If you thought the early part of conference play was chaotic, then this past week decided to one up everything. With top teams losing games unexpectedly and brutal finishes, it's pretty much impossible to figure out exactly which teams are actually the best. But that won't stop us from trying!
A quick reminder on how our power rankings work. It is NOT just going to be restating the standings. It is entirely possible that a team that has a worse record lands higher on the list, especially if they are playing really well as of late. Similarly, it is also not going to be a "who's hottest" list. Instead, it will be a subjective mix of which team is playing better and which team we think IS better, with a tiebreaker going to teams that have significantly outperformed our expectations.
So with that, here is the Week 3 edition of the Blue Wings Rising Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings:
Editor's Note: These rankings were determined prior to tipoff of the action on Big Monday.
1. Kansas State Wildcats (17-2, 6-1 Big 12) - 30 Points, LW: 3
Last Week: 83-82 (OT) W vs Kansas, 68-58 W vs Texas Tech
This Week: Tues at Iowa State, Sat vs Florida
What a week for the Wildcats. They get an emotional overtime win over the Jayhawks in a game where both teams were running on fumes, and then they struggled with the only winless team in the conference until the very end. With how difficult the conference is, it is a matter of when, not if, they will take some losses. But there is no denying this is the best team to this point in the conference.
2. TCU Horned Frogs (15-4, 4-3 Big 12) - 28 Points, LW: 5
Last Week: 74-65 L at West Virginia, 83-60 W at Kansas
This Week: Tues vs Oklahoma, Sat at Mississippi State
The fact that TCU jumped up to the second spot after getting demolished by West Virginia speaks to two things: 1. Winning on the road is hard. 2. The blowout win over Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse was probably the most impressive win of the season so far..
3. Kansas Jayhawks (16-3, 5-2 Big 12) - 25 Points, LW: 1
Last Week: 83-82(OT) L at Kansas State, 83-60 L vs TCU
This Week: Mon at Baylor, Sat at Kentucky
There are some very significant issues with this team, but when you have a player as good as Jalen Wilson, you are going to have some big wins. Unfortunately, when no one else can hit shots consistently, that means that you are going to have some big losses too. But they still have all the talent they need to win the league.
4. Iowa State Cyclones (14-4, 5-2 Big 12) - 20 Points, LW: 2
Last Week: 78-67 W vs Texas, 61-59 L at Oklahoma State
This Week: Tues vs Kansas State, Sat at Missouri
There are some worries with injuries, and the offense has been up and down, but it seems to be improving as we get further into conference play, and the defense has been great as usual. They are reportedly without Caleb Grill for Kansas State, but they will have an opportunity for a big win over Missouri to further cement the Big 12 dominance in the non-conference.
5. Texas Longhorns (16-3, 5-2 Big 12) - 18 Points, LW: 4
Last Week: 78-67 L at Iowa State, 69-61 W at West Virginia
This Week: Tues vs Oklahoma State, Sat at Tennessee
Some more up and down this last week, as they beat a tough West Virginia team but ran out of steam at Iowa State. This is the perfect example of a team that is impossible to figure out. They can play well enough to beat the best in the league, but they also have enough off nights that other teams can take advantage.
6. Baylor Bears (14-5, 4-3 Big 12) - 16 Points, LW: 6
Last Week: 83-78 W at West Virginia, 74-58 W vs Kansas State
This Week: Mon vs Kansas, Sat vs Arkansas
They've rebounded from a brutal 0-3 start, but it has come from an electric offense making up for an abysmal defense. They have plenty of time to figure it out before the NCAA Tournament, but it's not like the Big 12 will give them a lot of chances to build confidence with easy matchups.
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-8, 3-4 Big 12) - 12 Points, LW: 7
Last Week: 72-56 W vs Oklahoma, 61-59 W vs Iowa State
This Week: Tues at Texas, Sat vs Ole Miss
A great set of wins, but they don't move up only because of how strong the rest of the conference is. I'm a little miffed that Avery Anderson got Player of the Week, not because he didn't have a good week, but because his performance was overshadowed by other better performances. But unlike Anderson, we won't give Oklahoma State an unwarranted boost just because they got two wins at home.
8. Oklahoma Sooners (11-8, 2-5 Big 12) - 8 Points, LW: 7
Last Week: 72-56 L at Oklahoma State, 62-60 L vs Baylor
This Week: Tues at TCU, Sat vs Alabama
Not a great week, and it's not like it gets any easier. This isn't a bad team by any means, they are just one of the less-good teams in the conference, and it shows.
9. West Virginia Mountaineers (11-8, 1-6 Big 12) - 7 Points, LW: 10
Last Week: 74-65 vs TCU, 69-61 L vs Texas
This Week: Wed at Texas Tech, Sat vs Auburn
Every team is going to get some big wins this season, but West Virginia still has some pretty big questions to answer. They have some talent, but not as much as the rest of the conference, and it's taken some time to get it all to come together in conference play. It will need to soon if they want a shot at the NCAA Tournament.
10. Texas Tech Red Raiders (10-9, 0-7 Big 12) - 3 Points, LW: 9
Last Week: 81-74 L vs Baylor, 68-58 L at Kansas State
This Week: Wed vs West Virginia, Sat at LSU
They STILL haven't gotten a conference win, but it isn't for lack of trying. They have had an opportunity to get a win late in 6 of those 7 conference losses and just couldn't close it out. They are easily the most talented last-place team in the nation, but they need to start getting some wins.
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