It would just be a share of the title. Same as in 2013 when we beat KSU both games. They still claimed a share of the title.

Jonathan Allison 9 months, 3 weeks ago

now that TTU has as 2 game losing streak, I would love to see KU make it 3 in a row for Tech and put the title on ice. TTU still could win the title or could take a 4 game losing streak into their finale against TCU.

Jonathan Allison 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I didn't exactly predict this, but I did see the possibility after they lost to Baylor.

Texas Tech 4 game losing streak

Texas Tech 4 game losing streak by plasticJHawk

Matthew Coleman 9 months, 3 weeks ago

As I understand it, the top W/L record wins the conference, regardless of ties or head to head match ups. From where I am sitting, there ain't no taint when you win 14-straight.

Brett Arnberger 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Is there any chance the KU/TTU game will get flexed to a later time slot being as it's such a big game for the Big 12 race as well as a Top 10 Matchup nationally? 3:15pm seems like such an odd time slot for a high profile game, especially where they are having College GameDay there.

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