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Big 12 Power Rankings: Depth outweighs dominance in 2018

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) talks with Kansas head coach Bill Self during a break in the second half on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at United Supermarkets Arena.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) talks with Kansas head coach Bill Self during a break in the second half on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at United Supermarkets Arena. by Nick Krug

Over the course of the past couple of months every coach in the Big 12 spoke about the quality and depth of the league this year. Yet as the postseason begins this week, some college basketball observers might hesitate to pick any of the Big 12’s best teams to make a deep run in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

On Monday’s coaches conference call, Bill Self addressed the notion that the Big 12 lacks a nationally elite team this season.

“Usually the appearance of the best leagues are the ones that are top-heavy and bottom-heavy, because you have guaranteed — not guaranteed — but you have W’s built in supposedly if you’re not good. In our league, if you play poorly you lose,” Self explained.

In his 15 seasons coaching KU, Self certainly has fielded more complete and/or deeper teams, as well as faced some Big 12 opponents better suited for longterm March success.

“I don’t know that the teams at the top are maybe as talented as some of the teams that we’ve had in the past at the top,” Self admitted. “But all the other teams (this season) are more talented.”

That is what has made the Big 12 so unique and intriguing this season. The worst team in the conference turned out to be Iowa State, and the Cyclones defeated both West Virginia and Texas Tech in Ames, and even gave the Jayhawks a scare in Lawrence.

One could argue that speaks to the teams atop the conference lacking dominance this season. But when Self observes the national landscape, he notices more parity than supremacy.

“So I think you could say, on paper, there may not be a (Big 12) team that stands out that could make a Final Four run. You could say that, but I don’t believe that’s absolutely true at all either, because I think all leagues across America are somewhat similar,” Self said. “There’s a lot of really, really, really good teams, but there’s few dominant teams like there have been in the past years.”


Final Big 12 standings

Kansas, 13-5

Texas Tech, 11-7

West Virginia, 11-7

Kansas State, 10-8

TCU, 9-9

Baylor, 8-10

Texas, 8-10

Oklahoma State, 8-10

Oklahoma, 8-10

Iowa State, 4-14


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 — March 5, 2018

No. 1 - Kansas (24-7)

Kenpom ranking: No. 12

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +2.5

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 23 Kentucky, No. 51 Syracuse, at No. 40 Texas, at No. 20 TCU, No. 104 Iowa State, No. 44 Kansas State, at No. 13 West Virginia, No. 33 Baylor, No. 32 Texas A&M, at No. 44 Kansas State, No. 20 TCU, at No. 104 Iowa State, No. 13 West Virginia, No. 43 Oklahoma, at No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 40 Texas

Losses: No. 97 Washington, No. 38 Arizona State, No. 10 Texas Tech, at No. 43 Oklahoma, No. 57 Oklahoma State, at No. 33 Baylor, at No. 57 Oklahoma State

No. 2 - West Virginia (22-9)

Kenpom ranking: No. 13

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +5.9

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 39 Missouri, No. 1 Virginia, at No. 57 Oklahoma State, at No. 44 Kansas State, No. 43 Oklahoma, No. 33 Baylor, No. 40 Texas, No. 44 Kansas State, at No. 43 Oklahoma, No. 20 TCU, at No. 33 Baylor, No. 104 Iowa State, No. 10 Texas Tech

Losses: No. 32 Texas A&M, at No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 12 Kansas, at No. 20 TCU, No. 23 Kentucky, at No. 104 Iowa State, No. 57 Oklahoma State, at No. 12 Kansas, at No. 40 Texas (OT)

No. 3 - Texas Tech (23-8)

Kenpom ranking: No. 10

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +3.6

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 19 Nevada (OT), No. 33 Baylor, at No. 12 Kansas, No. 44 Kansas State, No. 13 West Virginia, No. 57 Oklahoma State, No. 40 Texas (OT), at No. 20 TCU, No. 104 Iowa State, at No. 44 Kansas State, No. 43 Oklahoma, No. 20 TCU

Losses: No. 29 Seton Hall, at No. 43 Oklahoma, at No. 40 Texas, at No. 104 Iowa State, at No. 33 Baylor, at No. 57 Oklahoma State, No. 12 Kansas, at No. 13 West Virginia

No. 4 - TCU (21-10)

Kenpom ranking: No. 20

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +2.9

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 19 Nevada, at No. 33 Baylor (OT), No. 104 Iowa State, No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 57 Oklahoma State, No. 40 Texas, No. 57 Oklahoma State, at No. 104 Iowa State, No. 33 Baylor, No. 44 Kansas State

Losses: No. 43 Oklahoma, No. 12 Kansas, at No. 40 Texas (2OT), at No. 43 Oklahoma (OT), at No. 44 Kansas State, at No. 84 Vanderbilt, No. 10 Texas Tech, at No. 12 Kansas, at No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 10 Texas Tech

No. 5 - Kansas State (21-10)

Kenpom ranking: No. 44

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -0.9

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: at No. 104 Iowa State, No. 57 Oklahoma State, No. 43 Oklahoma, No. 20 TCU, at No. 33 Baylor, at No. 40 Texas, at No. 57 Oklahoma State, No. 104 Iowa State, No. 40 Texas, No. 33 Baylor

Losses: No. 38 Arizona State, No. 102 Tulsa, No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 10 Texas Tech, at No. 12 Kansas, No. 12 Kansas, at No. 13 West Virginia, No. 10 Texas Tech, at No. 43 Oklahoma, at No. 20 TCU

No. 6 - Baylor (18-13)

Kenpom ranking: No. 33

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +0.5

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 27 Creighton, No. 40 Texas, No. 57 Oklahoma State, No. 104 Iowa State, at No. 57 Oklahoma State, No. 12 Kansas, at No. 40 Texas (2OT), No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 43 Oklahoma

Losses: at No. 15 Xavier, No. 17 Wichita State, at No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 20 TCU (OT), at No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 104 Iowa State, at No. 12 Kansas, No. 44 Kansas State, at No. 21 Florida, at No. 43 Oklahoma, No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 20 TCU, at No. 44 Kansas State

No. 7 - Texas (18-13)

Kenpom ranking: No. 40

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -2.1

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 24 Butler, at No. 104 Iowa State (OT), No. 20 TCU (2OT), No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 104 Iowa State, No. 43 Oklahoma, at No. 43 Oklahoma, No. 57 Oklahoma State, No. 13 West Virginia (OT)

Losses: No. 3 Duke (OT), No. 8 Gonzaga (OT), No. 9 Michigan, No. 12 Kansas, at No. 33 Baylor, at No. 57 Oklahoma State, at No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 10 Texas Tech (OT), No. 44 Kansas State, at No. 20 TCU, No. 33 Baylor (2OT), at No. 44 Kansas State, at No. 12 Kansas

No. 8 - Oklahoma State (18-13)

Kenpom ranking: No. 57

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -2.8

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 35 Florida State, No. 104 Iowa State (OT), No. 40 Texas, No. 43 Oklahoma (OT), at No. 12 Kansas, at No. 13 West Virginia, No. 10 Texas Tech, at No. 104 Iowa State, No. 12 Kansas

Losses: No. 32 Texas A&M, No. 17 Wichita State, No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 43 Oklahoma, at No. 44 Kansas State, at No. 33 Baylor, at No. 10 Texas Tech, at No. 37 Arkansas, No. 20 TCU, No. 33 Baylor, No. 44 Kansas State, at No. 20 TCU, at No. 40 Texas

No. 9 - Oklahoma (18-12)

Kenpom ranking: No. 43

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -2.7

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 46 USC, at No. 17 Wichita State, at No. 20 TCU, No. 57 Oklahoma State, No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 20 TCU (OT), No. 12 Kansas, No. 33 Baylor, No. 44 Kansas State, No. 104 Iowa State

Losses: No. 37 Arkansas, at No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 44 Kansas State, at No. 57 Oklahoma State (OT), at No. 53 Alabama, at No. 40 Texas, No. 13 West Virginia, at No. 104 Iowa State, at No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 40 Texas, at No. 12 Kansas, at No. 33 Baylor

No. 10 - Iowa State (13-17)

Kenpom ranking: No. 104

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -6.8

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 33 Baylor, No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 13 West Virginia, No. 43 Oklahoma

Losses: at No. 39 Missouri, No. 207 Milwaukee, No. 44 Kansas State, No. 40 Texas (OT), at No. 57 Oklahoma State (OT), at No. 12 Kansas, at No. 20 TCU, at No. 40 Texas, No. 14 Tennessee, at No. 33 Baylor, at No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 12 Kansas, at No. 44 Kansas State, No. 20 TCU, at No. 13 West Virginia, No. 57 Oklahoma State, at No. 43 Oklahoma


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Big 12 Power Rankings: Kansas clearly the league’s best team

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) roars after a bucket and a Texas Tech foul during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at United Supermarkets Arena.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) roars after a bucket and a Texas Tech foul during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at United Supermarkets Arena. by Nick Krug

For much of the conference schedule, the identity of the Big 12’s best team was either in a state of flux or up for debate.

It’s no longer disputable.

In 2018, Kansas, as usual, is without equal in this league.

West Virginia couldn’t finish off the Jayhawks after taking big leads in both meetings with the conference’s perennial champion. Oklahoma couldn’t make stops or rebound with any sort of consistency and fell off a cliff. The Big 12’s top KU challenger, Texas Tech, suffered an untimely injury to its best player, senior Keenan Evans, and enters the final week of the regular season on a three-game losing streak — including Saturday’s loss in Lubbock, Texas, to Kansas.

So here we are again, with the calendar about to turn over to March and Bill Self’s Jayhawks once more the league’s supreme team.

KU is beatable, for sure, especially when its 3-pointers aren’t falling. But there is no other Big 12 roster a coach would rather have heading into the impending postseason than the one featuring seniors Devonte’ Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk and 7-foot sophomore Udoka Azubuike.

The Madness of March is just around the corner, and the 14-time defending champion of the Big 12 — we should have all seen this coming — looks more suited than any of its peers to make a meaningful run in the NCAA Tournament, with a stellar résumé, filled with quality victories.


Big 12 standings (2 games remaining)

Kansas, 12-4

Texas Tech, 10-6

West Virginia, 10-6

Kansas State, 9-7

TCU, 8-8

Baylor, 7-9

Texas, 7-9

Oklahoma, 7-9

Oklahoma State, 6-10

Iowa State, 4-12


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. 26, 2018

No. 1 - Kansas (23-6)

Kenpom ranking: No. 9

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +3.3

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 24 Kentucky, No. 51 Syracuse, at No. 43 Texas, at No. 21 TCU, No. 98 Iowa State, No. 49 Kansas State, at No. 12 West Virginia, No. 36 Baylor, No. 30 Texas A&M, at No. 49 Kansas State, No. 21 TCU, at No. 98 Iowa State, No. 12 West Virginia, No. 39 Oklahoma, at No. 11 Texas Tech

Losses: No. 95 Washington, No. 37 Arizona State, No. 11 Texas Tech, at No. 39 Oklahoma, No. 69 Oklahoma State, at No. 36 Baylor

No. 2 - Texas Tech (22-7)

Kenpom ranking: No. 11

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +4.4

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 23 Nevada (OT), No. 36 Baylor, at No. 9 Kansas, No. 49 Kansas State, No. 12 West Virginia, No. 69 Oklahoma State, No. 43 Texas (OT), at No. 21 TCU, No. 98 Iowa State, at No. 49 Kansas State, No. 39 Oklahoma

Losses: No. 31 Seton Hall, at No. 39 Oklahoma, at No. 43 Texas, at No. 98 Iowa State, at No. 36 Baylor, at No. 69 Oklahoma State, No. 9 Kansas

No. 3 - West Virginia (21-8)

Kenpom ranking: No. 12

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +6.6

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 45 Missouri, No. 1 Virginia, at No. 69 Oklahoma State, at No. 49 Kansas State, No. 39 Oklahoma, No. 43 Texas, No. 49 Kansas State, at No. 39 Oklahoma, No. 21 TCU, at No. 36 Baylor, No. 98 Iowa State

Losses: No. 30 Texas A&M, at No. 11 Texas Tech, No. 9 Kansas, at No. 21 TCU, No. 24 Kentucky, at No. 98 Iowa State, No. 69 Oklahoma State, at No. 9 Kansas

No. 4 - TCU (20-9)

Kenpom ranking: No. 21

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +3.1

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 23 Nevada, at No. 36 Baylor (OT), No. 98 Iowa State, No. 12 West Virginia, at No. 69 Oklahoma State, No. 43 Texas, No. 69 Oklahoma State, at No. 98 Iowa State, No. 36 Baylor

Losses: No. 39 Oklahoma, No. 9 Kansas, at No. 43 Texas (2OT), at No. 39 Oklahoma (OT), at No. 49 Kansas State, at No. 86 Vanderbilt, No. 11 Texas Tech, at No. 9 Kansas, at No. 12 West Virginia

No. 5 - Kansas State (20-9)

Kenpom ranking: No. 49

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -1.2

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: at No. 98 Iowa State, No. 69 Oklahoma State, No. 39 Oklahoma, No. 21 TCU, at No. 36 Baylor, at No. 43 Texas, at No. 69 Oklahoma State, No. 98 Iowa State, No. 43 Texas

Losses: No. 37 Arizona State, No. 110 Tulsa, No. 12 West Virginia, at No. 11 Texas Tech, at No. 9 Kansas, No. 9 Kansas, at No. 12 West Virginia, No. 11 Texas Tech, at No. 39 Oklahoma

No. 6 - Baylor (17-12)

Kenpom ranking: No. 36

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -0.2

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 28 Creighton, No. 43 Texas, No. 69 Oklahoma State, No. 98 Iowa State, at No. 69 Oklahoma State, No. 9 Kansas, at No. 43 Texas (2OT), No. 11 Texas Tech

Losses: at No. 13 Xavier, No. 17 Wichita State, at No. 11 Texas Tech, No. 21 TCU (OT), at No. 12 West Virginia, at No. 98 Iowa State, at No. 9 Kansas, No. 49 Kansas State, at No. 26 Florida, at No. 39 Oklahoma, No. 12 West Virginia, at No. 21 TCU

No. 7 - Texas (17-12)

Kenpom ranking: No. 43

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -2.2

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 20 Butler, at No. 98 Iowa State (OT), No. 21 TCU (2OT), No. 11 Texas Tech, No. 98 Iowa State, No. 39 Oklahoma, at No. 39 Oklahoma, No. 69 Oklahoma State

Losses: No. 3 Duke (OT), No. 8 Gonzaga (OT), No. 16 Michigan, No. 9 Kansas, at No. 36 Baylor, at No. 69 Oklahoma State, at No. 12 West Virginia, at No. 11 Texas Tech (OT), No. 49 Kansas State, at No. 21 TCU, No. 36 Baylor (2OT), at No. 49 Kansas State

No. 8 - Oklahoma (17-11)

Kenpom ranking: No. 39

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -2.9

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 42 USC, at No. 17 Wichita State, at No. 21 TCU, No. 69 Oklahoma State, No. 11 Texas Tech, No. 21 TCU (OT), No. 9 Kansas, No. 36 Baylor, No. 49 Kansas State

Losses: No. 38 Arkansas, at No. 12 West Virginia, at No. 49 Kansas State, at No. 69 Oklahoma State (OT), at No. 47 Alabama, at No. 43 Texas, No. 12 West Virginia, at No. 98 Iowa State, at No. 11 Texas Tech, No. 43 Texas, at No. 9 Kansas

No. 9 - Oklahoma State (16-13)

Kenpom ranking: No. 69

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -4.9

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 35 Florida State, No. 98 Iowa State (OT), No. 43 Texas, No. 39 Oklahoma (OT), at No. 9 Kansas, at No. 12 West Virginia, No. 11 Texas Tech

Losses: No. 30 Texas A&M, No. 17 Wichita State, No. 12 West Virginia, No. 39 Oklahoma, at No. 49 Kansas State, at No. 36 Baylor, at No. 11 Texas Tech, at No. 38 Arkansas, No. 21 TCU, No. 36 Baylor, No. 49 Kansas State, at No. 21 TCU, at No. 43 Texas

No. 10 - Iowa State (13-15)

Kenpom ranking: No. 98

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -5.8

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 36 Baylor, No. 11 Texas Tech, No. 12 West Virginia, No. 39 Oklahoma

Losses: at No. 45 Missouri, No. 206 Milwaukee, No. 49 Kansas State, No. 43 Texas (OT), at No. 69 Oklahoma State (OT), at No. 9 Kansas, at No. 21 TCU, at No. 43 Texas, No. 14 Tennessee, at No. 36 Baylor, at No. 11 Texas Tech, No. 9 Kansas, at No. 49 Kansas State, No. 21 TCU, at No. 12 West Virginia


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

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


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Big 12 Power Rankings: This league is too good to have a ‘worst’ team

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) maneuvers for a shot against TCU forward Vladimir Brodziansky (10) during the first half on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) maneuvers for a shot against TCU forward Vladimir Brodziansky (10) during the first half on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

The selection committee is not going to invite all 10 Big 12 teams to the NCAA Tournament.

Still, the more we see from these teams in conference play the more it appears every roster in the league would be capable of winning at least a “First Four” or first-round matchup in The Big Dance. There truly aren’t any weaklings or feeble opponents in the Big 12.

While Iowa State is in 10th place in the standings, it’s hard to label the Cyclones as the conference’s worst team. ISU already has defeated Texas Tech, West Virginia and Oklahoma in Hilton Coliseum. And perennial league champion Kansas could be next (Tuesday at 6 p.m., ESPN2).

Is Texas the worst team? The Longhorns own wins over the first-place Red Raiders and OU.

It can’t be Oklahoma State. The Cowboys over the course of the past two weeks won on the road in Lawrence and Morgantown, W.Va.

At this point it’s easier to pick a best team than a worst one in this loaded conference.

KU coach Bill Self stated this past week — before the Jayhawks lost by 16 at Baylor, a team that seemed in the mix for the “worst” label as recently as seven days ago — the Big 12 is surpassing the lofty expectations he had for it going into conference play.

“Whenever the leaders in the league have as many losses as what this league has, sometimes it gives the appearance of mediocrity. But that’s not true at all. It’s just that everybody here can play,” Self said.

“I’ve never seen a league this deep,” the 15th-year KU coach added. “We may have 10 teams that are as good as any league’s best 10 teams have — and they may have 14 or 15 teams in their league.”

No favored team is safe, regardless of venue, this year in the Big 12. It’s kind of a shame we won’t get to see all 10 programs take a crack at the madness of March.


Big 12 standings (6 games remaining)

Texas Tech, 9-3

Kansas, 8-4

West Virginia, 7-5

Kansas State, 6-6

Oklahoma, 6-6

TCU, 5-7

Baylor, 5-7

Oklahoma State, 5-7

Texas, 5-7

Iowa State, 4-8


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. 12, 2018

No. 1 - Texas Tech (21-4)

Kenpom ranking: No. 8

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +6.0

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 19 Nevada (OT), No. 34 Baylor, at No. 14 Kansas, No. 56 Kansas State, No. 16 West Virginia, No. 66 Oklahoma State, No. 44 Texas (OT), at No. 22 TCU, No. 91 Iowa State, at No. 56 Kansas State

Losses: No. 35 Seton Hall, at No. 31 Oklahoma, at No. 44 Texas, at No. 91 Iowa State

No. 2 - Kansas (19-6)

Kenpom ranking: No. 14

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +0.6

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 33 Kentucky, No. 46 Syracuse, at No. 44 Texas, at No. 22 TCU, No. 91 Iowa State, No. 56 Kansas State, at No. 16 West Virginia, No. 34 Baylor, No. 21 Texas A&M, at No. 56 Kansas State, No. 22 TCU

Losses: No. 98 Washington, No. 32 Arizona State, No. 8 Texas Tech, at No. 31 Oklahoma, No. 66 Oklahoma State, at No. 34 Baylor

No. 3 - West Virginia (18-7)

Kenpom ranking: No. 16

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +5.9

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 38 Missouri, No. 1 Virginia, at No. 66 Oklahoma State, at No. 56 Kansas State, No. 31 Oklahoma, No. 44 Texas, No. 56 Kansas State, at No. 31 Oklahoma,

Losses: No. 21 Texas A&M, at No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 14 Kansas, at No. 22 TCU, No. 33 Kentucky, at No. 91 Iowa State, No. 66 Oklahoma State

No. 4 - Oklahoma (16-8)

Kenpom ranking: No. 31

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -0.4

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 47 USC, at No. 18 Wichita State, at No. 22 TCU, No. 66 Oklahoma State, No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 22 TCU (OT), No. 14 Kansas, No. 34 Baylor

Losses: No. 45 Arkansas, at No. 16 West Virginia, at No. 56 Kansas State, at No. 66 Oklahoma State (OT), at No. 43 Alabama, at No. 44 Texas, No. 16 West Virginia, at No. 91 Iowa State

No. 5 - TCU (17-8)

Kenpom ranking: No. 22

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +2.4

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 19 Nevada, at No. 34 Baylor (OT), No. 91 Iowa State, No. 16 West Virginia, at No. 66 Oklahoma State, No. 44 Texas

Losses: No. 31 Oklahoma, No. 14 Kansas, at No. 44 Texas (2OT), at No. 31 Oklahoma (OT), at No. 56 Kansas State, at No. 87 Vanderbilt, No. 8 Texas Tech, at No. 14 Kansas

No. 6 - Oklahoma State (15-10)

Kenpom ranking: No. 66

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -4.6

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 25 Florida State, No. 91 Iowa State (OT), No. 44 Texas, No. 31 Oklahoma (OT), at No. 14 Kansas, at No. 16 West Virginia

Losses: No. 21 Texas A&M, No. 18 Wichita State, No. 16 West Virginia, No. 31 Oklahoma, at No. 56 Kansas State, at No. 34 Baylor, at No. 8 Texas Tech, at No. 45 Arkansas, No. 22 TCU, No. 34 Baylor

No. 7 - Kansas State (17-8)

Kenpom ranking: No. 56

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -3.6

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: at No. 91 Iowa State, No. 66 Oklahoma State, No. 31 Oklahoma, No. 22 TCU, at No. 44 Texas

Losses: No. 32 Arizona State, No. 119 Tulsa, No. 16 West Virginia, at No. 8 Texas Tech, at No. 14 Kansas, No. 14 Kansas, at No. 16 West Virginia, No. 8 Texas Tech

No. 8 - Baylor (15-10)

Kenpom ranking: No. 34

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +1.2

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 23 Creighton, No. 44 Texas, No. 66 Oklahoma State, No. 91 Iowa State, at No. 66 Oklahoma State, No. 14 Kansas

Losses: at No. 13 Xavier, No. 18 Wichita State, at No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 22 TCU (OT), at No. 16 West Virginia, at No. 91 Iowa State, at No. 14 Kansas, No. 56 Kansas State, at No. 38 Florida, at No. 31 Oklahoma

No. 9 - Texas (15-10)

Kenpom ranking: No. 44

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -3.1

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 20 Butler, at No. 91 Iowa State (OT), No. 22 TCU (2OT), No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 91 Iowa State, No. 31 Oklahoma

Losses: No. 5 Duke (OT), No. 7 Gonzaga (OT), No. 27 Michigan, No. 14 Kansas, at No. 34 Baylor, at No. 66 Oklahoma State, at No. 16 West Virginia, at No. 8 Texas Tech (OT), No. 56 Kansas State, at No. 22 TCU

No. 10 - Iowa State (13-11)

Kenpom ranking: No. 91

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -4.4

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 34 Baylor, No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 16 West Virginia, No. 31 Oklahoma

Losses: at No. 38 Missouri, No. 211 Milwaukee, No. 56 Kansas State, No. 44 Texas (OT), at No. 66 Oklahoma State (OT), at No. 14 Kansas, at No. 22 TCU, at No. 44 Texas, No. 12 Tennessee, at No. 34 Baylor, at No. 8 Texas Tech


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Reply 3 comments from Dirk Medema Len Shaffer

Big 12 Power Rankings: League’s top teams seeking consistency ahead of March

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) and Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) have a talk at half court during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) and Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) have a talk at half court during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Just four weeks remain in the regular season, and thanks to a Kansas home loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, the Big 12 men’s basketball title remains very much up for grabs.

The Jayhawks were the most consistent team in the conference over the course of January, and they just may hold on to that label throughout February. But they reminded everyone they are fallible with their loss inside Allen Fieldhouse to the Cowboys, one of the league’s lower-tier rosters.

Stability will take you far in March, and that’s one key quality all of the Big 12’s best teams still find themselves chasing.

Kansas has lost 2 of its past 4 games. West Virginia has not only dropped 3 of its last 4 (the Mountaineers at least dominated Kansas State, 89-51, on Saturday), but also 5 of 7. Oklahoma has alternated wins and losses over its past 4 games and fallen in 4 of its previous 6. Only Texas Tech heads into this week feeling good about its recent play, with 4 consecutive wins — Oklahoma State, at South Carolina, Texas and at TCU.

If one of these four teams can somehow spend the coming month winning all the games it is supposed to — much easier said than executed in the Big 12, of course — it won’t only give KU, Tech, WVU or OU its best shot at a regular-season championship. There is an art to playing with constant effort and striving for excellence on both ends of the floor, and those are the qualities necessary to survive during the precarious NCAA Tournament.


Big 12 standings (8 games remaining)

Texas Tech, 7-3

Kansas, 7-3

West Virginia, 6-4

Oklahoma, 6-4

Kansas State, 5-5

Texas, 5-5

TCU, 4-6

Oklahoma State, 4-6

Baylor, 3-7

Iowa State, 3-7


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. 5, 2018

No. 1 - Texas Tech (19-4)

Kenpom ranking: No. 10

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +3.5

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 18 Nevada (OT), No. 45 Baylor, at No. 11 Kansas, No. 52 Kansas State, No. 15 West Virginia, No. 66 Oklahoma State, No. 34 Texas (OT), at No. 25 TCU

Losses: No. 29 Seton Hall, at No. 27 Oklahoma, at No. 34 Texas, at No. 98 Iowa State

No. 2 - Kansas (18-5)

Kenpom ranking: No. 11

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +1.6

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 30 Kentucky, No. 51 Syracuse, at No. 34 Texas, at No. 25 TCU, No. 98 Iowa State, No. 52 Kansas State, at No. 15 West Virginia, No. 45 Baylor, No. 26 Texas A&M, at No. 52 Kansas State

Losses: No. 88 Washington, No. 32 Arizona State, No. 10 Texas Tech, at No. 27 Oklahoma, No. 66 Oklahoma State

No. 3 - West Virginia (17-6)

Kenpom ranking: No. 15

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +7.2

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 49 Missouri, No. 2 Virginia, at No. 66 Oklahoma State, at No. 52 Kansas State, No. 27 Oklahoma, No. 34 Texas, No. 52 Kansas State

Losses: No. 26 Texas A&M, at No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 11 Kansas, at No. 25 TCU, No. 30 Kentucky, at No. 98 Iowa State

No. 4 - Oklahoma (16-6)

Kenpom ranking: No. 27

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +0.5

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 43 USC, at No. 20 Wichita State, at No. 25 TCU, No. 66 Oklahoma State, No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 25 TCU (OT), No. 11 Kansas, No. 45 Baylor

Losses: No. 47 Arkansas, at No. 15 West Virginia, at No. 52 Kansas State, at No. 66 Oklahoma State (OT), at No. 56 Alabama, at No. 34 Texas

No. 5 - Texas (15-8)

Kenpom ranking: No. 34

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -1.8

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 19 Butler, at No. 98 Iowa State (OT), No. 25 TCU (2OT), No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 98 Iowa State, No. 27 Oklahoma

Losses: No. 4 Duke (OT), No. 9 Gonzaga (OT), No. 24 Michigan, No. 11 Kansas, at No. 45 Baylor, at No. 66 Oklahoma State, at No. 15 West Virginia, at No. 10 Texas Tech (OT)

No. 6 - TCU (16-7)

Kenpom ranking: No. 25

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +2.0

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 49 SMU, No. 18 Nevada, at No. 45 Baylor (OT), No. 98 Iowa State, No. 15 West Virginia, at No. 66 Oklahoma State

Losses: No. 27 Oklahoma, No. 11 Kansas, at No. 34 Texas (2OT), at No. 27 Oklahoma (OT), at No. 52 Kansas State, at No. 91 Vanderbilt, No. 10 Texas Tech

No. 7 - Oklahoma State (14-9)

Kenpom ranking: No. 66

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -4.7

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 21 Florida State, No. 98 Iowa State (OT), No. 34 Texas, No. 27 Oklahoma (OT), at No. 11 Kansas

Losses: No. 26 Texas A&M, No. 20 Wichita State, No. 15 West Virginia, No. 27 Oklahoma, at No. 52 Kansas State, at No. 45 Baylor, at No. 10 Texas Tech, at No. 47 Arkansas, No. 25 TCU

No. 8 - Kansas State (16-7)

Kenpom ranking: No. 52

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -2.7

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: at No. 98 Iowa State, No. 66 Oklahoma State, No. 27 Oklahoma, No. 25 TCU

Losses: No. 32 Arizona State, No. 120 Tulsa, No. 15 West Virginia, at No. 10 Texas Tech, at No. 11 Kansas, No. 11 Kansas, at No. 15 West Virginia

No. 9 - Iowa State (12-10)

Kenpom ranking: No. 98

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -4.3

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 45 Baylor, No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 15 West Virginia

Losses: at No. 49 Missouri, No. 220 Milwaukee, No. 52 Kansas State, No. 34 Texas (OT), at No. 66 Oklahoma State (OT), at No. 11 Kansas, at No. 25 TCU, at No. 34 Texas, No. 7 Tennessee, at No. 45 Baylor

No. 10 - Baylor (13-10)

Kenpom ranking: No. 45

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -1.3

Top-50 & Big 12 wins: No. 22 Creighton, No. 34 Texas, No. 66 Oklahoma State, No. 98 Iowa State

Losses: at No. 16 Xavier, No. 20 Wichita State, at No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 25 TCU (OT), at No. 15 West Virginia, at No. 98 Iowa State, at No. 11 Kansas, No. 52 Kansas State, at No. 38 Florida, at No. 27 Oklahoma


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Big 12 Power Rankings: League’s reputation takes a hit with losses to SEC

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) is called for a foul on Oklahoma guard Trae Young (11) while trying to knock away a pass from Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (3) during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) is called for a foul on Oklahoma guard Trae Young (11) while trying to knock away a pass from Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (3) during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

The Big 12’s reputation took a serious hit this past weekend, with the midwest league that appeared deep and competitive during the past several weeks coming up on the losing end of the Big 12/SEC Challenge, 6-4.

The perceived lower-tier teams in the conference so often dominated by Kansas weren’t the only ones to blame, either. Oklahoma’s road loss at Alabama, West Virginia’s home defeat against Kentucky and TCU’s misstep at Vanderbilt makes one question just how well the top of the Big 12 actually stacks up with the rest of the country.

The Mountaineers, who had looked so solid for much of the year, now have dropped four of their past five games.

OU followed up a win over Kansas with a loss to an Alabama squad that might be the eighth-best team in the SEC.

Baylor, ranked as high as No. 16 in the AP Top 25 in November, had dropped seven of its previous nine games.

Selection Sunday is now just under six weeks away and the Big 12 overall looks vulnerable.


WINNERS - 2018 BIG 12/SEC CHALLENGE

Kansas, 79-68, vs. Texas A&M

Texas Tech, 70-63, at South Carolina

Texas, 85-72, vs. Ole Miss

Kansas State, 56-51, vs. Georgia

Kentucky, 83-76, at West Virginia

Alabama, 80-73, vs. Oklahoma

Florida, 81-60, vs. Baylor

Tennessee, 68-45, at Iowa State

Vanderbilt, 81-78, vs. TCU

Arkansas, 66-65, vs. Oklahoma State


Here’s a rundown of the Big 12’s most NCAA Tournament-ready teams as of late January, ranked from first to 10th.

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. 29, 2018

No. 1 - Kansas (17-4)

Kenpom ranking: No. 9

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +0.9

Top-50 wins: No. 25 Kentucky, at No. 26 TCU, No. 43 Syracuse, at No. 42 Texas, No. 35 Kansas State, at No. 14 West Virginia, No. 36 Texas A&M

Losses: No. 91 Washington, No. 28 Arizona State, No. 11 Texas Tech, at No. 22 Oklahoma

No. 2 - West Virginia (16-5)

Kenpom ranking: No. 14

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +6.2

Top-50 wins: No. 49 Missouri, No. 2 Virginia, at No. 35 Kansas State, No. 22 Oklahoma, No. 42 Texas

Losses: No. 36 Texas A&M, at No. 11 Texas Tech, No. 9 Kansas, at No. 26 TCU, No. 25 Kentucky

No. 3 - Oklahoma (15-5)

Kenpom ranking: No. 22

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +1.0

Top-50 wins: No. 48 USC, at No. 19 Wichita State, at No. 26 TCU, No. 11 Texas Tech, No. 26 TCU (OT), No. 9 Kansas

Losses: No. 47 Arkansas, at No. 14 West Virginia, at No. 35 Kansas State, at No. 68 Oklahoma State (OT), at No. 56 Alabama

No. 4 - Texas Tech (17-4)

Kenpom ranking: No. 11

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +2.6

Top-50 wins: No. 18 Nevada (OT), at No. 9 Kansas, No. 35 Kansas State, No. 14 West Virginia

Losses: No. 32 Seton Hall, at No. 22 Oklahoma, at No. 42 Texas, at No. 116 Iowa State

No. 5 - Kansas State (16-5)

Kenpom ranking: No. 35

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +3.1

Top-50 wins: No. 22 Oklahoma, No. 26 TCU

Losses: No. 28 Arizona State, No. 135 Tulsa, No. 14 West Virginia, at No. 11 Texas Tech, at No. 9 Kansas

No. 6 - TCU (15-6)

Kenpom ranking: No. 26

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +2.4

Top-50 wins: No. 44 SMU, No. 18 Nevada, No. 14 West Virginia

Losses: No. 22 Oklahoma, No. 9 Kansas, at No. 42 Texas (2OT), at No. 22 Oklahoma (OT), at No. 35 Kansas State, at No. 92 Vanderbilt

No. 7 - Texas (14-7)

Kenpom ranking: No. 42

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -2.6

Top-50 wins: No. 30 Butler, No. 26 TCU (2OT), No. 11 Texas Tech

Losses: No. 4 Duke (OT), No. 7 Gonzaga (OT), No. 24 Michigan, No. 9 Kansas, at No. 51 Baylor, at No. 68 Oklahoma State, at No. 14 West Virginia

No. 8 - Baylor (12-9)

Kenpom ranking: No. 51

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -3.1

Top-50 wins: No. 23 Creighton, No. 42 Texas

Losses: at No. 12 Xavier, No. 19 Wichita State, at No. 11 Texas Tech, No. 26 TCU (OT), at No. 14 West Virginia, at No. 116 Iowa State, at No. 9 Kansas, No. 35 Kansas State, at No. 21 Florida

No. 9 - Oklahoma State (13-8)

Kenpom ranking: No. 68

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -4.9

Top-50 wins: No. 20 Florida State, No. 42 Texas, No. 22 Oklahoma (OT)

Losses: No. 36 Texas A&M, No. 19 Wichita State, No. 14 West Virginia, No. 22 Oklahoma, at No. 35 Kansas State, at No. 51 Baylor, at No. 11 Texas Tech, at No. 47 Arkansas

No. 10 - Iowa State (11-9)

Kenpom ranking: No. 116

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -5.6

Top-50 wins: No. 11 Texas Tech

Losses: at No. 49 Missouri, No. 217 Milwaukee, No. 35 Kansas State, No. 42 Texas (OT), at No. 68 Oklahoma State (OT), at No. 9 Kansas, at No. 26 TCU, at No. 42 Texas, No. 10 Tennessee


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Big 12 Power Rankings: Jayhawks emerge as league’s most consistent team

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) cuts to the bucket between Baylor forward Tristan Clark (25) and Baylor guard Jake Lindsey (3) during the second half, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) cuts to the bucket between Baylor forward Tristan Clark (25) and Baylor guard Jake Lindsey (3) during the second half, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

The way Kansas basketball coach Bill Self looks at it, the Big 12 schedule is so demanding that losses — even consecutive defeats — almost feel inevitable this season.

“If you stop and think about it, our league, anybody could lose two games any week. We all know that. The league’s so good,” Self said.

That statement may prove true before the regular season concludes. But as of now, a few weeks into January, Self’s Jayhawks have yet to suffer two losses — let alone back-to-back defeats — in league play. It’s that consistency that has set KU apart, making the albeit flawed Jayhawks clearly the best the Big 12 has to offer.

For arguably the first time this season, Kansas (16-3 overall, 6-1 Big 12) looks to be in better shape than any of the challengers to its throne.

To Self’s point, a pair of top contenders lost twice this past week, aiding KU’s ascent to the top of our Big 12 Power Rankings. Texas Tech dropped both of its road games, at Texas and Iowa State. Oklahoma, too, went 0-2 on the road, falling at Kansas State and Oklahoma State.

While West Virginia has looked more consistent then Tech or OU, even the Mountaineers lost two straight earlier this month, falling at Texas Tech and at home to Kansas.

A record-breaking 14th consecutive conference title appears more attainable for KU now than it did a week or two ago. And the deeper we get into the season, the more it seems like Kansas will again head into the NCAA Tournament as the league’s most likely representative in the Final Four.

Here’s how the 10 Big 12 programs stack up so far, in terms of résumés.

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. 22, 2018

No. 1 - Kansas (16-3)

Kenpom ranking: No. 10

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +1.7

Top-50 wins: No. 33 Kentucky, at No. 25 TCU, at No. 43 Texas, No. 49 Syracuse, No. 37 Kansas State, at No. 9 West Virginia, No. 39 Baylor

Losses: No. 99 Washington, No. 26 Arizona State, No. 12 Texas Tech

No. 2 - West Virginia (16-3)

Kenpom ranking: No. 9

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +8.4

Top-50 wins: No. 35 Missouri, No. 3 Virginia, at No. 37 Kansas State, No. 19 Oklahoma, No. 39 Baylor, No. 43 Texas

Losses: No. 29 Texas A&M, at No. 12 Texas Tech, No. 10 Kansas

No. 3 - Oklahoma (14-4)

Kenpom ranking: No. 19

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +0.4

Top-50 wins: No. 45 USC, at No. 21 Wichita State, at No. 25 TCU, No. 12 Texas Tech, No. 25 TCU (OT)

Losses: No. 44 Arkansas, at No. 9 West Virginia, at No. 37 Kansas State, at No. 66 Oklahoma State (OT)

No. 4 - Texas Tech (15-4)

Kenpom ranking: No. 12

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +2.3

Top-50 wins: No. 18 Nevada (OT), No. 39 Baylor, at No. 10 Kansas, No. 37 Kansas State, No. 9 West Virginia

Losses: No. 40 Seton Hall, at No. 19 Oklahoma, at No. 43 Texas, at No. 94 Iowa State

No. 5 - TCU (14-5)

Kenpom ranking: No. 25

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +1.4

Top-50 wins: No. 32 SMU, No. 18 Nevada, at No. 39 Baylor (OT)

Losses: No. 19 Oklahoma, No. 10 Kansas, at No. 43 Texas (2OT), at No. 19 Oklahoma (OT), at No. 37 Kansas State

No. 6 - Kansas State (14-5)

Kenpom ranking: No. 37

Top-50 wins: No. 19 Oklahoma, No. 25 TCU

Average point differential in Big 12 play: +2.6

Losses: No. 26 Arizona State, No. 131 Tulsa, No. 9 West Virginia, at No. 12 Texas Tech, at No. 10 Kansas

No. 7 - Baylor (12-7)

Kenpom ranking: No. 39

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -2.6

Top-50 wins: No. 23 Creighton, No. 43 Texas

Losses: at No. 15 Xavier, No. 21 Wichita State, at No. 12 Texas Tech, No. 25 TCU (OT), at No. 9 West Virginia, at No. 94 Iowa State, at No. 10 Kansas

No. 8 - Oklahoma State (13-6)

Kenpom ranking: No. 66

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -4.9

Top-50 wins: No. 24 Florida State, No. 43 Texas, No. 19 Oklahoma (OT)

Losses: No. 29 Texas A&M, No. 21 Wichita State, No. 9 West Virginia, No. 19 Oklahoma, at No. 37 Kansas State, at No. 39 Baylor

No. 9 - Texas (12-7)

Kenpom ranking: No. 43

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -5.3

Top-50 wins: No. 36 Butler, No. 25 TCU (2OT), No. 12 Texas Tech

Losses: No. 4 Duke (OT), No. 7 Gonzaga (OT), No. 27 Michigan, No. 10 Kansas, at No. 39 Baylor, at No. 66 Oklahoma State, at No. 9 West Virginia

No. 10 - Iowa State (11-7)

Kenpom ranking: No. 94

Average point differential in Big 12 play: -4.1

Top-50 wins: No. 39 Baylor, No. 12 Texas Tech

Losses: at No. 35 Missouri, No. 232 Milwaukee, No. 37 Kansas State, No. 43 Texas (OT), at No. 66 Oklahoma State (OT), at No. 10 Kansas, at No. 25 TCU


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Reply 2 comments from Zabudda Phil Leister

Big 12 Power Rankings: No gimmes in this conference

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


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Big 12 Power Rankings: Which teams appear best suited for March’s madness?

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) and Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) come in to defend against a three from Texas Tech guard Zhaire Smith (2) during the second half, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) and Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) come in to defend against a three from Texas Tech guard Zhaire Smith (2) during the second half, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Thanks to Oklahoma freshman Trae Young’s somewhat unexpected sensational play and hot starts for both West Virginia and Texas Tech, the rest of the college basketball world has been forced to pay attention to Big 12 teams not named Kansas this season.

The conference appears in great shape as of early January, with five programs currently ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 and seven teams in position to land NCAA Tournament invites.

These developments — as well as the ongoing waiting game KU is going through regarding the eligibility of freshmen Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa — have made the Jayhawks’ chances of winning their 14th consecutive Big 12 title appear anything but concrete.

While the regular-season championship is one intriguing plot, so is the potential for numerous Big 12 teams to make serious March Madness runs toward the Final Four, in San Antonio.

It’s that big-picture, end-of-the-season, how-many-nets-can-you-cut-down potential that we hope to examine by checking out the résumés of the league’s 10 teams in the first installment of Big 12 Power Rankings.

Each team’s best victories and its losses — good, bad and in between — were considered, using KenPom.com’s ratings, to classify the league’s most and least impressive squads to date.

With so many quality lineups in the conference this season, the rankings are bound to fluctuate between now and the Big Dance. We will monitor it all each week in order to attempt to have a better grasp come March on which teams are best qualified to survive the coming madness.

Big 12 Power Rankings — Jan. 9, 2018

No. 1 - West Virginia (14-1)

Kenpom ranking: No. 10

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

Loss: No. 26 Texas A&M

No. 2 - Texas Tech (14-1)

Kenpom ranking: No. 4

Top-50 wins: No. 31 Nevada (OT), No. 36 Baylor, at No. 7 Kansas, No. 43 Kansas State

Loss: No. 18 Seton Hall

No. 3 - Oklahoma (12-2)

Kenpom ranking: No. 13

Top-50 wins: No. 47 USC, at No. 11 Wichita State, at No. 23 TCU

Losses: No. 29 Arkansas, at No. 10 West Virginia

No. 4 - Kansas (12-3)

Kenpom ranking: No. 7

Top-50 wins: No. 22 Kentucky, at No. 23 TCU, at No. 37 Texas, No. 50 Syracuse

Losses: No. 109 Washington, No. 20 Arizona State, No. 4 Texas Tech

No. 5 - TCU (13-2)

Kenpom ranking: No. 23

Top-50 wins: No. 34 SMU, No. 31 Nevada, at No. 36 Baylor (OT)

Losses: No. 13 Oklahoma, No. 7 Kansas

No. 6 - Baylor (11-4)

Kenpom ranking: No. 36

Top-50 wins: No. 19 Creighton, No. 37 Texas

Losses: at No. 21 Xavier, No. 11 Wichita State, at No. 4 Texas Tech, No. 23 TCU (OT)

No. 7 - Texas (10-5)

Kenpom ranking: No. 37

Top-50 win: No. 38 Butler

Losses: No. 6 Duke (OT), No. 9 Gonzaga (OT), No. 32 Michigan, No. 7 Kansas

No. 8 - Oklahoma State (11-4)

Kenpom ranking: No. 55

Top-50 wins: No. 24 Florida State

Losses: No. 26 Texas A&M, No. 11 Wichita State, No. 10 West Virginia, No. 13 Oklahoma

No. 9 - Kansas State (11-4)

Kenpom ranking: No. 43

Top-50 wins: N/A [Best win = at No. 84 Vanderbilt]

Losses: No. 20 Arizona State, No. 121 Tulsa, No. 10 West Virginia, at No. 4 Texas Tech

No. 10 - Iowa State (9-5)

Kenpom ranking: No. 104

Top-50 wins: N/A [Best win = No. 54 Boise State]

Losses: at No. 44 Missouri, No. 200 Milwaukee, No. 43 Kansas State, No. 37 Texas (OT), at No. 55 Oklahoma State (OT)

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