11 - 1
|vs. Kansas (Mon); at Texas Tech (Sat)|
11 - 1
|at Oklahoma (Mon); vs. Missouri (Sun)|
10 - 2
|vs. Kansas State (Wed); at Kansas (Sun)|
7 - 5
|vs. Texas Tech (Wed); at Ok State (Sat)|
|4. Kansas St.||
|at Missouri (Wed); vs. Nebraska (Sat)|
|vs. A&M (Tue); at Kansas St. (Sat)|
|6. Oklahoma St||
6 - 6
|at Colorado (Wed); vs. Texas (Sat)|
|8. Texas A&M||
5 - 7
|at Nebraska (Tue); vs. Iowa St (Sat)|
4 - 8
|at Iowa St. (Tue); vs. Colorado (Sat)|
|10. Texas Tech||
2 - 10
|at Texas (Wed); vs. Oklahoma (Sat)|
|10. Iowa State||
2 - 10
|vs. Baylor (Tue); at A&M (Sat)|
1 - 11
|vs. Ok St. (Wed); at Baylor (Sat)|
Thoughts on the week ahead after the jump.
Biggest Surprise from Last Week: Resurrections by A&M and Oklahoma State. While neither had particularly daunting weeks, they both swept their two games, including a road game each, and remain alive as a possible fifth team from the Big XII into the Dance (Kansas State is also right there). The Aggies are now 5-7 in the conference, after starting just 1-4, have a respectable RPI #39, and wins over tourney-bound LSU, Arizona, and Texas. Like it or not, the Aggies are not dead yet. The next two weeks’ slate of games is not scary and a season ending win over Missouri in College Station would give the Aggies something to play for in Oklahoma City. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are also closing strong as winners of their last three. OSU has a tougher end-of-season schedule but also has more of an opportunity to separate itself from the middle of the pack. Wins over Texas, Kansas State, or Oklahoma would prove invaluable on Selection Sunday.
Team with Most Favorable Schedule: No one really. The top five teams will all be tested this week as no one has two home games. Oklahoma is probably in the best position to go 2-0 but only if Blake Griffin is back on the court. The Sooners host Kansas on Monday and travel to Lubbock on Saturday. Kansas, Missouri, Kansas State, and Texas could all make statements with two Ws this week.
Team with Most to Prove: Kansas State. Despite sitting in a tie for fourth place in the conference, the Wildcats are still on the outside looking in at the NCAA tournament. A non-conference schedule filled with cupcakes combined with bad losses to Oregon and Iowa leaves KSU with an RPI #77. Kansas State has won eight of nine but probably needs to win three of their last four to feel safe. A win at Missouri on Wednesday or at Oklahoma State next week should put Frank Martin’s club in the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row.
Game of the Week: Kansas at Oklahoma. Not surprisingly, the marquee match up this week was hand picked by ESPN before the season began. Because of the Longhorns win on Saturday night, the Sooners no longer hold a game lead over surprising Kansas. After Monday, Kansas gets Missouri at home, travels to Tech, and hosts Texas. Like it or not, the Jayhawks should be able to handle all three of those. An upset with by Kansas in Norman would produce another conference championship for Bill Self. Because of that, Monday is a must win for OU. The Sooners close with Tech and Missouri on the road and Oklahoma State at home. To me, this is a tougher schedule, with a likely loss coming in Columbia. How sad it is that the Sooners’ death grip on the conference title could be gone in a matter of 72 hours? I don’t think Kansas wins on Monday but they could…