Big 12 Basketball

Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings one week into the season

Matchup of the week: Kansas vs Duke

Sneaky good matchup of the week: Baylor vs Virginia

Before you read this, keep in mind this is solely judging the first week. This doesn’t take into account any preseason rankings, only each team’s performance so far this season.

All games listed are EST

1) West Virginia Mountaineers

Last week ranking: 9 (+8)

Record: 2-0

Last week: Mount St. Mary’s (W) 76-58, @Pittsburgh (W) 81-56

Next week: Morehead State (Nov. 15 – 7 p.m.), Penn (Nov. 18 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: @Pittsburgh, Mount St. Mary’s

Worst losses: N/A

Look, I mentioned this is based solely on the first week’s performance. This means preseason projections go out the window, and when we look at each Big 12 team, the West Virginia Mountaineers have played the best team in Pittsburgh. Not only did they go on the road and beat that school, but they destroyed them. Parlay that with an easy win earlier in the week and that’s how they end up in this spot for now. They have two easy matchups this week and are projected to extend their record to 4-0.

2) Baylor Bears

Last week ranking: 1 (-1)

Record: 2-0

Last week: Mississippi Valley State (W) 117-53, Norfolk State (W) 87-70

Next week: Northern Colorado (Nov. 14 – 8 p.m.), #18 Virginia (Nov. 18 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: Norfolk State, Mississippi Valley State

Worst losses: N/A

The Baylor Bears did exactly what they were supposed to do, beating these lower teams in a dominant fashion. Baylor haven’t shown any weak spots yet, but a big test against Virginia on Friday will allow us to see if they can be the championship contender many expect them to be.

3) Kansas Jayhawks

Last week ranking: 2 (-1)

Record: 2-0

Last week: Omaha (W) 89-64, North Dakota State (W) 82-59

Next week: #7 Duke (Nov. 15  – 9:30 p.m.), Southern Utah (Nov. 18 – 8 p.m.)

Best wins: North Dakota State, Omaha

Worst losses: N/A

Like Baylor, the Jayhawks took care of business at home last week. Gradey Dick has looked great in his first few games and not having Bill Self hasn’t proved to be an issue yet. Their first big test will come on Tuesday against Duke, who are expected to have their star freshman Derrick Lively in the lineup. After this week, Bill Self will be able to return to the bench, something Jayhawk fans are enthused about.

4) Texas Longhorns

Last week ranking: 3 (-1)

Record: 2-0

Last week: UTEP (W) 72-57, Houston Christian (W) 82-31

Next week: #2 Gonzaga (Nov. 16 – 9:30 p.m.)

Best wins: UTEP, Houston Christian

Worst losses: N/A

Texas proved their defense is going to be scary this year, holding both their opponents to under 60 points while scoring over 70 in both. The schedule picks up big time this week, taking on Gonzaga at home, who recently beat a borderline Top 25 team in Michigan State and easily handled Texas in last year’s matchup. Many people believe Texas has championship potential after this first week, and this will be a great test to see how legit they are.

T5) Kansas State Wildcats

Last week ranking: 10 (+5)

Record: 2-0

Last week: UTRGV (W) 93-59, @California (W) 63-54

Next week: Kansas City (Nov. 17 – 6:30 p.m.)

Best wins: @California, UTRGV

Worst losses: N/A

Many people expected Kansas State to be a bottom feeder in the Big 12 this year, if these two games have proven anything, that will not be the case. They went on the road and beat a Power 6 opponent, and Keyontae Johnson has looked great in his first two games for Kansas State. They have an easy week upcoming, with just one matchup.

T5) Texas Tech Red Raiders

Last week ranking: 5 (-)

Record: 2-0

Last week: Northwestern State (W) 73-49, Texas Southern (W) 78-54

Next week: Louisiana Tech (Nov. 14 – 8 p.m.)

Best wins: Texas Southern, Northwestern State

Worst losses: N/A

The Red Raiders have seen very balanced performances in the first two games, with all their key player performing at a high level. No individual has really shined, but no one has needed to. Texas Tech has a quiet week with a game against Louisiana Tech before a matchup against a top 10 Creighton team.

7) Iowa State Cyclones

Last week ranking: 8 (+1)

Record: 2-0

Last week: IUPUI (W) 88-39, North Carolina A&T (W) 80-43

Next week: N/A

Best wins: North Carolina A&T, IUPUI

Worst losses: N/A

You could honestly move any of the 2-7 teams into whatever order you want. They all follow the same pattern of beating lower teams by large margins and hold undefeated records. Iowa State surprisingly doesn’t have a game until next Sunday, so Iowa State fans will have to wait to see the team in action again.

8) TCU Horned Frogs

Last week ranking: 4 (-4)

Record: 2-0

Last week: Arkansas Pine-Bluff (W) 73-72, Lamar (W) 77-66

Next week: Northwestern State (Nov. 14 – 8 p.m.), UL Monroe (Nov. 17 – 8 p.m.)

Best wins: Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Lamar

Worst losses: N/A

TCU sits at 2-0, but not the way they wanted to get there. They barely beat Arkansas Pine-Bluff, a much lower opponent at home. They were actually losing most of the game and needed a late push to get the win. They followed that up with a lackluster 11 point win against Lamar. Shooting is a huge issue for TCU, and that will be something they need to work on because when they get to that Big 12 calender, those 1 and 11 point wins become losses.

9) Oklahoma State Cowboys

Last week ranking: 5 (-4)

Record: 2-1

Last week: UT Arlington (W) 77-66, Southern Illinois (L) 60-61, @Oakland (W) 91-62

Next week: UCF (Nov. 18 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: @Oakland, UT Arlington

Worst losses: Southern Illinois

Oklahoma State had a busy week, playing three games and losing one. They are one of the two teams in the Big 12 to lose a game this week, and losing to Southern Illinois will really impact their resume down the road. They get a lighter week with only one game, but a difficult game nonetheless against UCF.

10) Oklahoma Sooners

Last week ranking: 7 (-3)

Record: 1-1

Last week: Sam Houston State (L) 51-52, Arkansas Pine-Bluff (W) 66-58

Next week: UNC Wilmington (Nov. 15 – 8 p.m.), South Alabama (Nov. 18 – 8 p.m.)

Best wins: Arkansas Pine-Bluff

Worst losses: Sam Houston

Oklahoma started their season with a buzzer beater loss to Sam Houston State at home. They followed up with an 8 point win against the same team that TCU only beat by 1, so at least they have that. This is not the start that the Oklahoma Sooners were looking for, but they’ll have a chance to right the ship next week with two mid major opponents.

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