REAL Standings: Jayhawks Back on Top

The Kansas Jayhawks move back atop the REAL Big 12 Standings and ever closer to the Conference crown, thanks to some tough defense, an efficient offense, strong rebounding, and clutch play against the team from Oklahoma. But enough about Nebraska.

Because of Okie St's loss to NU in what had been characterized as an at-risk game for the Cowboys, OSU dropped half a game in the REAL Standings to KU, whose loss at OU, as projected, was merely a wasted opportunity, not a negative change to the status quo.

One other game that did result in a 1/2 game change in the REAL Standings was ISU's loss in its own at-risk game at A&M. UT's projected loss at Texas Tech had no REAL Standings effect.

The six deep REAL Big 12 Standings as of February 24, 2005:

1. 12.5-3.5

KU: Projected losses: None

At risk game: at Mizzou Key past games: (L at Tech, L vs. ISU, L at OU, W at ISU, W at NU, W at k-state)

2. 12-4

OSU: Projected loss at KU At risk games: None Key past games (L at UT, L at OU, L at NU, W at Tech, W at A&M)

3. 11.5-4.5

Texas Tech: Projected losses: None

At risk game: at A&M

Key past games: (L vs. OSU, L at UT, L at ISU, L at OSU, W at k-state, W at MU, W at OU)

4. 10.5-5.5

ISU: Projected losses: None

At risk games: at CU

Key past games: (L at MU, L at k-state, L vs. KU, L vs. CU, L at OSU, L at A&M, W at UT, W at KU, W at NU)

5. 10-6

OU: Projected losses: at UT, Tech At risk games: None Key past games (L at ISU, L vs. Tech, L at OSU, L at MU, W at A&M )

6. 9-7

UT: Projected losses: at OSU

At risk games: None

Key past games (L at A&M, L at OU, L at KU, L vs, ISU, L at CU, L at Tech, W at NU)

This weekend's games, rated on a 5 star scale (all times CST):

Saturday:

***1/2 Mizzou at Texas (noon): Mizzou is the putative "hottest team I the league" at the moment, having won four straight. Before you get too carried away with the Tigers, recall that three of those games were at home against (a) OU, a poor road team, (b) Baylor, a pathetic team period, and (c) 4-9 CU, which left four players in Boulder for disciplinary reasons. Mizzou did have a nice road win at Nebraska, but NU, even after its victory over Okie St, is 5-8 in the league. Texas should win this one handily. Still, a victory in Austin would validate Mizzou's winning streak, making this a game worth taking in.

*Baylor at OU (12:30p.m.): There is no reason to watch this game. The World Match Play Golf championship will be on if it stops raining in Southern California.

**k-state at Colorado (2p.m.): The only thing to recommend this game is that it's not Baylor at OU. Did I mention the World Match Play Championship?

****Tech at A&M (3p.m.): Tech can cement a first round bye in K.C. with a win in College Station. A&M can be a fun team at home-ask UT (at full strength), and ISU--the team that, before Tuesday, was the "hottest team in the league."

Sunday:

***NU at Iowa St (1:00p.m.): A mildly interesting game. Will ISU bounce back from its trouncing at the hands of A&M and reassert itself as a potential NCAA team? Can Nebraska carry its Tuesday night magic vs. OSU to Hilton?

********** Okie St at KU (3p.m.): Ten Star Special. Did I mention the World Match Play Championship? Fuhgeddaboutit. Yes, both teams are coming off losses (KU three of them), but the winner is likely the undisputed Big 12 regular season champion. This is what the season comes down to, regardless of how we got here. Both teams are excited now, will be excited at tip-off, and will come ready to play 40 solid minutes of first class basketball. If either team doesn't, that team will not deserve to be called "champion."

Enjoy.

Until Monday.

--Mark

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