It is difficult to determine whose fans were more upset Monday night after Kansas’s 108-96 victory in Ames Monday night - Iowa State Cyclones’ fans or the Kansas State Wildcat faithful. What is obvious is the passion shown by fans all over the Big 12 Conference, whether their team was involved in Monday night’s game or not. While it remains a 3-team race for the conference championship, teams are battling for respectability and trying to garner NCAA Tournament bids. There is a lot on the line in many of these games, and it is great to see the schools and their fans fired up for the stretch run.
1) Kansas (12-3, 24-4) – What a big week it was for the Jayhawks. KU played a total of three overtimes, won on the road at Stillwater and Ames, and extracted some revenge on their worst loss in several seasons when TCU played in Lawrence. Despite the big week, they couldn’t shake the tenacious Kansas State Wildcats, who remained tied with KU at top the Big 12 standings. Jeff Withey won the Big 12 Player of the Week for the second consecutive week and the third time this season. Coming Up: Kansas tries to stay hot when they play host to West Virginia Saturday afternoon. Tech visits Lawrence on Monday.
2) Kansas State (12-3, 23-5) – The Wildcats won with a workman-like performance over the weekend against Texas in Austin, then needed a late 33-11 run to bury Texas Tech at home Monday. They have proved they are no fluke and are not going to give up their share of the league title easily. Kansas State continues to play their best basketball down the stretch and are getting bigger contributions from more players on their roster than any other time this season. Coming Up: The Wildcats have to travel to Waco to play the always dangerous Baylor Bears on Saturday, then play host to TCU on Tuesday.
3) Oklahoma State (10-4, 20-6) – The Cowboys dropped a tough, double over time contest at home against Kansas but bounced back nicely to win on the road against West Virginia. OSU still has a chance to share the Big 12 title but need help and they need to win their remaining four games. Coming Up: The Cowboys play on the road tonight at TCU and host the Longhorns on Saturday.
4) Oklahoma (9-5, 18-8) – The Sooners stay in the title discussion, even if their chances are slim, with a pair of double digit victories against Tech on the road and Baylor in Norman. OU should be the favorite in all of their remaining four games but they will need a lot of outside help to be able to leap over three teams. Coming Up: Tonight, Oklahoma rekindles the Red River Rivalry in Austin, then they must face a seething Iowa State team this weekend at home.
5) Iowa State (9-6, 19-9) – The Cyclones’ week started off well enough, with a big road win at Baylor plus a 20-point win over Tech at home. Then came Monday night, at home, against the Jayhawks. A questionable no call on a charge/block situation with 5 seconds allowed KU to tie from the line after a holding call. Iowa State wilted in the over time period, getting blown out in the extra period. ISU is now sitting precariously on the NCAA bubble. They can ill afford to lose any of their last 3 games. Coming Up: The Cyclones have a big match-up in Norman on Saturday. ISU needs the win to better their chances for a Big Dance bid.
6) Baylor (7-7, 16-11) – After dropping a pair of games this week, one to ISU at home and another at Oklahoma, the Bears are looking a NIT bid square in the eyes. Baylor needs to sweep their last four regular season games to re-establish their chances at an NCAA invitation. Included in those 4 games are home clashes against the two league leaders. Win those, plus a couple of Big 12 Tournament games, and then, maybe… Coming Up: Baylor heads east tonight to tackle the Mountaineers, then host the Wildcats Saturday. It is time for the Bears to step it up.
7) Wes Virginia (6-8, 13-14) – The Mountaineers fell without a whimper at home against the Cowboys this past weekend. Coming Up: WVU welcomes Baylor tonight then the mountaineers get to travel to Kansas Saturday to take on the Jayhawks.
8) Texas (4-10, 12-15) – The Longhorns gave an uninspired effort at home against Kansas State Saturday. Coming Up: Texas has 3 games this week starting with starting with OU tonight at home, then a trip to Stillwater on Saturday, and finally, Baylor visits Austin Monday. The Longhorns are just playing for pride now.
9) Texas Tech (2-13, 9-17) – The Red Raiders lost by 55 points over three games this past week. Although they were in the game in Manhattan, leading by 2 with 14 minutes to go, Tech seems to be offering little resistance as they finish up the season. Coming Up: Tech has a chance to gain another victory when TCU comes calling Saturday. They take on KU on the road Monday.
10) TCU (1-13, 10-17) – The Horned Frogs found out how tough it is to beat Kansas twice in one season, falling hard in the rematch. Coming Up: TCU hosts OSU tonight, then have a chance to double their league win total when they play at Tech. They will finish the week with a trip to Manhattan on Tuesday.
ISU vs. OU, Saturday, 12:30 pm
KSU vs. BU, Saturday, 6 pm