REAL STANDINGS: LOST WEEKEND EDITION

WEEKEND ACTION IN REVIEW

And just like that, Scott Drew pulled back into a tie with Bill Self in Allen Fieldhouse losses at 10.

More importantly, KU’s loss at Home in a Projected Win game to Iowa St gave Baylor a chance to make the Big 12 Title theirs to lose.

Instead, Baylor matched KU’s loss and dropped a full game in the REAL Standings by losing a game it was projected to win at Home vs. K-State. Bottom line? The two teams remain deadlocked atop the REAL Standings.

These results opened the way for West Virginia to halve the distance between them and both KU and Baylor. (Though not, as declared by Rich Hollenberg, announcing the West Virginia game for ESPN, a chance to move past Baylor. It must be nice to get paid big bucks for saying stupid things.)

On the flip side of this scenario, ISU, K-State, and Okie St all picked up a full game and enhanced their NCAA Tournament resumes.

All of which goes to show, as stated in the previous REAL Standings Report: “Just a reminder: There are no gimmes in the Big 12. Even for the top teams at Home.”

In other action, TCU defeated Texas, and Texas Tech held off Oklahoma, both as projected and both at Home. No REAL change there.

CURRENT TIERS

Tier 1:
KU, Baylor, West Virginia

Tier 2:
Iowa St, K-State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech,

 

1. 13-5

KU (8-2)

CURRENT PROJECTIONS

 

Projected L’s (at BU)
At risk games (at K-State, at Tech, at UT, at OSU)

Baylor (7-3)

Projected L’s: None
At risk games (at OSU, at Tech, at ISU, at UT)

3. 11-7

WVU (6-4)

Projected L’s (at KU, at BU) At risk games (at OU, at TCU)

4. 9.5-8.5

ISU (6-4)

Projected L’s (at UT, at K-State, at Tech, at WVU) At risk games (vs. BU)

5. 8.5-9.5 TCU(5-5)

Projected L’s (at BU, at ISU, at KU, at OU) At risk games: (vs. WVU)

K-State (5-5)

Projected L’s (at WVU, at UT, at OU, at TCU) At risk games (KU)

7. 8-10

Okie State (4-6)

Projected L’s (at TCU, at K-State, at ISU) At risk games (vs. BU, vs. KU)

8. 7-11

Tech (4-6)

Projected L’s (at TCU, at WVU, at OSU, at K-State)

At risk games (vs. KU, vs. BU) 9. 6-12

UT (3-7)

Projected L’s (at OSU, at OU, at WVU, at Tech) At risk games (vs. KU, vs. BU)

10. 5.5-12.5

OU (2-8)

Projected L’s (at ISU, at OSU, at BU, at KU) At risk games (vs. WVU)

AS SEEN ON TV

Monday
1. KU at K-State (8:00p.m.) (ESPN) (At-risk game)****

K-State is still smarting from its loss at Allen Fieldhouse on a last second layup by Svi Mykhailuk. And they are flying high with the winds of Waco beneath their wings. After losing to a Tier two team at Home on Saturday, however, the Jayhawks will not take this game lightly. And how many times has Bill Self lost back to back conference games? Something has gotta and is gonna give.

Tuesday
2. Texas Tech at TCU (8:00p.m.) (ESPN News) (Projected W: TCU)***

Remember the childhood game King of the Hill? That’s what all of these match-ups between Tier Two teams are like. Except the Hilltop is Fourth Place in the Big 12 Standings.

3. Iowa St at Texas (8:00p.m.) (ESPN2) (Projected W: UT)***

After its W on Mount Oread, ISU has moved to the crest of the Hill. At least temporarily. Another Road W could ensconce them there permanently.

Wednesday
4. Baylor at Okie St (6:00p.m.) (ESPNU) (At-risk game)****

Okie St is the hottest team in the Big 12, having won 5 straight times (4 in conference). They might be a Tier One caliber team, much to Baylor’s and KU’s chagrin, since both have yet to visit Stillwater. The Big 12 Title might well be decided by what the Bears and Jayhawks do in Eskimo Joe-ville.

 

5. West Virginia at Oklahoma (8:00p.m.) (ESPN) (At-risk game)****

Your basic must win game for WVU. You are not likely to end the season as Big 12 champions if you get swept by the conference’s last place team—even if that last place team is the best last place team in the country.

--Mark

REAL STANDINGS: NO BIG DEAL EDITION

MIDWEEK ACTION IN REVIEW

First, an apology. In the last edition of the REAL Standings, I stated that Scott Drew had lost more games in Phog Allen Fieldhouse than Bill Self (9-8). It was pointed out to me later that it was actually a tie at 9-9.

But as of Wednesday night, I was correct. Self now trails Drew 9-10. So you could say I was wrong on Sunday. Or that I was ahead of my time.

Self also leads Drew in wins in Allen Fieldhouse 217-0.

As for that game’s effect on the REAL Standings, it was zero.

I do wish I had a dollar for every time I read or heard since the game that KU was in “sole possession of first place” in the Big 12. I wouldn’t retire, but I could. From Dick Vitale to the Kansas City Star to the Lawrence Journal World to the NY Times , to local and national radio commentators, to the radio interview of the Star’s Blair Kerkhoff, no one seemed to REALize that the Jayhawks had not REALly accomplished anything: they had only held their ground; they had merely avoided going backward; they had simply played Baylor in Lawrence first.

One exception to this lack of awareness was none other than Bill Self. Without citing the REAL Standings, he basically stated its premise: “If we hadn’t have won tonight, obviously, we weren’t out of the race, but we know it would’ve been more of an uphill climb.”

By winning, all the Jayhawks accomplished was to make it less of an uphill climb. There are no gimmes in the Big 12, and Baylor will be waiting their turn to play Home team in Waco on February 18. As noted in the last REAL Standings Report and demonstrated by the Bears for 39 minutes and 58.7 seconds Wednesday, this is not your father’s Baylor team: It looks like it has been coached, and it has some mental toughness. You would not want to go into Waco having to win to keep your title hopes alive. Well, now the Jayhawks don’t have to if all goes well until then.

The bottom line is that KU and Baylor remain tied atop the REAL Big 12 Standings and will continue to do so through the weekend unless KU ‘s Home Court winning streak ends at the hands of Iowa St or Baylor falls to K-State in Waco,

The most important move in the REAL Standings in the Midweek games was made by West Virginia, which picked up a half game by defeating Iowa St in an at-risk contest in Ames. As a result, the Mountaineers moved within two REAL games of KU and Baylor, with Road games remaining with both. In other words: “opportunity.”

The biggest moves were made by TCU, picking up a full game in the REAL Standings by winning a projected loss game in Overtime at K-State; and by Okie St, which won its projected loss game on a three pointer by Phil Forte in the final 10 seconds—this one week to the day OU lost to Texas on a flukey three-pointer at the buzzer. Oh, well. At least either OU or K-State will have to win when they play each other. Probably in the final second of the fourth overtime.

Texas also downed Texas Tech at Home. No change in the REAL Standings there.

         

                                                   CURRENT TIERS

Tier 1:

KU, Baylor, West Virginia

Tier 2:

Iowa St, K-State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech,

 

CURRENT PROJECTIONS

1. 14-4

KU (8-1)

Projected L’s (at BU)

At risk games (at K-State, at Tech, at UT, at OSU)

Baylor (7-2)

Projected L’s: None

At risk games (at OSU, at Tech, at ISU, at UT)

3. 12-6

WVU (6-3) 

Projected L’s (at KU, at BU)

At risk games (at OU, at TCU)                      

4. 8.5-9.5

ISU (5-4)

Projected L’s (at KU, at UT, at K-State, at Tech, at WVU)

At risk games (vs. BU)

TCU(4-5)

Projected L’s (at BU, at ISU, at KU, at OU)

At risk games: (vs. WVU)

6. 7.5-10.5

K-State (4-5)

Projected L’s (at BU, at WVU, at UT, at OU, at TCU)

At risk games (KU)                                      

7. 7-11

Okie State (3-6) 

Projected L’s (at WVU, at TCU, at K-State, at ISU)

At risk games (vs. BU, vs. KU)

Tech (3-6)

Projected L’s (at TCU, at WVU, at OSU, at K-State)

At risk games (vs. KU, vs. BU)

9. 6-12

UT (3-6)

Projected L’s (at TCU, at OSU, at OU, at WVU, at Tech)

At risk games (vs. KU, vs. BU)

10. 5.5-12.5

OU (2-7)

     Projected L’s (at Tech, at ISU, at OSU, at BU, at KU) 

At risk games (vs. WVU)

 

                                         AS SEEN ON TV

Saturday

Texas at TCU (12 News:00p.m.) (ESPN) (Projected W: TCU)***

The Horned Frogs beat Texas in Austin to turn their season around.  The Longhorns’ chance to return the favor.        

Iowa St at KU (1:00p.m.) (ESPN) (Projected W: KU)***1/2

Just a reminder: There are no gimmes in the Big 12. Even for the top teams at    Home.                                                

K-State at Baylor (2:00p.m.) (ESPN News) (Projected W: Baylor)***1/2

Baylor has allowed Second Tier teams to play hang around at Home. And K-State is   a desperate team right now, in neeed of a signature win prior to Selection Sunday. Can they help themselves and KU at the same time? Basketball makes strange bedfellows.

Okie St at West Virginia (4:00p.m.) (ESPNU) (Projected W: WVU)***1/2

The two hottest teams in the league face each other. Okie St has won 4 straight, WVU 3. The Sooners won in Morgantown: Why not their in-state rivals?                                    

Oklahoma at Texas Tech (600p.m.) (ESPNU) (Projected W: Texas Tech)***

Not a glamorous game by any means. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.                                                         

--Mark

REAL STANDINGS: BEFORE A MONSTER GAME

More stupid announcer tricks:

  • During the K-State/Tennessee game, K-State was down 57-46. They score a basket to make the score 57-48. They foul Tennessee. The Vols make one free throw and extend their lead to 58-48. K-State brings the ball up court. Tom Hart says, “K-State has been unable to get within single digits. This is their chance.”

           Uh, Tom. They were within single digits three seconds ago.

 

  • During the Oklahoma/Texas game on Monday, Fran and his sidekick noted in amazement that, seven games into the conference season, KU had already distanced itself from everyone but Baylor—and, of course, Baylor trailed the Jayhawks in the newspaper standings by a full game at the time.

           And these guys get paid good money to talk about basketball. To talk about the Big 12. SMH.

          Even without the REAL Standings, anyone who was paying attention during non-conference play was aware before the first conference games on December 30 that there were only three teams in contention: KU, Baylor, and WVU.

          Anyone paying attention to the REAL Standings REALized while Fran was talkin that Baylor did not trail the Jayhawks by a full game. Or even a half game. They were in a flat out tie for the conference lead. Yes, the Bears had a loss, but it was at West Virginia. KU had not yet played at West Virginia, which was a projected loss in the REAL Standings. (Not to mention a predicted loss by virtually anyone else.)The Jayhawks could, certainly, leave Morgantown with a full game lead, but they would have to earn it. Until then, KU’s perceived one game lead atop the conference standings was simply a mirage.

          Indeed, KU lost in West Virginia, and the mirage of a one game lead over Baylor vanished.

          As a result, nothing of significance happened in the REAL Standings. KU’s projected record of 14-4 changed not. Baylor’s projected record, likewise, remained at 14-4 when it won, as projected, vs. Texas Tech in Waco.

          In other games, all three Home favorites won as projected: Okie St over TCU, Texas over Oklahoma, and Iowa St over K-State.

 

                                                   CURRENT TIERS

Tier 1:

KU, Baylor, West Virginia

Tier 2:

Iowa St, K-State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech,

 

CURRENT PROJECTIONS

  1. 14-4

KU (7-1)

Projected L’s (at BU)

At risk games (at K-State, at Tech, at UT, at OSU)

 

Baylor (7-1)

Projected L’s (at KU)

At risk games (at OSU, at Tech, at ISU, at UT)

  1. 11.5-6.5

WVU (5-3) 

Projected L’s (at KU, at BU)

At risk games (at ISU, at OU, at TCU)

         

  1. 9-9

ISU (5-3)

Projected L’s (at KU, at UT, at K-State, at Tech, at WVU)

At risk games (vs. WVU, vs. BU)

 

  1. 8.5-9.5

 

K-State (4-4)

 

Projected L’s (at BU, at WVU, at UT, at OU, at TCU)

At risk games (KU)                                      

  1. 7.5-10.5

TCU(3-5)

Projected L’s (at K-State, at BU, at ISU, at KU, at OU)

At risk games: (vs. WVU)

 

  1. 7-11

Tech (3-5)

Projected L’s (at UT, at TCU, at WVU, at OSU, at K-State)

At risk games (vs. KU, vs. BU)

 

  1. 6.5-11.5

OU (2-6)

     Projected L’s (at Tech, at ISU, at OSU, at BU, at KU) 

At risk games (vs. WVU)

 

  1. 6-12

UT (2-6)

Projected L’s (at TCU, at OSU, at OU, at WVU, at Tech)

At risk games (vs. KU, vs. BU)

 

Okie State (2-6) 

Projected L’s (at OU, at WVU, at TCU, at K-State, at ISU)

At risk games (vs. BU, vs. KU)

 

 

                                         AS SEEN ON TV

Monday

  1. Okie St at Oklahoma (8:00p.m.) (ESPN) (Projected W: OU)***1/2

       Might not mean much in the Big 12 standings, but who doesn’t like Bedlam?  

 

Tuesday                                                                       

  1. West Virginia at Iowa St (8:00p.m.) (ESPN2) (At-risk game)****

      With a loss at Home and two on the Road, the Mountaineers can’t let this one get away. But if they can’t win in               Lubbock or the Octagon, how do they expect to cope vs. Hilton’s Magic? Harry Potter is not walking through that           door.

 

Wednesday                                                                  

  1. TCU at K-State (6:30p.m.) (ESPN News) (Projected W: K-State)***1/2

     It has been said before, but there is no such thing as a gimme in the Big 12. And every game is critical. Especially if      K-State wants to continue its dream of making the Field of 68.

  1. Texas Tech at Texas (8:00p.m.) (ESPNU) (Projected W: UT)***1/2

       Tech had to work hard to avoid beating Baylor Wednesday night in Waco. ESPN is grateful, because it set up the          Big 12 Game of the Year (so far) on Wednesday:               

  1. Baylor at Kansas (8:00p.m.) (ESPN2) (Projected W: KU)*****

      When both teams won Saturday evening, this became a monster game. Probably two top 5 teams. Maybe two Top       3 teams. Biggest game in Allen Fieldhouse since the Jayhawks played Buddy Hield and Oklahoma last year.

       And make no mistake about it. It is bigger for KU than Baylor. A KU win has no effect on the REAL Standings, as          both teams’ REAL record will remain 14-4. A Baylor win puts KU behind the 8 ball by two full games: The                      Jayhawks would drop to 13-5 compared to the Bears’ 15-3.

       Two  things to note about this game:

         a. This is not your father’s Baylor team. It appears to be organized and mentally tough. Is Scott Drew improving as a coach, having learned every way to avoid screwing up by actually screwing up in every possible way through the years? Is he one of those coaches who works better with second level talent than with the demands presented by elite players? Or did he just get lucky that this particular group just happened to “gel”?

          b. Regardless, Scott Drew has the distinction of having lost more games at Allen Fieldhouse (9) than Bill Self (8).

--Mark

First, the ESPN Dumbass Question of the Week.

Is this week’s biggest Dumbass on the World Wide Leader in Dumbassdom (non-political category):

  • Former Duke PG Jayson Williams? At Gameday for the Miami Duke game, he pulled his shirt up to reveal a tee-shirt that said, “I still love Christian Laettner.” He turned around. The backside read, “I still love Grayson Allen.” The Duke students went wild. Jayson ate it up.

Uh, Jayson, you are no longer on Duke’s payroll. You are not John Anderson. Be a professional.

  • Former Duke assistant coach Chris Spatola? At halftime of the West Virginia game at K-State, while showing the highlights of KU’s victory vs. Texas, he blurts out, “If the Big 12 is so good, why has Kansas won it 12 years in a row?” Uh, Chris, I had never heard of you before this comment, but here’s an idea: Do some research before saying something stupid. Think before you speak. Do you know who Bill Self is? Do you know what he does?

Or

  • As the 5 minute mark approached in the Baylor game at TCU, the commentator (I didn’t catch his name and don’t know his affiliation with Duke), said something to the effect of, “The team that wins close games is usually the one that gets the most stops in the last five minutes.”

 Well, Duh! That is pretty much the same as saying, “The team that wins close games is                usually the one that scores the most points in the last five minutes.”

And the ESP-D goes to Jayson Williams. The others were not unprofessional; they simply made dumb comments on the fly. That wouldn’t even get them nominated in the political category.

As for Saturday’s games, we again have a tie at the top of the Big 12 standings. Baylor erased the half game they trailed KU by matching the Jayhawks’ W at TCU in its at-risk game in Fort Worth.

West Virginia, in the meantime, took another half-step backwards, losing its at-risk game at K-State. The Mountaineers are beginning to lose contact with KU and Baylor, falling 2.5 REAL games behind the co-leaders.

In the Fight for Fourth (not to be confused with the Firth of Forth—that’s in Scotland), Iowa St picked up a full game by downing Oklahoma in Norman in OT in a game it was projected to lose; while K-State climbed a half rung up the ladder toward being the Best of the Rest with its victory over WVU.

Okie St also picked up a full game with its unprojected W at Texas Tech, thrusting it upward from sole possession of last place into a tie with Texas.

 

                                                   CURRENT TIERS

Tier 1:

KU, Baylor, West Virginia

Tier 2:

Iowa St, K-State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech,

 

CURRENT PROJECTIONS

  1. 14-4

KU (7-0)

Projected L’s (at WVU, at BU)

At risk games (at K-State, at Tech, at UT, at OSU)

 

Baylor (6-1)

Projected L’s (at KU)

At risk games (at OSU, at Tech, at ISU, at UT)

  1. 11.5-6.5

WVU (4-3) 

Projected L’s (at KU, at BU)

At risk games (at ISU, at OU, at TCU

         

  1. 9-9

ISU (4-3)

Projected L’s (at KU, at UT, at K-State, at Tech, at WVU)

At risk games (vs. WVU, vs. BU

 

  1. 8.5-9.5

 

K-State (4-3)

 

Projected L’s (at ISU, at BU, at WVU, at UT, at OU, at TCU)

At risk games (KU)                                      

  1. 7.5-10.5

TCU(3-4)

Projected L’s (at OSU, at K-State, at BU, at ISU, at KU, at OU)

At risk games: (vs. WVU)

 

  1. 7-11

Tech (3-4)

Projected L’s (at BU, at UT, at TCU, at WVU, at OSU, at K-State)

At risk games (vs. KU, vs. BU)

 

  1. 6.5-11.5

OU (2-5)

     Projected L’s (at UT, at Tech, at ISU, at OSU, at BU, at KU) 

At risk games (vs. WVU)

 

  1. 6-12

UT (1-6)

Projected L’s (at TCU, at OSU, at OU, at WVU, at Tech)

At risk games (vs. KU, vs. BU)

 

Okie State (1-6) 

Projected L’s (at OU, at WVU, at TCU, at K-State, at ISU)

At risk games (vs. BU, vs. KU)

                                         AS SEEN ON TV

Monday

  1. TCU at Okie St (6:p.m.) (ESPNU) (Projected W: Okie St)***

These two teams are a major reason the Big 12 is the best conference in the land, notwithstanding Bill Walton’s claim that the honor belongs to his “Conference of Champions.” The Big 12 has no Tier 3 teams (defined as being a gimme game even on the Road for the teams in Tier One).                                   

  1. Oklahoma at Texas (8:00p.m.) (ESPN) (Projected W: UT)***

Two more reasons. As both teams have shown, there are no days off, even for Tier One teams at Home, in this league.

                                                                                    

Tuesday

  1. KU at West Virginia (6:00p.m.) (ESPN) (Projected W: WVU)****

     The Jayhawks play this game with house money: A Win at the venue of Baylor’s only loss, and KU not only takes control of the Big 12 race, but WVU goes on life support. A loss maintains the status quo, which, for KU, is not all bad.                        

  1. K-State at Iowa St (8:00p.m.) (ESPNU) (Projected W: ISU)****

The fourth place equivalent to KU/West Virginia. K-State’s opportunity to take the inside track in that quest for respectability.

 

Wednesday                                                                          

  1. Texas Tech at Baylor (7:00p.m.) (ESPN News) (Projected W: Baylor)***

This game could test the theory that there are no gimmes in this league. Or not. It could well go down to the last five minutes where the winner will likely be either the team that gets the most stops or scores the most points.

THE REAL STANDINGS: OU DOESN'T SUCK EDITION

There is a saying in Texas that goes something like this: “OU Sucks!”

There is also a theory in the Lone Star State that the only reason Texas does not fall into the Gulf of Mexico is that—you guessed it--Oklahoma sucks!

For one day, anyway, both of the above sentiments were wrong. On Wednesday, January 18, 2017, Oklahoma did not suck. West Virginia did.  OU handed the Mountaineers their first Home loss of the 2017 Big 12 season, in the process dealing WVU a serious blow in their quest for a Big 12 title. Not quite a mortal blow as long as KU could lose a game in Allen Fieldhouse, which, in theory, is possible.

With its unexpected and unprojected victory, OU picked up a full game in the REAL Standings to 6.5-11.5 and moved within a half game of fourth place. At this point, they might be the team to beat for that prestigious spot.

Conversely, West Virginia dropped a full game in the REAL Standings, being (a) the first Tier One team to lose a Home game to (b) a Tier Two team. They now sit two full games behind the team and coach seeking a 13th straight season of either sharing the Big 12 championship or winning it outright.

The deficit is two games instead of one and a half because KU picked up an additional half game with its W in Ames.  That half game also moved the Jayhawks back in front of Baylor.

In the other Midweek surprise (defined as any Road W by a tier Two team or any win by anyone on a Tier One team’s Home court), K-State outran and outshot Okie St in Stillwater. As a result, K-State picked up a full game in the REALStandings and became a fourth place threat in its own right.

 In other action, Baylor downed Texas as expected in Waco, and Tech took care of TCU in Lubbock, both games going as projected.

 

                                                   CURRENT TIERS

Tier 1:

KU, Baylor, West Virginia

Tier 2:

Iowa St, K-State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech,

 

CURRENT PROJECTIONS

  1. 14-4

KU (6-0)

Projected L’s (at WVU, at BU)

At risk games (at K-State, at Tech, at UT, at OSU)

  1. 13.5-4.5

Baylor (5-1)

Projected L’s (at KU)

At risk games (at TCU, at OSU, at Tech, at ISU, at UT)

  1. 12-6

WVU (4-2) 

Projected L’s (at KU, at BU)

At risk games (at K-State, at ISU, at OU, at TCU

         

  1. 8-10

ISU (3-3)

Projected L’s (at OU, at KU, at UT, at K-State, at Tech, at WVU)

At risk games (vs. WVU, vs. BU

TCU(3-3)

Projected L’s (at OSU, at K-State, at BU, at ISU, at KU, at OU)

At risk games: (vs, BU, vs. WVU)

 

Texas Tech (3-3)

Projected L’s (at BU, at UT, at TCU, at WVU, at OSU, at K-State)

At risk games (vs. KU, vs. BU)

 

K-State (3-3)

 

Projected L’s (at ISU, at BU, at WVU, at UT, at OU, at TCU)

At risk games (WVU, KU)

  1. 7.5-10.5

OU (2-4)

     Projected L’s (at UT, at Tech, at ISU, at OSU, at BU, at KU) 

At risk games (vs. WVU)

 

  1. 6-12

UT (1-5)

Projected L’s (at KU, at TCU, at OSU, at OU, at WVU, at Tech)

At risk games (vs. KU, vs. BU)

 

  1. 5-13

Okie State (0-6) 

Projected L’s (at Tech, at OU, at WVU, at TCU, at K-State, at ISU)

At risk games (vs. BU, vs. KU)

 

 

                                         AS SEEN ON TV

Saturday

  1. Iowa St at Oklahoma (1:00p.m.) (ESPN) (At-risk game)***

Two teams trending in opposite directions. OU coming off the best win in the league this season, Iowa St desperate to end a two game losing streak.                                           

  1. Oklahoma St at Texas Tech (1:00p.m.) (ESPNU) (Projected W: Tech)***

     Can Okie St’s first conference W be a Road W? Remember, it almost was last Saturday in Lawrence.                    

  1. Texas at KU (1:00p.m.) (CBS) (Projected W: KU)***

     You know what game Shaka Smart would like to win more than any other.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  1. West Virginia at K-State (5:00p.m.) (ESPNU) (At-risk game)****

An important half game pickup for one of these teams.   

  1. Baylor at TCU (7:00p.m.) (ESPNU) (At-risk game)****

    A W here and Baylor moves back into a flat-footed tie for first place.                                                                    

--Mark

The REAL standings: Don't Cry for Baylor

As noted in the previous REAL Standings Report, we now know who the worst team is to ever be ranked No. 1 this late in the season. And who the worst coach is. (Hint: He is Mike DeCourcy’s Mid-season coach of the year.)

Baylor filled the bill of the worst best team Tuesday evening in the hills of West Virginia. Their ranking was probably inescapable, being undefeated and having beaten some big-name opponents and all, but good god-almighty, did the voters pay no attention to their previous two games vs. Okie St and Iowa St, both games in which the Wacky Waconians looked no better than your average Tier 2 team. They would have lost both games had they been in Stillwater and Ames rather than Waco.

However, and it is a big HOWEVER, being romped and stomped and shredded like an unsolicited credit card application from Wells Fargo affected not Baylor’s chances to be No. 1 in the Big 12. They merely lost a game they were projected to lose. One of only two they were projected to lose all year.  They maintained their REAL Standings record at 13-5.

The Bears did drop to second place, but that was not because of their loss. It was solely due to KU’s second W in an at-risk game, this one at Oklahoma. As mentioned in the previous RS Report, the Jayhawks were at risk in Norman, even in the absence of Jordan Woodard. With Woodard putting in an appearance, the Jayhawks trailed by 9 points at halftime and were fortunate to get out of town with the W. But get the W they did, resulting in a half game pickup in the REAL Standings.

In other action, Tech and K-State both trod water in Lubbock (a difficult task considering there is no water in Lubbock other than down by the levee when the levee’s not dry) with the Home team prevailing, sending the text and e-mail charges of the losing team’s coach further through the roof than the distance between where he stood on the court and his coaching box.

The following day, we had our first two surprises of the season. (“Surprise” being defined as any Road game won by a Tier Two team.) Iowa St took down Okie St in Stillwater, and TCU held off Texas in the final 5.6 seconds in Austin. By “held off,” I mean did nothing in particular. As described by Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman:

Leading by three with five seconds left, Fisher missed a free throw and the Horns got the rebound. With no timeouts at its disposal, Texas had to advance on the fly. But Kerwin Roach Jr. dribbled the ball at half-court and essentially dribbled out the final seconds.
After the horn, Roach and fellow sophomore Tevin Mack were barking at each other. Granted, Mack woofs at just about everyone but another teammate?
“It was no frustration, he was just giving me advice on what I should have done,” Roach said.
What was the advice? “Swing it ahead,” he said.

 

Good advice. Maybe Mack can be a player- coach once he comes off his indefinite suspension.

With their surprise victories, OSU and ISU both picked up a full game in the REAL Standings.

CURRENT PROJECTIONS

1. 13.5-4.5

KU (4-0)

Projected L’s (at WVU, at BU)

At risk games (at ISU, at K-State, at Tech, at UT, at OSU)

2. 13-5

Baylor (3-1)

Projected L’s (at KU)

At risk games (at K-State, at TCU, at OSU, at Tech, at ISU, at UT)

3.  12.5-5.5

WVU (3-1) 

Projected L’s (at KU, at BU)

At risk games (at UT, at K-State, at ISU, at OU, at TCU

4. 8.5-9.5

ISU (3-1)

Projected L’s (at TCU, at OU, at KU, at UT, at K-State, at Tech, at WVU)

At risk games (vs. KU, vs. WVU, vs. BU)

5. 8-10

TCU(2-2)

Projected L’s (at Tech, at OSU, at K-State, at BU, at ISU, at KU, at OU)

At risk games: (vs, BU, vs. WVU)

Texas Tech (2-2)

Projected L’s (at OU, at BU, at UT, at TCU, at WVU, at OSU, at K-State)

At risk games (vs. KU, vs. BU)

7.   7.5-10.5

K-State (2-2)

Projected L’s (OSU, at ISU, at BU, at WVU, at UT, at OU, at TCU)

At risk games (vs. BU, WVU, KU)

8. 6.5-11.5

OU (0-4)

Projected L’s (at WVU, at UT, at Tech, at ISU, at OSU, at BU, at KU) 

At risk games (vs. WVU)

UT (1-3)

Projected L’s (at BU, at KU, at TCU, at OSU, at OU, at WVU, at Tech)

At risk games (vs. WVU, vs. KU, vs. BU)

10. 6-12

Okie State (0-4) 

Projected L’s (at KU, at Tech, at OU, at WVU, at TCU, at K-State, at ISU)

At risk games (vs. BU, vs. KU) 

 

AS SEEN ON TV

Saturday

1.  Okie St at Kansas  (1:00p.m.) (ESPN2) (Projected W: KU)**

I scoff at the thought of Baylor being ranked No. 1. That, however, is the position to which KU will ascend with a W in this game. I don’t think KU is the best team in the land either. The difference is, they could be at some point in the season.

Why?

To paraphrase the Wizard of Oz (perhaps the first relevant Wizard of Oz comment ever in relation to Kansas basketball): “What does KU have that Baylor doesn’t have?”

Don’t answer that: it’s a rhetorical question.

 

2.     West Virginia at Texas (3:00p.m.) (ESPN2) (At-risk game)***

Two of Texas’s three Big 12 losses have been by 3 points. So don’t count them out of the NIT just yet. Don’t laugh at UT and Shaka Smart just yet. Unless you just like laughing at UT and Shaka Smart for fun.

 

3.     Baylor at K-State (3:30p.m.) (ESPNU) (At-risk game)****

The schedule makers have a sadistic streak in them. Why else would they have Baylor play at West Virginia and at K-State K-State the week they rose to their first number one ranking in history? Do they have something personal against Scott Drew? Well, yeah, who doesn’t? Still, this is uncalled for. Jigsaw thought of it first and turned it down. But I ask you, “Is he not a man? Does he not bleed when cut?”

No, REALly, Answer these questions. I want to know.

 

4.     Iowa St at TCU (4:30p.m.) (FSSW) (Projected W: TCU)

 

The Cyclones’ opportunity to separate themselves from the rest of the Tier 2 pack.

5.     Texas Tech at Oklahoma (7:30p.m.) (ESPNU) (Projected W: TCU)

Tech catches OU on the Road with Woodard apparently at full strength or close to it.

--Mark

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