Dillon Mitchell, Texas Longhorns, Big 12 Basketball

Ariel Puterman gives his week 11 Big 12 basketball power rankings.

Matchup of the week: Kansas vs. Kansas State

Sneaky good matchup of the week: Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State

All game times are listed in EST.

1) Kansas Jayhawks

Last week’s ranking: 1 (-)

Record: 16-1 (5-0)

Last week: Oklahoma (W) 79-75, #14 Iowa State (W) 62-60

Next week: @ Kansas State (Jan. 17 – 7 p.m.), #17 TCU (Jan. 21 – 1 p.m.)

Best wins: Iowa State, Wisconsin, Duke, @ Missouri, NC State, Indiana, Oklahoma

Worst losses: N/A

The Jayhawks aren’t winning these games by much, but they’re still finding ways to come out on top. They are the only team in the Big 12 that remains undefeated, but that will really get put to the test this week. They start by going to Manhattan and taking on their rival K State who are looking to maintain their momentum and pick up the quality win. They then face TCU, a team that fights hard and have seemed to be improving game after game. They will have to stop KJ Adams though, who has become one of the best players in the Big 12 since conference play started.

2) Iowa State Cyclones

Last week’s ranking: 3 (+1)

Record: 13-3 (4-1)

Last week: Texas Tech (W) 84-50, @ #2 Kansas (L) 60-62

Next week: #10 Texas (Jan. 17 – 8 p.m.), @ Oklahoma State (Jan. 21 – 2 p.m.)

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

Worst losses: N/A

Iowa State started the week off with a statement, defeating Texas Tech by 34. They then almost beat Kansas on the road but fell just short. Gabe Kalschuer’s improvement from beyond the arc has helped Iowa State immensely, and defensively, they still remain elite. If they can beat Texas at home on Tuesday, it’ll be hard for anyone to jump Iowa State in the power rankings over the next few weeks, especially if they win the game after at Oklahoma State as well.

3) TCU Horned Frogs

Last week’s ranking: 5 (+2)

Record: 14-3 (3-2)

Last week: @ #10 Texas (L) 75-79, #11 Kansas State (W) 82-68

Next week: @ West Virginia (Jan. 18 – 8 p.m.), @ #2 Kansas (Jan. 21 – 1 p.m.)

Best wins: Kansas State, Providence, Iowa, @Baylor, @Utah

Worst losses: Northwestern State

Honestly, there’s a three-way tie for third place in the power rankings right now between TCU, Kansas State, and Texas. TCU beat Kansas State, Kansas State beat Texas, and Texas beat TCU. It’s one big circle of confusion. TCU gets the nod here for their dominance against K State, really controlling this game from early on. They also should have beat Texas on the road, but choked a massive lead and suffered the loss. If they beat Kansas this week on the road, there will be no question about where they stand, and they will need Emmanuel Miller to stay hot, as he averaged 22 points over the two games this week.

4) Kansas State Wildcats

Last week’s ranking: 2 (-2)

Record: 15-2 (4-1)

Last week: Oklahoma State (W) 65-57, @ #17 TCU (L) 68-82

Next week: #2 Kansas (Jan. 17 – 7 p.m.), Texas Tech (Jan. 21 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: @ Texas, @ Baylor, LSU, West Virginia

Worst losses: N/A

Kansas State’s magical run came to a pause on Saturday when they got completely outplayed on the road against TCU. That doesn’t mean they’re going to finally regress, but this week will be a clear sign if they were riding more on momentum or talent. They have an extremely tough matchup against Kansas, but then get a Texas Tech team who is yet to win a Big 12 basketball game. They need to go at least 1-1 this week to avoid falling into Big 12 mediocrity.

5) Texas Longhorns

Last week’s ranking: 4 (-1)

Record: 15-2 (4-1)

Last week: #17 TCU (W) 79-75, Texas Tech (W) 72-70

Next week: @ #14 Iowa State (Jan. 17 – 8 p.m.), @ West Virginia (Jan. 21 – 6 p.m.)

Best wins: Gonzaga, TCU, Creighton, @ Oklahoma

Worst losses: N/A

Texas decided to be the comeback kids this week, trailing by 10+ in both games before ultimately coming back and winning. This might be a little harder to do this week, with the homecourt not behind them as they will take on Iowa State and West Virginia on the road. Remember, consider them more as a tied for third than a 5th, but a 2-0 or 0-2 week can give them a more inflexible ranking,

6) Baylor Bears

Last week’s ranking: 6 (-)

Record: 12-5 (2-3)

Last week: @ West Virginia (W) 83-78, Oklahoma State (W) 74-58

Next week: @ Texas Tech (Jan. 17 – 9 p.m.), @ Oklahoma (Jan. 21 – 4 p.m.)

Best wins: Gonzaga, UCLA, @ West Virginia

Worst losses: N/A

Baylor looked like they were finally getting back on track this week by going 2-0 and picking up their first two conference wins of the season. Keyontae George was incredible against West Virginia, scoring 32, and if he can consistently get 20 points a game they will be an incredibly difficult team to beat. They have a great chance to pick up two more wins this week but will have to do so on the road.

7) Oklahoma Sooners

Last week’s ranking: 7 (-)

Record: 11-6 (2-3)

Last week: @ #2 Kansas (L) 75-79, West Virginia (W) 77-76

Next week: @ Oklahoma State (Jan. 18 – 9 p.m.), Baylor (Jan. 21 – 4 p.m.)

Best wins: Seton Hall, West Virginia, Ole Miss

Worst losses: Sam Houston State

There aren’t many certainties in life, but one has been that Oklahoma will play a close game in the Big 12. All five of Oklahoma’s games have been decided by 5 or fewer, and unfortunately for them, they are 2-3 in those games. This could continue to be the case next week, with two evenly matched games coming up against in-state rival Oklahoma State and the only other team in the Big 12 with a 2-3 record in Baylor.

8) West Virginia Mountaineers

Last week’s ranking: 8 (-)

Record: 10-7 (0-5)

Last week: Baylor (L) 78-83, @ Oklahoma (L) 76-77

Next week: #17 TCU (Jan. 18 – 8 p.m.), #10 Texas (Jan. 21 – 6 p.m.)

Best wins: UAB, Florida, Pittsburgh

Worst losses: N/A

West Virginia is slowly watching their tournament hopes slide away, falling to 0-5 in conference play with no easily winnable games in the near future. They’re losing by close margins, but that doesn’t matter, and if they can’t take care of business against two top 20 teams, they’ll fall to 10-9 and need a basically perfect season to have any tournament hopes.

9) Oklahoma State Cowboys

Last week’s ranking: 9 (-)

Record: 9-8 (1-4)

Last week: @ #11 Kansas State (L) 57-65, @ Baylor (L) 58-74

Next week: Oklahoma (Jan. 18 – 9 p.m.), #14 Iowa State (Jan. 21 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: West Virginia, Texas Tech, Wichita State

Worst losses: Southern Illinois

With an 0-2 week next week, Oklahoma State would be 9-10 with seven ranked matchups before the end of the year. They need to start winning some games because their resume is incredibly weak at the moment. Perhaps a home matchup against their rival Oklahoma will be enough motivation to get a second conference win.

10) Texas Tech Red Raiders

Last week’s ranking: 10 (-)

Record: 10-7 (0-5)

Last week: @ #14 Iowa State (L) 50-84, @ #10 Texas (L) 70-72

Next week: Baylor (Jan. 17 – 9 p.m.), @ #11 Kansas State (Jan. 21 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: Georgetown, Louisiana Tech, Nicholls

Worst losses: N/A

Texas Tech still doesn’t have a Big 12 basketball win or really a significant win this season. The clock is ticking, and if they don’t win a game this week then this could be a lost season for the program. The good news is highly touted transfer Fardaws Aimaq returned on Saturday, and the team already looked much better.

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