Advertisement

Big 12 Power Rankings: No gimmes in this conference

Advertisement

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) wrestles for position on a loose ball with Kansas State forward Xavier Sneed (20) during the second half, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) wrestles for position on a loose ball with Kansas State forward Xavier Sneed (20) during the second half, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Hearing from Big 12 coaches how brutal a schedule the league’s 10 teams play is a time-honored tradition at this point. At least this season those arguments built for soundbites seem more fact-based than ever.

The upper echelon of the conference might even be better than the mighty ACC’s, with four of the top 13 teams in the nation, according to KenPom.com, calling the Big 12 home.

At this point, the coaches of the league’s top teams likely wish their words were hollow, so their players could coast to a win every once in a while. Instead, even the programs toiling in obscurity nationally are far from the prey we’re used to seeing at the bottom of the standings.

For that reason, it seems Big 12 teams should enter the postseason more battle-ready than any others, what with the round-robin format and all.

Whichever program emerges as 2018 regular-season champion — and for the first time in 14 years it might not be Kansas — should not be slept on come March. Plus, the closer we get to The Madness, the more it seems even the teams that come up short in that title race will have as good a shot at making a deep NCAA Tournament run as the victors.

With so many quality lineups in the conference this season, the Big 12 Power Rankings are bound to fluctuate every week between now and Selection Sunday. We will monitor it all here in order to attempt to have a better grasp come March on which teams are best qualified to survive and advance.

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.

Big 12 Power Rankings — Jan. 15, 2018

No. 1 - Texas Tech (15-2)

Kenpom ranking: No. 5

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +8.6

Top-50 wins: No. 21 Nevada (OT), No. 43 Baylor, at No. 11 Kansas, No. 44 Kansas State, No. 10 West Virginia

Losses: No. 31 Seton Hall, at No. 13 Oklahoma

No. 2 - West Virginia (15-2)

Kenpom ranking: No. 10

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +5.8

Top-50 wins: No. 40 Missouri, No. 3 Virginia, at No. 44 Kansas State, No. 13 Oklahoma, No. 43 Baylor

Losses: No. 29 Texas A&M, at No. 5 Texas Tech

No. 3 - Oklahoma (14-2)

Kenpom ranking: No. 13

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +4.6

Top-50 wins: No. 45 USC, at No. 12 Wichita State, at No. 27 TCU, No. 5 Texas Tech, No. 27 TCU (OT)

Losses: No. 35 Arkansas, at No. 10 West Virginia

No. 4 - Kansas (14-3)

Kenpom ranking: No. 11

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +0.8

Top-50 wins: No. 25 Kentucky, at No. 27 TCU, at No. 38 Texas, No. 46 Syracuse, No. 44 Kansas State

Losses: No. 113 Washington, No. 26 Arizona State, No. 5 Texas Tech

No. 5 - TCU (13-4)

Kenpom ranking: No. 27

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -1.6

Top-50 wins: No. 36 SMU, No. 21 Nevada, at No. 43 Baylor (OT)

Losses: No. 13 Oklahoma, No. 11 Kansas, at No. 38 Texas (2OT), at No. 13 Oklahoma (OT)

No. 6 - Baylor (11-6)

Kenpom ranking: No. 43

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -6.2

Top-50 wins: No. 24 Creighton, No. 38 Texas

Losses: at No. 18 Xavier, No. 12 Wichita State, at No. 5 Texas Tech, No. 27 TCU (OT), at No. 10 West Virginia, at No. 99 Iowa State

No. 7 - Oklahoma State (12-5)

Kenpom ranking: No. 58

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -4.0

Top-50 wins: No. 28 Florida State, No. 38 Texas

Losses: No. 29 Texas A&M, No. 12 Wichita State, No. 10 West Virginia, No. 13 Oklahoma, at No. 44 Kansas State

No. 8 - Texas (11-6)

Kenpom ranking: No. 38

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -2.2

Top-50 wins: No. 39 Butler, No. 27 TCU (2OT)

Losses: No. 4 Duke (OT), No. 7 Gonzaga (OT), No. 17 Michigan, No. 11 Kansas, at No. 43 Baylor, at No. 58 Oklahoma State

No. 9 - Kansas State (12-5)

Kenpom ranking: No. 44

Top-50 wins: N/A [Best win = at No. 58 Oklahoma State]

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -1.0

Losses: No. 26 Arizona State, No. 135 Tulsa, No. 10 West Virginia, at No. 5 Texas Tech, at No. 11 Kansas

No. 10 - Iowa State (10-6)

Kenpom ranking: No. 99

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -4.8

Top-50 win: No. 43 Baylor

Losses: at No. 40 Missouri, No. 212 Milwaukee, No. 44 Kansas State, No. 38 Texas (OT), at No. 58 Oklahoma State (OT), at No. 11 Kansas


Previous rankings:

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.