Big-12 Power Rankings Jan 24th

The Big 12 is undoubtedly the best conference in college basketball this year. All but two teams have a genuine shot at punching their ticket to the Big Dance.

Since every team in this conference is strong, they are all beating each other. Nobody is safe in this gauntlet of a conference. Let’s go ahead and power rank these teams.

1. Kansas

Yes, Kansas has lost to some of the so-called “bottom dwellers” of the conference, but it does not matter. They’re still the most talented team in this conference behind superstars Kevin McCullar Jr. and Hunter Dickinson.

Every team in this conference is losing road games and winning home games. I trust Kansas can start winning on the road consistently and win this conference.

2. Houston

The true analytics darlings this season are the Cougars! The Houston Cougars, that is! Kelvin Sampson has this team firing on all cylinders behind the dynamic scoring of LJ Cryer.

This team is very talented and well-coached, but like the rest of college basketball, they can’t win a game away from home. Tuesday against BYU in Provo will be very telling.

3. Texas Tech

A very nice start to conference play for the Red Raiders. Their home court advantage was on full display Saturday over their comeback win against BYU.

Pop Isaacs showed why he is one of the best players in this conference. I would like to see a few more games before putting this Texas Tech team above the likes of Houston or Kansas.

4. Texas

The Longhorns are a very infuriating team this season. They have the talent to be a top 10 team in the country, but they come out slow time and time again. That changed Saturday against Baylor after Tyrese Hunter’s buzzer-beater.

The Longhorns shot lights out in the first half and finally found a way to win a game. Rodney Terry is coaching for his job this season and needs to get hot here soon (Saturday was a good start) or else, Texas will be searching for his replacement.

5. Baylor

Personally, I am not high on this Baylor team. I believe they have squeaked by in their three wins over BYU, Cincinnati, and Oklahoma State. They have lost their last two to Texas Tech and Texas, and this skid could continue.

The Bears have one of the best home court advantages in this conference, but their inability to win on the road could ultimately be their downfall.

6. Kansas State

Maybe the Wildcats should be higher on this list, but some of their non-conference losses raise some flags. Despite that, they’re finally hitting a groove in conference play, which matters most.

If they can win their next three against Iowa State, Houston, and Oklahoma, then they should be respected as one of the best teams in this conference.

I would not be surprised to see this team make a Final Four run this March. They have elite guard play behind Cam Carter and Tylor Perry, and guards win in March. Head coach Jerome Tang showed us what he is capable of last year; don’t count them out again.

7. BYU

BYU had their most impressive win over Iowa State, but outside of that, not much to show for. They have really struggled in the last 10 minutes of the second half of games. That’s where the Cougars need to improve.

The Cougars are going to be in almost every game this season due to their elite three-point shooting. The key to the Cougars’ success going forward relies on Aly Khalifa’s ability to stay on the floor. If Khalifa is in, the Cougars are alive. Ultimately, BYU will continue to struggle on the road this season without a true point guard to control the tempo.

8. Iowa State

The Cyclones have unfortunately had to play more road games than home games in conference so far. After getting trounced by BYU in Provo, they were able to bounce back and get a much-needed win at TCU.

Iowa State currently has the most impressive win in this conference (resume-wise) with a four-point win over Houston. When teams play in Ames, they’ll be extremely lucky to come out with a win.

9. TCU

After their one-point loss to Iowa State, they couldn’t be ranked ahead of them. The Horned Frogs are a rock-solid team. Every game in conference play so far has been won or lost by a narrow margin.

They’re not going to get blown out this season, but they have struggled to close out games so far. Head coach Jamie Dixon needs to get that figured out; if they can, they could be looking at a potential four seed in March.

10. Oklahoma

The Sooners have a nice AP Poll ranking and a good-looking record, but there are clear flaws with this team. They are a classic high floor, low ceiling team. Oklahoma is not going to beat the Kansas’s of this conference, but they’re not going to lose to West Virginia.

In the Big 12, that’s all that matters. If you can get to .500 in conference play, you’ll be sitting there as a 5-seed on Selection Sunday. That’s the potential I see for this Oklahoma team.

11. Cincinnati

What a weird season it has been for the Bearcats. This team is much better than their record indicates. They have had a difficult start to conference play by having to face BYU, Texas, Baylor, TCU, and Oklahoma. In their three losses, they have all been within four points.

Head coach Wes Miller is slowly getting this team where they want to be. They have the best rim protector in college basketball in former Utah Valley star Aziz Bandaogo. The Bearcats are going to be a team you do not want to see come tournament time.

12. UCF

UCF and West Virginia have similar stories this season. Both struggled in their non-conference games, both are 2-3 in conference, both of their wins are against Texas and Kansas, and both teams are on the outside looking in for NCAA Tournament bids.

The bottom three of this conference are going to be a pain in the neck to play against. They only hurt your resume and are always going to give the top dogs their best shot.

13. West Virginia

A disaster offseason for the Mountaineers after the Bob Huggins situation occurred. They were doomed to have a difficult season, but they are making the best with what they can.

As we saw on Saturday, West Virginia is going to be insanely difficult to defeat in Morgantown. I think the tournament is too far out of reach for them, but they will still be a challenging out in the Big 12.

14. Oklahoma State

This Oklahoma State team is trying to act like the Carolina Panthers. They’re currently 0-5 in the conference, clearly the worst team in the conference, and they have ticket prices cheaper than a McDonald’s large fry.

(Via Tickpick)

The Cowboys are going to be everybody’s worst nightmare in this conference, a potential resume-killing opponent. There’s not a lot of hope around this team or program, and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

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