The race for the Big XII Championship is already a week and a half old. I’ll try to spend each Monday looking at the week ahead and giving quick updates on each of the dozen teams. The Big XII is much stronger this year than it has been in recent years and looks to be in good position to send five or six teams to the NCAA tournament in March.
Kansas 3-0 The Jayhawks are the only team in the country ranked in the top 5 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiencies by Pomeroy. Kansas should be #1 in the country on Monday and should have no trouble handling this week’s slate of games to improve to 5-0.
vs. Iowa State on Wednesday and vs. Nebraska on Saturday
Baylor 3-0 Don’t look now but Scott Drew’s Bears are 15-2 and undefeated in conference play. We’ll find out quickly if this team can make a run at an NCAA tourney bid. I say, probably not. After this week, they play at Texas, host Tech, and at Kansas over the next two weeks. We’ll reevaluate after the next five.
at A&M on Wednesday and vs. Oklahoma on Saturday
Kansas State 2-0 The Wildcats have won seven of their last eight, and with Michael Beasley and Bill Walker, they definitely have the look of a tournament team. If they can sweep this week’s game, first place in the conference will be on the line when they host Kansas on January 30th.
at Colorado on Wednesday and vs. Iowa St. on Saturday
Iowa State 2-1 Memo to Cyclone fans: don’t let the winning record fool you. Your team will be back near the bottom of the conference quickly.
at Kansas on Wednesday and at Kansas St. on Saturday
Texas 1-1 Two winnable games await the Horns this week. But with the way Texas plays defense, neither will be easy.
at Ok. State on Monday and vs. Texas Tech on Saturday
Texas A&M 1-2 Weak non-conference scheduling caught up with the Aggies this week as they dropped back to back road games. The Agros must find a way to score. If you don’t put up 60 points, it’s tough to come out victorious. Imagine the meltdown if Baylor pulls the mid-week upset. Just imagine.
vs. Baylor on Wednesday and at Oklahoma St. on Saturday
Missouri 1-2 The Tigers have come back to earth since upsetting the Horns to open conference season and dropped games to Iowa State and Kansas in the last seven days. I still believe this is a solid team that should be able to win at least nine conference games.
at Texas Tech on Wednesday and at Colorado on Saturday
Oklahoma 1-2 The injury to Blake Griffin really puts the handcuffs on Jeff Capel’s club. With him, they are a dangerous bunch and capable of beating just about anyone. Without him, the Sooners are going to struggle over the next few weeks.
at Baylor on Saturday
Oklahoma State 1-2 Before the season, I thought Coach Sutton had the pieces to be a solid team by conference play. I also thought that with all the new faces the early games could be rough. Well, OSU struggled early and is still struggling. They can’t score from the perimeter, have trouble with turnovers, and don’t rebound the ball well. Let’s see if the Horns can take advantage.
vs. Texas on Monday and vs. A&M on Saturday
Texas Tech 1-2 The Red Raiders aren’t that talented but somehow play lights out against A&M. Tech will be lucky to make the NIT this season.
vs. Missouri on Wednesday and at Texas on Saturday
Colorado 1-2 The Buffaloes will win a few more games this season than expected, but not many more. When Roby is off or out with fouls, there isn’t much else.
vs. Kansas State on Wednesday, vs. Missouri on Saturday
Nebraska 0-3 The Huskers have already dropped two home games. Three of their next four are on the road and a 1-6 conference start looks likely.
at Kansas on Saturday