Emanuel Miller, TCU Horned Frogs, Big 12 Basketball

Ariel Puterman gives his week 6 Big 12 basketball power rankings.

Matchup of the week: Kansas vs Indiana

Sneaky good matchup of the week: Nebraska vs Kansas State

All game times are listed in EST.

1) Texas Longhorns

Last week’s ranking: 1 (-)

Record: 7-1

Last week: #17 Illinois (L) 78-85 OT, Arkansas Pine-Bluff (W) 88-43

Next week: Rice (Dec. 12 – 8 p.m.), Stanford (Dec. 18 – 1 p.m.)

Best wins: Creighton, Gonzaga, UTEP

Worst losses: N/A

The Texas Longhorns finally suffered their first defeat of the season, losing in overtime to Illinois. They had control of the game until late, but perhaps this being their first game outside of the state impacted their ability to close out. They get another in-state non-conference game this week against Stanford, and with the margin being razor-thin between them and Kansas, they’ll need a statement win to stay on top of the Power Rankings if the Jayhawks can take down Indiana.

2) Kansas Jayhawks

Last week’s ranking: 2 (-)

Record: 9-1

Last week: @ Missouri (W) 95-67

Next week: #14 Indiana (Dec. 17 – Noon)

Best wins: Duke, Wisconsin, NC State, Seton Hall, Missouri

Worst losses: N/A

Kansas went into a hostile environment against their rival and absolutely dominated from tip-off until the final buzzer. After the Tennessee loss, they’ve looked dominant and a final 4 contender once again. They get arguably their biggest test on Saturday when they welcome Indiana to Allen Fieldhouse.

3) TCU Horned Frogs

Last week’s ranking: 4 (+1)

Record: 8-1

Last week: Jackson State (W) 78-51, SMU (W) 83-75

Next week: Mississippi Valley State (Dec. 18 – 6 p.m.)

Best wins: Iowa, Providence, SMU

Worst losses: Northwestern State

The resume might not be the most impressive, but this team is starting to put it together, extending their win streak to 6. They probably have the easiest week in the entire country, with their only action being against a team rated as the second worst in the country by KenPom.

4) Baylor Bears

Last week’s ranking: 5 (+1)

Record: 7-2

Last week: Tarleton State (W) 80-57

Next week: Washington State (Dec. 18 – 10 p.m.)

Best wins: Gonzaga, UCLA, Norfolk State

Worst losses: N/A

Baylor got back on track this week, handling Tarleton State easily, as they should. They take on Washington State this week in what should be an easy win but could go down as a quality win in March. We know how good this team can be, so Sunday’s performance could be a reminder of that or it could reveal even more issues.

5) West Virginia Mountaineers

Last week’s ranking: 6 (+1)

Record: 8-2

Last week: Navy (W) 85-64, UAB (W) 81-70

Next week: Buffalo (Dec. 18 – 5 p.m.)

Best wins: UAB, Florida, Pittsburgh, Penn

Worst losses: N/A

West Virginia continues to pile up quality wins, this time beating one of the best mid-major programs in UAB by double digits. This team is clearly better than their 9th-place projected finish and should enter the new year with either a 10-2 or 9-3 record.

T-6) Kansas State Wildcats

Last week’s ranking: 7 (+1)

Record: 9-1

Last week: Abilene Christian (W) 81-64, Incarnate Word (W) 98-50

Next week: Nebraska (Dec. 17 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: LSU, Nevada, Rhode Island, Wichita State

Worst losses: N/A

Kansas State keeps winning games, and they did so convincingly this week. There are still major question marks regarding whether they can compete with the top dogs given their lack of Top 25 opponents, but until then they have to worry about a Nebraska team that like Kansas State has been overperforming this season.

T-6) Iowa State Cyclones

Last week’s ranking: 3 (-3)

Record: 7-2

Last week: @ Iowa (L) 56-75, McNeese State (W) 77-40

Next week: Western Michigan (Dec. 18 – 1 p.m.)

Best wins: North Carolina, St. Johns, Villanova

Worst losses: N/A

Iowa State got destroyed by their in-state rival Hawkeyes, and the win against UNC is looking less and less valuable as UNC continues to struggle. Iowa State definitely has left many with question marks the last few weeks, but perhaps a couple of easier matchups like Western Michigan will get them back on track.

8) Oklahoma Sooners

Last week’s ranking: 9 (+1)

Record: 6-2

Last week: Kansas City (W) 75-53, #9 Arkansas (L) 78-88

Next week: Central Arkansas (Dec. 17 – 3 p.m.)

Best wins: Ole Miss, Seton Hall, Nebraska, UNCW

Worst losses: Sam Houston State

Despite the loss, Oklahoma moves up a spot for staying competitive against a Top 10 opponent on a neutral court. Grant Sherfield has been the elite-level scorer that Oklahoma was missing last year, and could be a difference-maker once we hit conference play. They still need to get to the level where they win those games they’re not favored in to get that resume boost, but they are certainly a team that can climb the power rankings as the season goes on.

9) Texas Tech Red Raiders

Last week’s ranking: 8 (-1)

Record: 6-2

Last week: Nicholls (W) 78-71

Next week: Eastern Washington (Dec. 13 – 8 p.m.), Jackson State (Dec. 17 – 4 p.m.)

Best wins: Louisiana Tech, Georgetown, Texas Southern

Worst losses: N/A

Texas Tech was in the game with a 4-5 Nicholls team until the very end, a worrying sign for a team that still doesn’t have a notable win. They are hoping they can get Fardaws Aimaq, who’s been out all season back before the new year, but they have a lot to figure out before then. Luckily, they play four lower-level opponents to boost their record before a road test against TCU on New Year’s Eve.

10) Oklahoma State Cowboys

Last week’s ranking: 10 (-)

Record: 6-4

Last week: Sam Houston State (W) 65-51, Virginia Tech (L) 65-70

Next week: @ Wichita State (Dec. 17 – 9 p.m.)

Best wins: DePaul, Tulsa, UT Arlington

Worst losses: Southern Illinois

Oklahoma State is the only team with four losses and lacks an impressive win to date. They did keep it very close against Virginia Tech but didn’t have enough, in the end, to pull off the upset. If they can’t win at Wichita State this week, then they could be in serious trouble, so keep an eye on this matchup when watching the games on Saturday.

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