REAL Standings: Don't Mess With Texas

BIG XII RECAP

k-state did everything but mess with Texas's dream of a sole Big 12 Championship and a Number 1 Seed in March. Instead, the Wildcats faltered once again at gut-check time (there is a reason they are mired in the Pit of Oblivion), and UT managed to tread REAL Standings water with its projected W in Manhattan to stay atop the REAL Standings by half a game.

Colorado also treaded water with its projected L in Lincoln. Unfortunately, the Buffs desperately needed to swim a few laps freestyle by winning either at k-state or Nebraska to attain the magic 10-6 mark in the REAL Standings. By losing both games, the best record CU can manage is 10-6-and that will require a victory in Allen Fieldhouse. Looks like the Big 12 tourney will be the Buffs' last chance to somehow convince the Selection Committee that they belong in the Big Dance.

The same is true of 8.5-7.5 Nebraska and A&M: to reach double digits in the regular season W column will require NU to win at A&M and Mizzou; and will require A&M, who picked up half a game with its win at Mizzou, to not only sown the Huskers at home, but to defeat suddenly respectable Tech in Lubbock as well as UT at home.

KU downing Baylor is a non-story, as is Iowa St over Okie St at home.

THE REAL STANDINGS*

The REAL Standings, as of February 23, 2006:

1. 13.5-2.5

Texas (11-2/No projected L's/at risk game: at A&M)

2. 13-3

Kansas (11-2/projected L at UT/at risk games: None)

3. 11-5

Oklahoma (9-4/projected L at UT/at risk games: none)

4. 9-7

Colorado (7-6/projected L at KU/at risk games: none)

5. 8.5-7.5

Nebraska (7-6/projected L at A&M/at risk game: at MU)

A&M (7-6/projected L at Tech/at risk game: vs. UT)

7. 7.5-8.5

Texas Tech (6-7/Projected L at Okie St/at risk game: at Baylor)

8. 6.5-9.5

Iowa St (5-8/projected L at CU/at risk game: at Baylor)

9. 6-10

Okie St (4-9/Projected L at OU/no at risk games)

10. 5-11

k-state (5-8/ Projected L's at OU, at NU, vs. KU/no HAC games)

11. 4.5-11.5 Mizzou (4-9/Projected L's at CU, ISU/HAC game: vs. NU)

12. 3-13 Baylor (2-11/Projected L at Okie St/HAC games: vs. ISU, vs. Tech)

GAMES TO WATCH Big XII Games February 25, with IQ (Interest Quotient) are:

1. Mizzou at Colorado (11:30a.m.)*

Just call Melvin the Postmaster General, because the Tigers have mailed it in.

2. Texas Tech at Okie St (Noon)**1/2

Maybe hot is an overstatement, but Tech is at least a lukewarm team at this point, and is tuning up for a run in the Big 12 tourney. The same is true of Okie St-at least at home.

3. Iowa St at Baylor (12:30p.m.)**

Baylor is getting its act together. As inconsistent as ISU has been in Ames this year, this could be the Bears' best shot at a Road win-especially if they are red hot from three point land early as opposed to after the game is effectively over.

4. k-state at OU (3p.m.)**

The way OU and k-state have both been performing recently, why even bother exerting the effort to play this one out. The Sooners outscore the Cats 17-0 in the final 40 seconds to escape with a one point win after k-state misses both shots of an intentional foul and both shots of a technical foul (called when OU disputed the intentional foul call) with time expired.

5. Nebraska at A&M (3p.m.)****

One of these teams stays alive in its quest for a 10 win regular season, a first round bye in Dallas, and a slim ray of hope on Selection Sunday.

6. KU at UT (8.p.m.)*****

College Game Day. Rece. Digger. Jay. Dukie V. Some other guy. The Big 12 title on the line. At least it's not Senior Day for the legend that is Brad Buckman. Could be the best game nationwide between now and tourney-time.

Go Big Blue!

--Mark

*Texas, KU, and OU, the Tier One teams, are projected to win all of their home games, lose their road games vs. other Tier One teams, and to be "at risk" in road games vs. Tier Two teams.

The Tier Two teams are projected to win all home games with the exception of games vs. Tier One teams. They are projected to lose all road games vs. Tier One and Two teams. They are "at risk" against Tier One teams at home and on the road against the teams that have cast themselves into the Pit of Oblivion.

As for the teams in the Pit, each is projected to (a) lose every Road game; (b) lose every home game vs. the Tier One teams; (c) win every home game vs. each other; and (4) to have a Half-Assed Chance to win every home game vs. a Tier 2 team.

As always, teams can move up or down in status with meaningful road wins and embarrassing (or enough) home losses.

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