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Big 12 Basketball Standings and Projections

The Big 12 conference season is a week and a Saturday old, and favorites, bubble teams, and cellar dwellers are starting to emerge. A post on Saturday took a first look at the conference race by breaking the teams into tiers.

As noted in the original post, the tier system puts the result of an individual game into one of three categories: Projected Win, Toss-Up, or Projected Loss. Toss-up games countt as 1/2 a loss and projected losses count as a full loss when trying to project the total conference record.

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 next question is which teams fall into which categories. The very top and the very bottom of the Big 12 conference are pretty clear. Kansas and Texas are clearly your top two teams thus far, while Texas Tech and Oklahoma appear to be the weakest of the dozen. For now, I’ll slot Nebraska and Iowa State in Tier III with the Red Raiders and Sooners. However, the Huskers are better than expected, and the Cyclones just destroyed Baylor on Saturday in Ames.

Given the Aggies non-conference schedule, it is hard to get an accurate read on Mark Turgeon’s club. A&M is 3-0, with wins over OU on the road and Oklahoma State and Missouri in College Station. For now, they slide into Tier I, partly based on their early conference success and partly based on the early conference failures of a few other clubs.

Tier I could end there, with Kansas, Texas, and A&M; however, I’m going to add Missouri based on their defeats of Vanderbilt and Illinois, a KenPom ranking of #30, and the fact that both of their conference losses have come on the road.

A look at the rest of the tiers and projections for the conference race after the jump...

Colorado, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, and Baylor fill in the middle tier. The Buffs are 3-0 and have a real chance to reach 5-0 and Tier I with two road games against Nebraska and OU this week. OSU followed an impressive home victory over Kansas State by dropping both its road games last week. The Cowboys are 1-2 in Big 12 play and seem destined for an NIT bid.

Kansas State has easily been the conference’s biggest disappointment so far. The Wildcats were once ranked in the top 5 but now sit at 1-2 in the conference, recently lost a player (Freddy Asprilla) to the Colombian professional league, and now face three Tier I teams, each on the road, in the next two weeks. Yikes!

I was higher on Baylor than most before Saturday’s 15 point road loss to Iowa State. Now, the Bears must regroup quickly as Kansas visits on Monday night. A win on "Big Monday" followed by another home victory over OSU this Saturday would put Baylor back on track.

Given the above placements, here is how the Big 12 conference would play out. The table is sorted by Projected Record. Please double check my work. With so many games left, I could have easily made a mistake or two.

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

2 - 0

13.5 – 2.5

@ Baylor, @ Colorado, @ Kansas St @ Missouri
2. Texas

2 - 0

12.5 – 3.5

@ OSU, @ Colorado, @ Baylor @ Kansas, @ A&M
2. Texas A&M

3 - 0

12.5 – 3.5

@ Colorado, @OSU, @ Baylor @ Texas, @ Kansas
4. Missouri

1 - 2

11 – 5

@ Ok State; @ Kansas St @ Texas, @ Kansas
5. Colorado

3 - 0

9.5 – 6.5

@ Neb, @ OU, vs Kansas, vs A&M, @ Tx Tech, vs. Texas, @ Iowa St @ Baylor, @ Missouri, @ Kansas
6. Baylor

2 - 1

8 – 8

vs Kansas, @ OU, vs A&M, vs. Texas @ K St, @ A&M, @ Texas, @ Missouri, @ Ok St
6. Oklahoma St

1 - 2

8 – 8

vs. Texas, @ Tx Tech, vs Missouri, @ Neb, vs. A&M, @ OU @ Baylor, @ Texas, @ Kansas
8. Kansas St

1 - 2

7 – 9

@ Iowa St, vs. Kansas, @ Neb, vs. Missouri @ Missouri, @ A&M, @ Kansas, @ Colorado, @ Texas
9. Iowa State

1 - 2

5 – 11

vs. Kansas St, vs. Colorado @ Ok St, @ Missouri, @ Colorado, @ Kansas, @ A&M, vs Missouri, @ Texas, @ Kansas St
10. Oklahoma

0 - 3

3.5 – 12.5

vs Colorado, vs. Baylor, vs. Ok State @ Iowa St, @ Ok St, vs. Texas, @ Missouri, @ K St, @ A&M, vs, Kansas, @ Tech
11. Texas Tech

0 - 3

3 – 13

vs. OSU, vs. Colorado @ OU, @ Iowa St, vs Kansas, @ Texas, vs. A&M, @ Missouri, @ Baylor, @ OSU, @ A&M
12. Nebraska

1 - 2

2.5 – 13.5

vs. Colorado, vs. Ok St, vs, K St @ Tech, vs A&M, @ K St, vs Kansas, @ Baylor, @ OU, vs Texas @ Iowa St, vs Missouri, @ Colorado