Timmy Allen, Texas Longhorns, Big 12 Basketball

Ariel Puterman gives his week 9 Big 12 basketball power rankings.

Matchup of the week: TCU vs. Baylor

Sneaky good matchup of the week: Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma

All game times are listed in EST.

1) Kansas Jayhawks

Last week’s ranking: 1 (-)

Record: 12-1 (1-0)

Last week: Oklahoma State (W) 69-67

Next week: @ Texas Tech (Jan. 3 – 9 p.m.), @ West Virginia (Jan. 7 – 6 p.m.)

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

Worst losses: N/A

Kansas had quite the scare this week, going down by 15 at home at the half against Oklahoma State before coming all the way back and winning by two. The last two games have been very underwhelming for the Jayhawks, and with a two-game road trip upcoming, these will be great tests to see if they can look more like they did against Indiana and Missouri just a few weeks ago.

2) Texas Longhorns

Last week’s ranking: 2 (-)

Record: 12-1 (1-0)

Last week: Texas A&M- Commerce (W) 97-72, @ Oklahoma (W) 70-69

Next week: Kansas State (Jan. 3 – 9 p.m.), @ Oklahoma State (Jan. 7 – Noon)

Best wins: Gonzaga, @ Oklahoma, Creighton

Worst losses: N/A

Since the Chris Beard suspension, Texas hasn’t lost a game. They almost did on Saturday though, with their matchup coming down to the final seconds before they were able to knock down the clutch free throws. Despite the distractions, this team is really strong and will remain a championship contender if healthy. Kansas State doesn’t seem to know how to lose at the moment so Tuesday’s matchup could be a lot of fun.

3) Kansas State Wildcats

Last week’s ranking: 6 (+3)

Record: 12-1 (1-0)

Last week: #24 West Virginia (W) 82-76 OT

Next week: @ #6 Texas (Jan. 3 – 9 p.m.), @ #12 Baylor (Jan. 7 – 6 p.m.)

Best wins: West Virginia, LSU, Nebraska

Worst losses: N/A

The team picked to finish last in the Big 12 sits at 12-1 and just picked up a win against a top-25 team in West Virginia. This team just doesn’t seem to know how to lose and has always found ways to gain momentum when needed. They do have arguably the hardest week in the country, taking on two great teams on the road in Texas and Baylor.

4) TCU Horned Frogs

Last week’s ranking: 3 (-1)

Record: 12-1 (1-0)

Last week: Central Arkansas (W) 103-57, Texas Tech (W) 67-61

Next week: @ #12 Baylor (Jan. 4 – 9 p.m.), Iowa State (Jan. 7 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: Providence, Iowa, Texas Tech, Utah

Worst losses: Northwestern State

TCU extends their win streak to 10 games, and Mike Miles looks like the guy who was projected to be the Big 12 Player of the Year before the season. The resume still isn’t very impressive, but they’ll have a chance to get their two biggest wins this week against Iowa State and Baylor.

5) Iowa State Cyclones

Last week’s ranking: 7 (+2)

Record: 10-2 (1-0)

Last week: #12 Baylor (W) 77-62 

Next week:@ Oklahoma (Jan. 4 – 8 p.m.), @ #18 TCU (Jan. 7 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: Baylor, North Carolina, Villanova, St. John’s

Worst losses: N/A

Iowa State had the best win in all of the Big 12, beating Baylor by 15 points. They did a tremendous job controlling the second half and proved how hard it will be for their opponents to beat them at home. Unfortunately, a lot of their early season wins don’t hold the same value as usual due to disappointing seasons, but as long as they keep winning these Big 12 basketball matchups they can continue to pile up resume wins.

6) West Virginia Mountaineers

Last week’s ranking: 5 (-1)

Record: 10-3 (0-1)

Last week: @ Kansas State (L) 76-82 OT

Next week: @ Oklahoma State (Jan. 2 – 7 p.m.), #4 Kansas (Jan. 7 – 6 p.m.)

Best wins: UAB, Florida, Pittsburgh

Worst losses: N/A

This game got lost amid the exciting college football playoff games, but West Virginia was unable to pull off the road win. They have a quick turnaround, playing Oklahoma State on the road just two days later. They desperately need that win, because going 0-2 before playing Kansas could be a concerning start in the Big 12 basketball conference play.

7) Baylor Bears

Last week’s ranking: 5 (-2)

Record: 10-3 (0-1)

Last week: @ Iowa State (L) 62-77

Next week: #18 TCU (Jan. 4 – 9 p.m.), Kansas State (Jan. 7 – 6 p.m.)

Best wins: Gonzaga, UCLA, Washington State

Worst losses: N/A

LJ Cryer’s absence really showed on Saturday, as they got crushed and really weren’t able to build any momentum throughout the game. To the standards we hold this Baylor program to these days, this team is a level below, but they are still going to be an elite Big 12 basketball team. We just have not seen that yet, and they’ll get a big chance this week against TCU to prove themselves.

8) Oklahoma Sooners

Last week’s ranking: 8 (-)

Record: 9-4 (0-1)

Last week: #6 Texas (L) 69-70

Next week: Iowa State (Jan. 4 – 8 p.m.), @ Texas Tech (Jan. 7 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: Ole Miss, Seton Hall, Nebraska

Worst losses: Sam Houston State

Oklahoma nearly pulled off the upset, and this is a big boost of confidence that Oklahoma will be able to compete with any team on any given day. Grant Sherfield is looking like a great addition from the transfer portal, scoring 22 points in back-to-back games. With all this being said, they need to win at least one of two of their games next week, because it’s looking like this team will be on the bubble all season.

9) Texas Tech Red Raiders

Last week’s ranking: 9 (-)

Record: 10-3 (0-1)

Last week: South Carolina State (W) 110-71, @ #18 TCU (L) 61-67

Next week: #4 Kansas (Jan. 3 – 9 p.m.), Oklahoma (Jan. 7 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: Louisiana Tech, Georgetown, Texas Southern

Worst losses: N/A

They have ten wins, but really no good wins on the season. With nonconference out of the way, they don’t have any more of those buy games and will have to step up their game if they want to even have a chance of making the tournament. They have two home games this week, so perhaps that will be the boost they need to get a win in conference play.

10) Oklahoma State Cowboys

Last week’s ranking: 10 (-)

Record: 8-5 (0-1)

Last week: @ #4 Kansas (L) 67-69

Next week: #24 West Virginia (Jan. 2 – 7 p.m.), #6 Texas (Jan. 7 – Noon)

Best wins: Wichita State, DePaul, Tulsa

Worst losses: Southern Illinois

Oklahoma State almost pulled off the upset on Saturday, but couldn’t hold onto their lead against the Jayhawks. This team has a lot of talent, they just don’t seem to find ways to win games. They’ll need to figure it out soon because they have two important games this week at home against West Virginia and Texas.

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