Big 12 basketball power rankings show new leader


BIG 12 POWER POLL

Rnk (prv) Team;W-L (conf.);Next opponent;Comment

1. (2) Texas Tech;20-4 (8-3);at Kansas State (17-7), Sat.;Defense wins championships? Red Raiders, winners of 5 straight, at top of league in most key defensive metrics.

2. (1) Kansas;19-5 (8-3);at Baylor (14-10), Sat.;Glad we didn’t coronate Jayhawks, just 3-2 in last five, too soon. Feb. 24 trip to Lubbock could be for title.

3. (5) West Virginia;18-6 (7-4);vs. Oklahoma State (14-10), Sat.;Shooting slump is over (for now) as Mountaineers charge back into contention after losing 5 of 6.

4. (3) Oklahoma;16-7 (6-5);at Iowa State (12-11), Sat.;NCAA’s No. 2 offense simply must outscore No. 334 defense even as Trae Young shows signs of fatigue.

5. (4) Kansas State;11-7 (6-5);vs. Texas Tech (20-4), Sat.;Dean Wade is underappreciated player, averaging 16.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and shooting 56 percent from field.

6. (7) Texas;15-9 (5-6);at TCU (16-8), Sat.;Horns haven’t dropped 2 straight since heartbreakers to Duke and Gonzaga, but they’ll be underdogs in Fort Worth.

7. (6) TCU;16-8 (4-7);vs. Texas (15-9), Sat.;Few have lost more close games than Horned Frogs, but they must start winning some for NCAA bid.

8. (9) Baylor;14-10 (4-7);vs. Kansas (19-5), Sat.;Bears riding 1st Big 12 win streak (2) of season. What they really need is signature victory over Jayhawks.

9. (8) Oklahoma State;14-10 (4-7);at West Virginia (18-6), Sat.;Cowboys good enough to beat Kansas and Oklahoma yet not consistent enough to break even in Big 12.

10. (10) Iowa State;12-11 (3-8);vs. Oklahoma (16-7), Sat.;Cyclones are best last-place team among Power Five. That, however, won’t get you to postseason.



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