Big 12 Projected Standings By Tier -- Final Week

The final week of the regular season is here. For some Longhorn fans, this season probably can’t end soon enough. After another disappointing trip to College Station, the ‘Horns stand tied with Oklahoma State for sixth place in the conference.

Texas in the Big 12 Tournament

With a high likelihood of another 1-1 week, Texas should finish at 9-7 in Big 12 play and land in Kansas City as the No. 6 seed. Should Texas drop both games, they would almost certainly drop to the No. 7 seed, unless Oklahoma State lost both their games too.

If Texas is the No. 6 seed, the Longhorns will open Big 12 tournament play on Wednesday against the No. 11 seed with the winner advancing to play the No. 3 seed. The 6/11 game will tip at 8:30 pm on Wednesday, March 10th. Should Texas fall to the 7/10 slot, that game would tip at 6 pm that same evening. (Big 12 Tournament Bracket)

Iowa State is the most likely No. 11 seed. They currently have a one game lead over Nebraska in the race to the bottom of the conference, and the Cyclones swept the Huskers this season. So, unless Nebraska beats both Colorado at home and Oklahoma State on the road, the Cornhuskers will be the No. 12 seed.

Additionally, Iowa State has little chance of improving their seed by winning both of their games this week and catching Oklahoma, Texas Tech, or Colorado. The Cyclones host Missouri on Tuesday and travel to Kansas State on Saturday. Both games are projected losses.

Top Four Seeds in Kansas City

The race for the top four seeds is less clear. Even with Saturday’s loss to OSU, Kansas still holds a solid two game lead over Kansas State. The Jayhawks will have two chances this week to win the conference outright and secure the top seed in Kansas City. Kansas State also has a two game lead for the No. 2 seed.

Three teams, Baylor, Missouri, and A&M, are all currently tied at 9-5 and will be fighting this week for the other two first round byes. The Bears have two projected wins as do the Tigers, while A&M has one projected win and a toss-up game (at OU). In head to head meetings, Baylor and A&M split their series; Baylor defeated Missouri; and A&M also defeated Missouri. If the three teams each end the season at 11-5 and in a three-way tie for third, Baylor would be the No. 3 seed, A&M the No. 4, and Missouri the No. 5. So, in addition to defeating KU next Saturday in Columbia, Missouri fans need to hope Baylor or A&M stumbles so that the Tigers can secure a first round bye. (Big 12 tiebreaker rules)

Take a look after the jump at the final projected standings and a look at the week ahead.

Tier System Projections

For the final time, we’ll take a look at the conference standings by adding what we project to happen to what has already occurred to get our best guess at each team’s final Big 12 record.

A quick review:

Tier I
Projected Wins: All home games and road games against Tier III teams.
Toss-Ups: Road games against Tier II teams.
Projected Losses: Road games against Tier I teams.

Tier II
Projected Wins: Home games against Tier II and Tier II teams.
Toss-Ups: Home games against Tier I teams & road games against Tier III teams.
Projected Losses: Road games against Tier I and Tier II teams.

Tier III
Projected Wins: Home games against Tier III teams.
Toss-Ups: Home games against Tier II teams are toss-ups.
Projected Losses: All road games & home games against Tier I teams.

The Tiers stay the same for the second week in a row. Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, and Missouri are slotted as Tier I teams. A&M, Texas, and Oklahoma State are Tier II teams. And Texas Tech, Colorado, Oklahoma, Iowa State, and Nebraska round out the league as Tier III Teams.

Last week the Tier system was a perfect 11-0 in predicting winners.

For the second week in a row, Oklahoma State was the big winner. The Cowboys may have lost in Austin but they defeated top-ranked Kansas on Saturday, notched an all important eighth conference win, and, with the weakness of the bubble, probably secured an NCAA berth too.

Team Actual Record Projected Record Toss Ups Projected Losses
1. Kansas

13 - 1

14 – 2

@ Missouri
2. Kansas State

11 - 3

12 – 4

@ Kansas
3. Baylor

9 - 5

11 – 5

3. Missouri

9 - 5

11 – 5

5. Texas A&M

9 - 5

10.5 – 5.5

@ OU
6. Texas

8 - 6

9 – 7

@ Baylor
6. Oklahoma State

8 - 6

9 – 7

@ A&M
8. Colorado

4 - 10

5 – 11

@ Nebraska
9. Oklahoma

4 - 10

4.5 – 11.5

vs. A&M @ Texas
10. Texas Tech

4 - 10

4 – 12

vs. Baylor; @CU
11. Iowa State

3 - 11

3 – 13

vs. Missouri; @ KSU
11. Nebraska

2 - 12

3 – 13

@ Ok State

 

Biggest Surprise from Last Week: Oklahoma State over Kansas. After the tier system was perfect for the second straight week, I’ll go with the result in the only toss-up game of the week. Given what I saw from the Cowboys on Wednesday night in Austin plus the strength of Kansas on the interior plus James Anderson being the only true scorer on OSU, I was very surprised by the result. After looking at the box score and seeing career games from Matt Pilgim and Keeton Page to go with an outstanding game from Anderson, the upset makes more sense. I wouldn’t read too much into this one, though. Kansas is still the class of the league, and OSU will need a lot to go its way to get out of the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Team with Favorable Schedule: Baylor. Baylor draws Tech in Lubbock and the up and down Longhorns on Saturday to close out the regular season. Both games are projected wins and Baylor should finish a solid 11-5 in conference. If they do sweep their last two, Scott Drew’s club will head to Kansas City on a four game winning streak and winners of seven of their last eight and nine of their last eleven. The guard play has been in Waco for years; it is the inside play of Ekpe Udoh, Quincy Acy, and Anthony Jones that is the difference for Baylor this season.

Toss-Up Game: Texas A&M at Oklahoma (Saturday) If the Aggies are playing for a first round bye and the Sooners are still without Willie Warren, I’ll take A&M.

Upset Pick: Kansas over Missouri in Columbia. This is a bit of a weak pick because Missouri is probably not a Tier I team any longer. But even if they did slide down to Tier II, this game would still be a toss-up. The Tigers go when they create turnovers and score easily in transition. I expect Sherron Collins and company to have learned their lessons in Stillwater. The KU guards protect the ball and win a close one.

Post-season Outlook: Kansas (RPI 1, Pomeroy 2), Kansas State (RPI 5, Pomeroy 11), Texas A&M (RPI 13, Pomeroy 24), and Baylor (RPI 12, Pomeroy 16) are NCAA locks at this point. Missouri (RPI 35, Pomeroy 12) and Texas (RPI 24, Pomeroy 13) would be in safely if the season ended today too. By virtue of their upset win, Oklahoma State (RPI 25, Pomeroy 43) is looking solid as well. As long as Missouri, Texas, and Oklahoma State get another victory each, they are fine. (CBSSports.com, KenPom.com)

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