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Big XII Projected Standings by Tier -- Two Weeks Left

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Now, just two weeks remain in the regular season. After another week with two victories, the Jayhawks are clearly coasting toward a conference championship. The only real question left is will KU finish a perfect 16-0? I wouldn’t bet against it.

For the third week in a row, 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 XII 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 this week. Missouri gained a firmer footing in Tier I with defeats of Texas and Nebraska. The Tigers remain in the top tier alongside Kansas, Kansas State, and Baylor. The Bears did have their three game winning streak snapped on Saturday in Stillwater, but Baylor has a favorable schedule the rest of the way and the inside track to the three seed.

Texas stays in Tier II with a predictable split last week. Oklahoma State and Texas A&M are the other Tier II teams. The Aggies missed their chance to move up a tier with their home loss to Kansas, while the Cowboys took two huge steps toward an NCAA berth with defeats of Iowa State and Baylor.

Tier III is still crowded by the same five underachieving teams—Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Colorado, and Nebraska. Of these five, only Colorado even won a game last week..

For the week, the Tier system was a perfect 7-0 in predicting winners.

Oklahoma State was the big winner last week. The Cowboys won both their toss-up games and now sit at 7-5 in Big XII play. None of the next three are easy—at Texas, vs Kansas, and at A&M—but a home victory over Nebraska to end the season will put Travis Ford’s club at 8-8 at least. With the weak bubble this season and the mediocrity that is the Pac 10, that should be enough.

In the race for Big XII tournament byes, Kansas and Kansas State have virtually assured themselves of the top two seeds. Baylor will be the three seed if they win out. The fourth seed is less certain. Missouri seems destined for 10-6, as I’m not willing to give them a victory over KU even in Columbia. A&M could get to 11-5 but 10-6 seems more likely. And Texas could get to 10-6 but 9-7 seems more likely. The Aggies would hold the two-team tiebreaker over the Tigers, should they finish in a tie for fourth.

The bottom eight teams will play opening round games on Wednesday, March 10th in Kansas City. The top four teams will receive opening round byes and begin their play on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

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

12 - 0

14.5 – 1.5

@ Ok State @ Missouri
2. Kansas State

9 - 3

12 – 4

@ Kansas
3. Baylor

7 - 5

11 – 5

3. Missouri

8 - 4

11 – 5

@ Kansas St
5. Texas A&M

8 - 4

10.5 - 5.5

@ OU @ Baylor
6. Texas

7 - 5

9 – 7

@ A&M; @ Baylor
7. Oklahoma State

7 - 5

8.5 – 7.5

vs. Kansas; @ Texas; @ A&M;
8. Colorado

3 - 9

5 – 11

@ Missouri; @ Nebraska
9. Texas Tech

4 - 8

4.5 – 11.5

Baylor vs. Kansas St; @ Nebraska; @CU
9. Oklahoma

4 - 8

4.5 – 11.5

vs. A&M @ KU; vs. Baylor; @ Texas
11. Iowa State

2 - 10

3 – 13

@ CU; vs. Missouri; @ KSU
11. Nebraska

1 - 11

3 – 13

@ Iowa State; @ Ok State

Thoughts on the week ahead after the jump.

Biggest Surprise from Last Week: Nothing. The Tier system was a perfect 7-0 straight up, and four of the five toss-up games went to the better team (KU over A&M; OSU over ISU; A&M over ISU; Texas over Tech). The only mild surprise was Oklahoma State holding serve at home against Baylor. Considering Texas is the only team to win in Stillwater this season that one isn’t much of a surprise either. Expect more upsets this week as the tier system projects winners in eleven of the twelve contests.

Teams with Favorable Schedules: Kansas St for the third week in a row and Baylor. The Wildcats and the Bears are the only two teams with two projected wins this week. Kansas State goes to Tech on Tuesday and hosts Missouri on Saturday. Baylor hosts A&M on Wednesday and goes to Oklahoma on Saturday. Norman has been a tougher place to play this season than has Lubbock, so I’ll give the easiest schedule nod to Kansas State.

Toss-Up Game: Kansas at Oklahoma State (Saturday) Kem Pom is projecting a 10 point KU victory, in Kem Pom we trust. Look for Cole Aldrich and the Morris boys to torment the smaller Cowboys all game long.

Upset Pick: Oklahoma over Baylor in Norman. I’m assuming that Tommy Mason-Griffin goes bananas, Tiny Gallon plays under control, and Willie Warren returns to the court. We’ll see…

Post-season Outlook: Kansas (RPI 1, Pomeroy 2), Kansas State (RPI 6, Pomeroy 11), Texas A&M (RPI 12, Pomeroy 34), Baylor (RPI 16, Pomeroy 15), Texas (RPI 24, Pomeroy 9) are NCAA locks at this point. Missouri (RPI 39, Pomeroy 13) would be in safely if the season ended today too. As noted above, Oklahoma State (RPI 29, Pomeroy 47) needs at least one more conference win to feel safe. (,