Zuby Eliofor, Jalen Wilson, Kansas Jayhawks, Big 12 basketball

Ariel Puterman gives his week 16 Big 12 basketball power rankings.

Matchup of the week: Texas vs. Baylor

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

All game times are listed in EST.

1) Kansas Jayhawks

Last week’s ranking: 3 (+2)

Record: 22-5 (10-4)

Last week: @ Oklahoma State (W) 87-76, #9 Baylor (W) 87-71

Next week: @ #22 TCU (Feb. 20 – 9 p.m.), West Virginia (Feb. 25 – 4 p.m.)

Best wins: Texas, Baylor, Indiana, Kansas State, Iowa State, @Missouri, Duke, NC State, Oklahoma State (x2), Kentucky, Wisconsin

Worst losses: N/A

Current Tournament Position: 1 seed (Waldo’s Watchlist, Matty Brackets, ESPN, CBS Sports, Making the Madness)

Here we go again. Kansas is starting to heat up at the right time, winning four games in a row and becoming a unanimous #1 seed among bracketologists at the moment. The way they responded against Baylor on Saturday was unbelievable, going from down double digits to winning by double digits in just one half, and just further proves how dangerous they are when Jalen Wilson, Dajuan Harris, and Gradey Dick are all performing at a high level.

Kansas has a big game this week against the only Big 12 basketball team they haven’t beaten this season, TCU. Kansas would love to win the Big 12 title once again, and it looks like it could potentially come down to the last game of the season against Texas.

2) Baylor Bears

Last week’s ranking: 2 (-)

Record: 20-7 (9-5)

Last week: West Virginia (W) 79-67, @ #5 Kansas (L) 71-87

Next week: @ #12 Kansas State (Feb. 21 – 7 p.m.), #6 Texas (Feb. 25 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: Kansas, UCLA, @ TCU, Gonzaga, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, West Virginia

Worst losses: N/A

Current Tournament Position: 2 seed (Waldo’s Watchlist, CBS Sports, Matty Brackets, Making the Madness, ESPN)

Baylor was on their way to the most optimal week possible. They took care of West Virginia, then were one-half away from sweeping Kansas on the season and taking that #1 spot in the Big 12. That all changed when they got outscored by 29 in the second half and suffered a double-digit loss to the Jayhawks. Regardless, Keyonte George, Adam Flagler, and LJ Cryer proved they are the best guard trio in the country, and it might not be close. When all three are on like they were in the first half, this team is impossible to beat.

In classic Big 12 basketball fashion, Baylor will have two ranked matchups this week, and being a game back, that home matchup against Texas could be their last chance at splitting or winning the title. It’s a huge week ahead for the Bears.

3) Texas Longhorns

Last week’s ranking: 1 (-2)

Record: 21-6 (10-4)

Last week: @ Texas Tech (L) 67-74, Oklahoma (W) 85-83 OT

Next week: #19 Iowa State (Feb. 21 – 9 p.m.), @ #9 Baylor (Feb. 25 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: @ Kansas State, Baylor, Gonzaga, Creighton, TCU, Oklahoma State (x2), West Virginia (x2)

Worst losses: N/A

Current Tournament Position: 2 seed (Waldo’s Watchlist, Matty Brackets, ESPN, Making the Madness, CBS Sports)

This was supposed to be an easy week for Texas in which they handled their opponents in a dominant fashion and make a push for not only the Big 12 title but a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament. Instead, they lost to Texas Tech, at the time the worst team in the Big 12, and took Oklahoma, the current worst team in the Big 12, to overtime at home. Sir’Jabari Rice and Marcus Carr remain two great scoring threats, but there is a huge dropoff in talent after that.

Texas really needs Tyrese Hunter to step up and develop a scoring system similar to Baylor, or they may be prone to upsets in March. If they want that one seed, they’ll have to show off to the committee over the next two weeks, and a great way to start is this week when they take on two top-20 opponents.

4) TCU Horned Frogs

Last week’s ranking: 7 (+3)

Record: 18-9 (7-7)

Last week: @ #11 Iowa State (L) 59-70, Oklahoma State (W) 100-75

Next week: #5 Kansas (Feb. 20 – 9 p.m.), @ Texas Tech (Feb. 25 – Noon)

Best wins: @ Kansas, @ Baylor, Kansas State, Providence, Iowa, Oklahoma State, West Virginia

Worst losses: Northwestern State

Current Tournament Position: 6 seed (Waldo’s Watchlist, ESPN, CBS Sports, Making the Madness), 7 seed (Matty Brackets)

When Mike Miles is playing, there are few teams in the country better than TCU, and that showed on Saturday in their 25-point win against Oklahoma State. They really struggled when he was out, but with him getting more and more minutes, this team could be extremely dangerous as we head into March.

TCU would love to get up to a 4-5 seed, and they have home games against Texas and Kansas before the regular season ends. They’d love to finish the season at least 3-1 and ride momentum into March.

5) Kansas State Wildcats

Last week’s ranking: 5 (-)

Record: 20-7 (8-6)

Last week: @ Oklahoma (L) 65-79, #19 Iowa State (W) 61-55

Next week: #9 Baylor (Feb. 21 – 7 p.m.), @ Oklahoma State (Feb. 25 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: @ Texas, @ Baylor, Kansas, Iowa State, TCU, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Florida

Worst losses: @ Butler, @ Texas Tech

Current Tournament Position: 3 seed (Making the Madness, Waldo’s Watchlist, CBS Sports), 4 seed (Matty Brackets, ESPN)

Kansas State needed to beat Iowa State to avoid falling to 1-5 in their last six games, and they did just that. It seems like they can win every game at home, but can’t win a road game. That is concerning heading into March, and with two more road games before the Big 12 Tournament, they need to show they can win a game away from home.

K-State could also use a win at home against Baylor, which would be a huge resume boost as they look to stay on that three-line.

6) Iowa State Cyclones

Last week’s ranking: 4 (-2)

Record: 17-9 (8-6)

Last week: #22 TCU (W) 70-59, @ #12 Kansas State (L) 55-61

Next week: @ #6 Texas (Feb. 21 – 9 p.m.), Oklahoma (Feb. 25 – Noon)

Best wins: Kansas, Texas, Baylor, Kansas State, TCU (x2), North Carolina

Worst losses: @ Texas Tech

Current Tournament Position: 3 seed (Waldo’s Watchlist, Matty Brackets, CBS Sports), 4 seed (ESPN, Making the Madness)

Getting Alijaz Kunc back has been extremely beneficial for Iowa State, as the big man has led the team in scoring in the last three games. Iowa State is 2-7 on the road though, and that is extremely scary heading into March. Teams that can’t win away from home struggle in March Madness, and to make things worse, their last two home games are at Baylor and Texas.

7) Oklahoma State Cowboys

Last week’s ranking: 6 (-1)

Record: 16-11 (7-7)

Last week: #5 Kansas (L) 76-87, @ #22 TCU (L) 75-100

Next week: @ West Virginia (Feb. 20 – 7 p.m.), #12 Kansas State (Feb. 25 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: Iowa State (x2), TCU, West Virginia

Worst losses: Southern Illinois

Current Tournament Position: 9 seed (ESPN), 10 seed (Waldo’s Watchlist, Making the Madness), 11 seed (Matty Brackets), OUT (CBS Sports)

After becoming the hottest team in Big 12 basketball, Oklahoma State lost back-to-back games by double digits. They’re still in the tournament, but they’re far from a lock at this point. If they can win two of their final four games, they should be in a good position to go dancing.

8) Texas Tech Red Raiders

Last week’s ranking: 10 (+2)

Record: 15-12 (4-10)

Last week: #6 Texas (W) 74-67, @ West Virginia (W) 78-72

Next week: @ Oklahoma (Feb. 21 – 9 p.m.), #22 TCU (Feb. 25 – Noon)

Best wins: Texas, Iowa State, Kansas State, @ West Virginia

Worst losses: N/A

Current Tournament Position: OUT

Two teams in the Big 12 went 2-0 this week, Kansas and Texas Tech. After what looked like a lost season, Texas Tech is now in a position to get back onto the bubble, and have a chance against Oklahoma and TCU this week. Having Fardaws Aimaq has certainly helped, and Devion Harmon has been great as of late. Don’t count out the Red Raiders just yet.

9) West Virginia Mountaineers

Last week’s ranking: 8 (-1)

Record: 15-12 (4-10)

Last week: @ #9 Baylor (L) 67-79, Texas Tech (L) 72-78

Next week: Oklahoma State (Feb. 20 – 7 p.m.), @ #5 Kansas (Feb. 25 – 4 p.m.)

Best wins: Iowa State, TCU, Pittsburgh, Auburn, Florida, UAB

Worst losses: N/A

Current Tournament Position: 10 seed (Matty Brackets), 11 seed (Waldo’s Watchlist, ESPN, CBS Sports), OUT (Making the Madness)

West Virginia has entered bubble territory, a spot they don’t want to be in. After the Oklahoma State game, they close out the season with three ranked matchups. Unless they win all three, they’ll probably remain on the bubble, and it’ll come down to the Big 12 Tournament and other factors. They need to be better defensively, allowing 70+ in their last four games.

10) Oklahoma Sooners

Last week’s ranking: 9 (-1)

Record: 13-14 (3-11)

Last week: #12 Kansas State (W) 79-65, @ #6 Texas (L) 83-85 OT

Next week: Texas Tech (Feb. 21 – 9 p.m.), @ #19 Iowa State (Feb. 25 – Noon)

Best wins: Alabama, Kansas State, West Virginia, Seton Hall, Florida

Worst losses: Sam Houston State

Current Tournament Position: OUT

If Oklahoma beat Texas on Saturday, we’d be having a serious conversation about a 10-bid Big 12. Unfortunately, it’s going to take a lot more now for the Sooners to go dancing. If they can go undefeated the rest of the season and make a Big 12Ttournament run – it’s a strong maybe – but if not, then that hope is lost. Beating Kansas State is a good win though, and they looked a lot better this week than in past weeks.

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